Dell Inc.'s Oklahoma City facility provides a $340.5 million annual benefit the metro area's economy, and has produced $2.2 billion economic benefit since it opened in 2004, according to a report from the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.
Rohit Keshava, co-general manager for Dell's Oklahoma City operations, said the report reflects the company's intent to be a positive influence in the community.
“Oklahoma City has been great for us from a business perspective,” Keshava said. “And we've been good for Oklahoma City.”
Steve Felice, president and chief commercial officer for Dell, said the study affirms that Dell's presence in the city is providing solutions “that enable large and small businesses to grow and achieve their goals, as well as making a positive impact locally.”
Dell in 2004 announced it would build a customer center in Oklahoma City, which competed against more than 100 sites for the Dell facility. The company opened a 120,000-square-foot facility at 3501 SW 15 in 2005. A year later, the center doubled in size when Dell built a second office building at the same site.
The company's roughly 2,000 Oklahoma City employees are equally distributed in three areas: Sales to small and medium-size businesses, information technology outsourcing and technical support, Keshava said.
Although the number of people directly employed by Dell — company-badged workers — is down about 300 from last year, Keshava said the total head count has grown over the past couple of years as contract employees have increased.
Many of the contract employees eventually are hired by Dell, Keshava said. Those employees are able to evaluate the company as a potential long-term employer even as the company is evaluating the employees' performance, he said.
The company's mission at the local site has changed over the years as the industry has shifted, Keshava said. In the past two years, Dell has bought 22 companies to expand its reach in areas such as cloud computing and digital security.
As the company extends its offerings, employees in Oklahoma City are hired to handle new tasks related to those services, Keshava said.
That “incubation” of new ventures in Oklahoma City “is great for the city, and it attracts good talent,” Keshava said.
That need for local talents is Dell's biggest challenge, he said. The company regularly informs local universities and other educators about the type of skills it will require in the ever-changing technology business.
Keshava said Dell expects to be in Oklahoma City for some time.
“Oklahoma City is going to continue to be a strategic location for Dell,” he said.