May was Small Business Month. Dell celebrated with a four-part small business series. Check out the other three posts here:How to Know When Your Small Business is Ready for a ServerVirtual Reality Revolutionizes Small Business LandscapeWhat is Stumping Small Businesses in their IT JourneyWelcome back for my last installment in our Small Business Month series.After months and months of planning, this May the Dell for Small Business team unveiled our “More than a PC” campaign. This campaign has a new focus!The ads feature real-life small biz customer, Skai Blue Media, with founder/ CEO, Rakia Reynolds at the helm of her fourteen-person team.Co-starring in the new campaign is Mario Delapena, a real-life Dell employee. In fact, Delapena manages Reynolds’ companies account. In her words, “Mario has become like an extension of our Skai Blue Media team.”Me, Erik Day (left) with Mario Delapena (right) – one of my team members who is featured in the latest Dell for Small Business ad campaign.As the VP of Small Business, I oversee two hubs of small business sales advisors – one in Nashville, TN and one in Austin, TX. It is exciting to hear stories like that of Skai Blue Media and Mario.If you know me, you also know I am somewhat of a politics aficionado. Because of my affinity for public policy, I know small businesses are our countries economic backbone. We NEED small businesses to succeed so that ultimately our economy can prosper. One of the biggest challenges to small business success is picking the right IT. I am going to solve that challenge!That is why relationships like Skai Blue Media and Delapena are important. I want more small businesses to have dedicated technology sales advisors like Delapena to help them overcome or avoid altogether one of the most common impediments to small business success.Click here or call 1-800-BUY-DELL to find out how to get an IT sales advisor like Delapena.“…relationships like Skai Blue Media and Delapena are so important.ShareI did a Q&A with Delapena to find out about his newfound fame and see if that fame is going to his head!Mario DeLapena posing next to a poster of himself in the new Dell for Small Business national ad campaign.Erik: What did you think when you were picked to be in the national ad campaign?Mario: I thought, “It’s about time!” Just kidding! I felt honored. So many people attended the internal casting call on Dell’s campus. I didn’t think I would be the “chosen one”.When they told me it was going to be EVERYWHERE, I thought I had better call my family. I have been the first in my family to do many things. I called my mom and, sure enough, she was definitely more excited than I was.“My mom was more excited than me.ShareE: How long have you worked for Dell? Ok. I know how long you’ve worked here but for your fans…M: Just over two years. I was a university recruit from Texas Tech University.E: Why are you passionate about small businesses?M: It’s pretty cool to work with startups and small companies. You get involved with the people and build relationships and really friendships.“You get involved with the people and build relationships and really friendships.ShareIt’s also pretty cool to watch those friends as they build and grow their companies. I see transformations from when I first start working with a small business to where they are now.The small business team at Dell has an infectious passion for bettering the small business world. As a leader on our team, I treat my job as if I am running my own SB, which, as any small business owner (SBO) will tell you, means I wear many hats. It also means I’m close to the action and the daily highs and lows of a business’s journey.E: What is your favorite part of your job? Besides working for me of course?M: I love the people I work with! There’s an idea that working in a corporate environment is stuffy and means you won’t like who you work with or can’t have fun at work. My experience is the exact opposite.My teammates here in the Austin, Texas office love to have fun. They also love to succeed, which makes for great competition (mostly friendly – HA!) and a readiness to celebrate each other’s victories.E: I know you are not forgetting the Nashville, TN teammates, right (nudge nudge)?M: Right! The Nashville team is awesome. I should visit them more. Will you send me to Nashville?E: NEXT QUESTION! What is the biggest IT challenge for small biz that your clients are telling you about right now?M: Preparing or reacting to this new age of technology, namely ransomware and cloud storage. Most SB’s do not have a dedicated IT department – and sometimes not even a dedicated IT PERSON. Therefore, IT decision making can be a side thought (or worse, an afterthought).Technology in this new age can be overwhelming. When you have no IT department, you’re hearing words like “ransomware” and “cloud storage” and you’re strapped for time because… DUH, you’re running a business. This causes some SBOs to dive into data security and cloud and more without a complete knowledge of what will work for their unique business.That’s where I come in. With Rakia and her team for example, I not only advise them on tech to buy, I help educate them on the best pathways to improve their IT space. Rakia and the rest of Skai Blue Media are fun to work with and it’s fulfilling to see how far their IT acumen has come over their years as a Dell customer.E: So, Is it weird seeing yourself on TV and in magazines?M: I have never been on TV before, but in my daydreams, I’ve always felt I might end up doing something like this. Not that I am destined for stardom and don’t look for me on the Hollywood walk of fame.Of course, the age of the meme makes it even better. My friends send me pictures of myself on TV or screenshots of the ads with hilarious captions so they are making memes of me. I get at least one per day. It’s become a thing.“My friends send me pictures of myself on TV or screenshots of the ads with hilarious captions so basically they are making memes of me.ShareE: If you could give one piece of advice to small businesses making IT decisions, what would it be?M: Even when it’s hard and you have a million other things on your plate, be proactive about IT. Rakia will tell you that I preach that to my customers all the time.I don’t want you to be the client who comes to me completely frazzled because something broke or something bad happened at a critical moment for his/her business (though I will still be glad to help you then).You want to be thinking about what comes next– or having your Dell small business sales advisor think about that for you – that’s where you want to be. Many people think it’s pricey to be proactive about IT. It’s true that it can require more of an initial investment than if you fly by the seat of your pants in IT decision making. But I have seen time and again, that those dollars come back around in the long term.Delapena appears in the new Dell for Small Business ad campaign, which includes video, print, billboards and more!You can get your own small business IT sales advisor by going to our website here or by calling 1-800-BUY-DELL.
Second-year guard Landry Shamet was a contributor right away last season, sinking the fourth-most 3-pointers by a rookie in NBA history. And Moe Harkless, acquired just this past week, gives the Clippers another versatile defender at forward beside George and Leonard.Mix in Ivica Zubac – who re-signed Saturday on a four-year, $28M deal, per Wojnarowski – along with Sindarius Thornwell, Jerome Robinson and Rodney McGruder, and the Clippers also have a deep supporting cast.Last season, the only player on the Clippers with Southern California ties was Bakersfield native Tyrone Wallace, whom they waived Friday night.Now they’ve got two of the prime talents to come out of the region in recent years, MVP-caliber competitors who’ve come home to try to make history by leading the Clippers – bit players no longer on the NBA stage – to the franchise’s first NBA championship. And maybe more, babyyyyyy. To get him, the Clippers are relinquishing promising second-year point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, veteran scorer Danilo Gallinari, five first-round picks and two pick swaps in exchange for George – a colossal deal that netted not just George, but also Leonard, a 28-year-old forward from the Inland Empire.Leonard reportedly made it clear he would be willing to join the Clippers and become the first Finals MVP to change teams the following season, only if they could land George and pair him with another of the league’s most efficient two-way stars.The Clippers’ front office – Lawrence Frank, Michael Winger, Jerry West and Co. – got it done. The historic value of West’s role as a consultant wasn’t lost on the basketball community: He’s now been part of recruiting free agents Shaquille O’Neal (Lakers), Kevin Durant (Warriors) and Leonard, in addition to the acquisitions of Kobe Bryant and Paul George.Friday was perhaps the franchise’s finest moment to date, but the Clippers also did the rest of the NBA a favor, blocking the Lakers’ shot at building an unprecedented Big Three by teaming Leonard with Anthony Davis and LeBron James.The Lakers could have created a super team that automatically would have been considered title favorites – and totally eclipsed the Clippers in L.A. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Williams, of course, has been another reliable Clippers contributor. Having just claimed his third Sixth Man of the Year award, he’s averaged 25.8 points per 75 possessions during his two-year Clippers’ tenure. Last season, he and his pick-and-roll partner Montrezl Harrell combined to average 36.9 points, making them the top-scoring bench duo in NBA history. Harrell finished among the top 20 in both win shares per 48 minutes and box plus/minus.Related Articles For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory What it do, babyyyyyy?The Clippers got their Fun Guy – and his All-Star pal! – and shook up the NBA late Friday night.While most Toronto Raptors fans slept, the Clippers – ninja-like in all of their stealthy free agency dealings this offseason – secured a surprise superstar pairing of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.The Clippers reportedly came to terms with Leonard, the star of this year’s NBA champion Raptors, agreeing on a reported four-year, $142 million contract with the two-time Finals MVP. That happened because they shipped an enormous haul of players and picks to Oklahoma City in exchange for six-time All-Star Paul George, a 29-year-old forward from Palmdale. Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters Leonard and George won’t be alone in their title pursuit. They’ll headline a hard-playing Clippers contingent captained by Coach Doc Rivers, one of three Coach of the Year finalists last season for his work guiding a team without All-Stars to 48 wins and into the playoffs.No All-Stars, but a collection of defensive-minded competitors whose mindset aligns with Leonard and George’s style of on-court operation.Patrick Beverley, whom the Clippers re-signed Sunday, remains a huge component. Eleventh among point guards in real plus-minus last season, Beverley provided leadership, shot 39.7 percent from 3-point range and played elite defense, including holding George to seven points on 3-of-10 shooting in a 118-110 Clippers victory in March – after which the two bantered on Twitter.Tweeted Beverley then: “Men lie, numbers don’t. He tried to blame the refs. Naw bra bra!!!”Responded George: “Stop it pat lol LA has gave you a platform now but stop it bra bra!”On Friday night, Beverley again took to social media to crow happily about the news: “Don’t talk to us!” Beverley said in a message to detractors. Added his teammate Lou Williams: “Price just went up!” Stop it pat lol LA has gave you a platform now but stop it bra bra!— Paul George (@Yg_Trece) March 9, 2019 Instead, a real rivalry was born as, overnight, Staples Center becomes the epicenter: The Klaw and PG13 vs. The King and A.D., both sides ready to wrestle for Western Conference supremacy.The Clippers reportedly realized they’d need to land a second star to lure Leonard, but only recently learned that his desired co-star was Paul George, who had signed a four-year, $137 million max-contract deal with the Thunder on July 6, 2018, a decision that was commemorated the following day by Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt declaring it “Paul George Day.”Just about a year later, George reportedly was being recruited by Leonard, whose first call was said to be to the Brooklyn-bound All-Star Kevin Durant. His next call was to George.After Leonard invited him to L.A., George put in a request to be traded, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, and Thunder general manager Sam Presti made as much as he could with the leverage he had in a negotiation that also included the Raptors.The Thunder reportedly considered packaging Russell Westbrook and George in a trade to Toronto, but the Raptors, unsure of Leonard’s plans, didn’t bite. They reportedly wouldn’t offer the same excess of first-round picks that the Clippers did.The asking price for George in picks alone was steep, “an unprecedented pool,” Wojnarowski called it, as the Clippers reportedly handed over their 2022, 2024 and 2026 first-round draft picks, a pair of coveted Heat first-rounders (2021 unprotected and 2023 protected 1-14) that they had procured via trades, plus gave OKC the option to swap first-rounders with the Clippers in 2023 and 2025.But by using those assets they’d stockpiled in the past two seasons via the Blake Griffin and Tobias Harris trades, the Clippers procured a pairing that immediately made them the favorite with oddsmakers to win an NBA title – jumping from 10-1 to 5-1 to win the title, according to B/R Betting – in what is otherwise expected to be the most wide-open NBA championship chase in a long while.Raptors president Masai Ujiri issued a statement in the aftermath of Friday’s moves, which leave the defending champions a shell of the team they were this past season: “We are very thankful for the year that Kawhi and (Lakers-bound) Danny (Green) played with us here in Toronto, and I know the city and the entire country of Canada are grateful for everything they did to help us to win our first NBA championship. On behalf of the Raptors, I say a very heartfelt thank you to Kawhi and to Danny, and we send them and their families nothing but good wishes. As an organization, the Raptors will focus on the future and continue our pursuit of a second championship.”