Dell Technologies unveils Apex as-a-service portfolio as new business model flagship

The company is making five major announcements under Apex, covering infrastructure services, cloud services, custom solutions, console, and a partnership with data centre giant Equinix.

Dell Technologies has announced Apex, a portfolio of as-a-service offerings that marks the first major announcement on the new direction the company is taking.

The company outlined Project Apex in October. At the time, it said the strategy was to move all of its products to consumption-based and launch a cloud console that aims to be the control layer for on-premise, multi-cloud, and edge deployments.

Dell Technologies has since dropped "project" and the portfolio that initially covers five announcements has been labelled as "bringing together that as-a-service and cloud solution offerings all underneath one banner simply called Apex" by Sam Grocott, the company's SVP of marketing.

"Plainly stated, Apex is Dell Technologies' portfolio as-a-service offering will simplify digital transformation, and increase agility and control," he told media this week.

"Essentially, with Apex, we're in the process of creating the new Dell."

The five major announcements Dell Technologies is making this week are: Apex infrastructure services, cloud services, custom solutions, console, and partnerships, kicking off a major data centre arrangement with Equinix.

Apex Data Storage Services, the first offering under the banner of infrastructure, is touted as providing a simplified storage-as-a-service experience.

According to Apex vice president Akanksha Mehrotra, data storage services is the first in a series of "outcome-based infrastructure services". She said it provides scalable and elastic storage resources on premises.

"It's built on our … technology with hardware owned, managed, and maintained by Dell, but applications on this hardware operated by our customers," she told media during a briefing on Apex.

Apex Data Storage Services provides "transparent pricing and no overage fees", Dell said, with organisations able to select three performance tiers of block and file storage to meet their requirements. One or three-year subscriptions are available, and capacity starts at 50 terabytes with the option to scale.

"The simple ordering process will enable our customers to avoid complex procurement cycles. We target a time to value of 14 days for delivery and installation from the point of subscription," Mehrotra added. "Customers can increase their agility by scaling up and down within the buffer that we have on hand to respond dynamically to business needs. They also pay only for what they're using on a single rate with no surge pricing and no overage penalties."

It's available in the US and "coming soon" to other geographies.

Next, Apex Cloud Services, promoted by the company as delivering a consistent cloud experience across public cloud, private cloud, and the edge, has two subsets: Apex Hybrid Cloud and Apex Private Cloud. 

Mehrotra said customers can subscribe to either a private cloud or a hybrid cloud offering, depending on the level of control that they want and the operational consistency they seek.

Again, Dell promises to deliver and deploy the solution in 14 days and expand it in as few as five.

"Our goal is to standardise all of our as-a-service, outcome-based offers so that our customers' transaction experience are consistent across all the services in the Apex catalogue," she said.

Apex Cloud Services are available today in the US, UK, France, and Germany, and are coming soon to APAC.

Also released is Apex Custom Solutions, which, the company said, offers the industry's broadest technology portfolio as-a-service.

"[It's] for customers who are looking for a more flexible as-a-service environment," Mehrotra added.

Apex Custom Solutions are available already in two flavours: Apex Flex On Demand provides Dell Technologies servers, storage, data protection, and hyperconverged infrastructure as-a-service. Customers can select the exact product and services they want and scale their usage of these resources up and down, and pay per use. Meanwhile, Apex Data Center Utility adds an additional level of flexibility through custom metering and managed services applied across their data centre.

Next, the Apex Console, is touted as a "unified experience for the entire Apex as-a-service journey" as it provides a self-service, interactive experience where customers manage their entire Apex lifecycle.

Customers use the console to subscribe to further Apex services, in addition to managing the ones they already use.

"We believe it's going to become an important way for both Dell Technologies and our partners to interact with our customers going forward," Mehrotra said.

Lastly under Apex, Dell Technologies announced it was kicking off a major data centre arrangement with Equinix.

Dell will manage the infrastructure in an Equinix data centre of a customer's choice and will consolidate colocation costs into a single bill.

More details on this partnership, as well as a private preview of Apex Data Storage Services at a handful of Equinix locations is coming later this year across the Americas, EMEA, and APJ.

"Organisations around the world [are] really seeking to become more digital in order to foster innovation. Increasingly, they're turning to as-a-service models to help accelerate their digital transformation," Grocott said.

"We also see the preference of hybrid cloud where businesses want to flexibly choose the right path forward to best meet their objectives … our customers tell us, they want a solution that brings together the best of the public cloud and the private cloud."

He said Apex will help bridge this divide.

"We believe the simplicity, agility, and control we'll be providing IT with from an Apex perspective will help accelerate our customers' digital transformation," Grocott said, adding the customer feedback has been "absolutely tremendous".

"In a nutshell, this is a multi-year transformation … across the organisation, no stone will not be overturned as we look at how we need to transform the business to meet this market need."

All of the company's future as-a-service offerings will be branded Apex.

LATEST FROM DELL TECHNOLOGIES