May 5, 2021
DELL TECHNOLOGIES WORLD — Dell Technologies Apex is now rolling out, marking the company’s transition to delivering its entire infrastructure offerings as managed services.
Apex is the brand and delivery model for Dell EMC offerings, enabling customers to procure infrastructure like cloud services. Dell’s transformation is a major one for the company, its customers and partners. The company’s key rivals have embarked on similar transitions. Among them, HPE in 2019, which said it will deliver GreenLake as a service by 2022. In 2018, Cisco outlined a similar transition.
The inaugural Apex storage and cloud services went live Wednesday in the U.S. and select regions. Apex will be the emphasis of the Dell Technologies World virtual conference, taking place this week. Also now available are Dell’s Apex Custom Solutions and the Apex Console to manage all current and future Apex-branded infrastructure.
Moving forward, Dell Technologies Apex will be a primary route to market for all Dell data center products and services. The Dell console will manage all its products on-premises, in colocation facilities and in the major public clouds. Hybrid services will include support for VMware Cloud, AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and IBM Cloud. Colocation services will initially come via a partnership announced Wednesday with Equinix.
“We want to give you cycles back by making your infrastructure highly automated, multicloud and as a service, so you can dedicate your time, and energy and investments to your data, your applications and creating business results and competitive advantage. That’s where Apex comes in, to bring together our cloud and as-a-service capabilities,” said Dell CEO Michael Dell on the virtual stage.
Besides customer data centers, colocation facilities and public clouds, edge services are a key part of Dell Technologies Apex. It includes the Dell EMC Streaming Data Platform, which will bring real-time analytics to and from the edge. Dell also is announcing a partnership with PTC to offer manufacturing industry customers a reference architecture developed by the two companies.
Dell previewed Apex last fall, signaling the first of its managed services would arrive in the first half of 2021.
Dell’s Sam Grocott
“This is just the beginning; we will continue to move and deliver as-a-service solutions across our entire portfolio as we move forward,” said Dell senior VP of product marketing Sam Grocott, during a media briefing in advance of Wednesday’s launch.
“We do believe that simplicity and agility and control that we’re providing with Apex will help accelerate customers’ digital transformations,” Grocott added. The customer feedback we’ve received has been tremendous. And we feel really strongly that we have the right as-a-service solutions at the right time to help customers and partners transform.”
Transforming Partner Delivery
Under the Apex model, Dell owns the equipment and customers can use them based on different usage agreements. At the core of the Dell Technologies new as-a-service offering is the Apex Console.
Dell’s Akanksha Mehrotra
“This is a unified experience for the entire Apex-as-a-service journey,” said Akanksha Mehrotra, Dell’s Apex VP. “It provides our customers with self-service access to the catalog of Apex services and guides them through the entire technology life cycle, beginning with discovery through subscriptions deployment, ongoing management, periodic optimization to end-of-life decommissioning or growth via additional services.”
Mehrotra emphasized that the Dell partner ecosystem will play a key roll in the sale and support of Apex services. Initially though, Apex will be a Dell managed service. Over time, Dell is signaling it will …
… allow partners to incorporate Apex into their own managed services.
“We believe our partners are already advantaged in their partnership with Dell Technologies, given the depth and breadth of our portfolio, as well as the flexibility and the choice afforded them via multiple business models and how they engage with us,” she explained. “Apex expands this partner advantage further through additional opportunity, the partnership and profitability.”
Michael Dell at Dell Technologies World Virtual 2021
The additional opportunity comes from Dell’s promise to reduce service complexity, enabling partners to focus on higher value opportunities, Mehrotra added. For example, because Dell manages the life cycle of the services, partners can shift their focus on more strategic opportunities with customers such as offering consulting or value-added services for specific verticals or applications.
Apex will also create an easier path for partners to engage more continuously with customers, according to Mehrotra. For example, she said Dell expects partners to develop and deliver new solutions on Apex via its API.
“Along with the ability to scale on demand, our partners will be able to benefit from this increased agility, enabling us to together jointly capture new markets and realize the revenue streams,” she said.
New Partner Incentives
Dell has added new benefits to partners, such as new referral opportunities that the company will outline more this week, according to Mehrotra.
“We are targeting offering our channel partners up to 30% incentive on our Apex turnkey, outcome-based offers, which is the highest in the industry,” she said.
Dell already offers a 20% incentive on its custom offers, Mehrotra added.
“With Apex, partners can deliver repeatable profitable services and drive recurring and profitable revenue streams and the innovations that we are delivering with Apex will help optimize their sales cycle and enable us to together reach a higher number of customers and prospects,” she said.
The inaugural services include:
The Apex Console for managing the life cycle of Apex services.
Apex Data Storage Services, providing storage as a service.
Apex Cloud Services, designed to offer a consistent cloud experience across public and private cloud and at the edge.
Finally, Apex Custom Solutions, which Dell claims are IT management services with its portfolio offered via flexible payment options
Grocott described the launch of Dell Technologies Apex as the beginning a multiyear journey for the company.
“No stone will not be overturned in terms of how we look at how we transform every facet, including go-to-market. It’s a very exciting time, both internally here at Dell, as well with our customers and partners to take advantage of this emerging opportunity as a service,” he said.
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