UK PC Industry: The Inside Track
Today we have an exclusive interview with Tony Riccardi, General Manager of one of the UK’s largest and most successful PC Manufacturers, MESH Computers Plc.
HEXUS: Anyone who knows the PC market will have heard of MESH, but what is the company really about ?
RICCARDI: MESH was established way back in 1987. The company has grown steadily since, and our current turnover is around $100M.
HEXUS: Every time you open a computer magazine, there seems to be a MESH system inside, how important are reviews for MESH ?
RICCARDI: Very important. The British PC-buying public are knowledgeable. They know what they want. In addition to understanding which features are important, they also have an excellent feel for a good deal. Comparative reviews give manufacturers like MESH a chance to test themselves against the best that the market has to offer.
HEXUS: MESH have won a lot of awards. What are the implications ?
RICCARDI: Consumers enjoy reading reports from journalists that (a) have an in-depth understanding of the subject and (b) whom they trust to give open and honest views no matter the consequence. Winning a single review means that – on the day - we had the best understanding of the needs of a particular audience. To win more reviews than anyone else takes something very special.
HEXUS: How competitive is the UK PC market ?
RICCARDI: Very ! You would have to run a manufacturing company like MESH before you could truly appreciate how much competition there is. On the one hand, we are successfully competing, head-to-head, with some of the largest, multi-national corporations on the planet. They have huge marketing funds and tens of thousands of employees worldwide. At the other end of the scale, there are always small, new companies emerging who will focus closely on small sections of the market.
HEXUS: So what is the answer ?
RICCARDI: The secret to our success is that MESH have maintained a solid middle-ground between these two factions. We are large enough to offer better support, pricing and facilities than the smaller companies and – at the same time – we are small enough to read the UK market better than the global Japanese and American companies.
HEXUS: Do MESH really get every new piece of kit first ?
RICCARDI: Generally, yes. We have strategic partnerships with all of the major players like AMD, Intel, ATI and nVidia. That fact that we tend to win more reviews than anyone else, means that MESH systems are an attractive vehicle to market. Our Research and Development team work closely with our partner’s experts so that new technology is integrated as early as possible. Once we have finished our internal testing, the results are passed to the production team who will ensure that we can produce ample volume of the new product once the review comes out.
HEXUS: Last question, how significant do you believe 64-bit technology will be to the desktop PC in 2004 ?
RICCARDI: Absolutely crucial. On existing applications, Athlon 64-bit processors ease past their 32-bit siblings. Once applications are re-compiled to a 64-bit code base the differences will be staggering in a lot of cases. The CPU will cease to be any kind of bottleneck and the focus will switch to the motherboard chipsets – especially with the advent of the latest PCI-Express technology.
HEXUS: Thanks for that Tony. If our readers want to find out more about MESH then they should visit the WEB site at www.meshcomputers.com.. If you have any more questions for MESH then please hit the forums over here where we will make sure Tony spends some time answering your questions.