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How Dell is placing partner ‘stickiness’ at the core of expanded APEX offerings

How Dell is placing partner ‘stickiness’ at the core of expanded APEX offerings

Technology giant holds desire to create new opportunities for channel partners centred around offering customers “flexible and simplified IT solutions” through innovation and enhancements to existing solutions that “accelerate profitability and growth”.

Tian Beng Ng (Dell Technologies)

Tian Beng Ng (Dell Technologies)

Credit: Dell Technologies

As business data and applications continue to grow in multi-cloud environments comprised of edge locations, public cloud and on-premises IT, Dell Technologies is positioning to meet changing customer needs and advance partner growth with new infrastructure solutions and capabilities.

First unveiled during the Singapore leg of the Dell Technologies Forum in August, the vendor rolled out a series of technology enhancements which include several new VxRail systems and software advancements that will be available in the city-state from the second half of 2022. This is in addition to the stitching of Automatic Machine Learning (AutoML) to the Dell Validated Designs for AI portfolio – which is currently available in Singapore.

Jointly engineered with VMware, the introduction of the VxRail advancements is targeted at improving performance on-premises and at the edge with an "industry-first" hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solution support for Data Processing Units (DPUs).

Meanwhile, Dell has added AutoML to its Validated Designs for AI portfolio for the purpose of helping data scientists to create and deploy AI-powered applications. The solution includes “tested and proven” configurations of Dell VxRail HCI with H2O.ai, NVIDIA and VMware software which is touted to help customers “speed time to insight from data with automation that delivers up to 18x faster AI models”.

According to Tian Beng Ng – speaking as senior vice president and general manager of Channel across Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) at Dell – the vendor holds a desire to create new opportunities for channel partners centred around offering customers “flexible and simplified IT solutions” through innovation and enhancements to existing solutions that “accelerate profitability and growth”.

“This announcement represents an amazing growth opportunity for our partners because it enables and empowers them to meet customers’ increasing requests for consumption-based solutions with greater choice of service delivery and partner differentiation – increasing customer stickiness,” he added.

According to Dell research, the number of applications running at the edge will grow 800 per cent by 2024, along with an upward trend of organisations adopting a multi-cloud approach.

“IDC’s global research shows many organisations are struggling to balance the rapidly rising complexity and cost of data centre, edge and cloud operations with relentless business demand for better data integration, security and application performance,” outlined Mary Johnston Turner, research vice president of Future of Digital Infrastructure Agenda at IDC.

“These organisations recognise the need for a consistent operating model tightly integrated with infrastructure platforms that support sophisticated, large-scale data-driven workloads.”

Andy Sim – speaking as vice president and managing director of Singapore at Dell – echoed a similar sentiment of customers demanding solutions in “simplifying their multi0cloud and edge strategies” to fuel “more efficiency and performance”.

“They also need more choice and predictability in how they consume and manage their data,” he analysed. “We have collaborated with VMware on numerous joint engineering initiatives spanning core IT areas such as multi-cloud and edge to help our customers more easily manage and gain value from their data.

"Dell is also committed to empowering our diverse partner ecosystem to help customers execute today, while elevating for tomorrow.”

Increased partner capabilities in APEX

Alongside new innovations, Dell also bolstered partner capabilities within its APEX Data Storage Services portfolio which will be made available in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and South Korea. For partners to enable greater customisation, the vendor is delivering an option to subscribe to the portfolio with or without Dell managed services.

Significantly, Dell is providing partners with the option to add in their own services and meet customers’ demands for more flexibility, including a choice around who performs the day-to-day management operations. 

“Designed to strengthen a partner’s position within the APEX ecosystem, it allows companies to take ownership of tasks such as monitoring capacity utilisation, infrastructure management and resource optimisation,” outlined Tian Beng.

From Dell’s perspective, this is an “ideal solution” for partners who want to incorporate their own value-added capabilities or whose customers want to manage their own as-a-service experience. The vendor also cited that APEX offers “freedom of choice with consistent security and optimised operations” that translate to more options for partners to help customers implement multi-cloud “by design, rather than by default”.

“For all partners – the lower entry price of a solution without Dell managed services gives them the opportunity to bring APEX Data Storage Services to more customers and incorporate the partner’s own value-added capabilities,” Tian Beng added.

Additionally, Dell has updated its training and resources that enhance partner skills, knowledge and capabilities. Partners will receive support in the form of dedicated learning paths on APEX and as-as-service selling strategies which are hosted on the APEX Learning Centre, accessible via their Partner Portal account credentials.

APEX’s growth momentum was reflected during the vendor's recent FY23 second quarter global results – with an annual recurring revenue of over US$1 billion and orders growing 78 per cent year-on-year.

“In the current macro environment, we are seeing a lot of interest from partners whose customers are looking to manage cash outlays by pivoting to a pay-as-they-go scale on-demand type model,” Tian Beng observed.

“For example in Q2, we saw a lot of strength in our custom APEX solutions (APEX Flex on Demand, Data Center Utility). And in the first half of the year, we also had advancements with new APEX offerings like Dell APEX Cyber Recovery Services that extend beyond storage, compute and data protection and deliver APEX as a full stack solution.”

Specific to APJ, Tian Beng attributed partner uptake to the expansion of the APEX portfolio such as the introduction of new Dell APEX Cloud Services which includes APEX Multi-Cloud Data Services and APEX Backup Services.

“As we see increasing demand for consumption-based solutions, we are empowering our diverse partner ecosystem to help customers execute today while elevating for tomorrow," he said. "The APEX announcement will continue to extend our APEX momentum by offering even more choice, flexibility, and growth opportunities for our partners.

“At Dell, we never stop pushing for better. We are always working to innovate, to improve and to advance. To be ready to meet the opportunities of our do-from-anywhere world, businesses need to put their people first and reimagine IT as their essential engine to progress."


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