I have been with Dell Technologies since the very beginning of 2011. A LOT has happened in 10 years' time! I have seen a major transformation in the Dell Technologies Datacenter Infrastructure and Cloud portfolios which have included several mergers and acquisitions. Early on in my career at Dell, there was really no cohesive cloud strategy. Our perspective was always that we would continue to supply the hyper-scalers and service providers with best of breed infrastructure, as well as our end user customers. This would allow Dell to maintain a "Switzerland" approach to Infrastructure. Then comes 2015….Dell announces intent to acquire EMC! There was a monumental shift that came along with this merger.
I am going to take a side road and stand on a soapbox for a second so bear with me… throughout my career in technology I have always taken pride in being a part of Dell and what we have accomplished over the last decade. I only have the best things to say about our fearless leader, Michael Dell, and his Executive leadership team. They have clearly made very unified and wise decisions that have allowed us to rise to the top, outshining our competition and capitalize on our flexibility to deliver holistic, market leading solutions to our customers. I hope they read this because I'd like to say thank you for the last decade and especially a thank you for the future! Which brings me back to the point of this article….APEX.
As I mentioned above, Dell's cloud strategy and solutions were an infrastructure play UNTIL we acquired EMC. Now we were starting to get somewhere! From that point on, you start to see the evolution of the Dell Technologies Cloud Strategy. This was not a product but rather a collection of solutions to help our customers achieve a Hybrid Cloud Operating Model that would allow them to not only have choice of WHERE and on WHAT infrastructure to place workloads (public or private) but also WHEN and WHY. We have leveraged our in-family VMware engineering and integration capabilities which have introduced unmatched features and solutions that our customers are able to and are leveraging TODAY - not just talking about them and selling off of a roadmap. We are seeing a repatriation of workloads from Public Cloud back to On-Prem/Private Cloud and we've been seeing this for a few years at this point. I've seen it, my colleagues have seen it and all of the large Public Cloud providers are seeing it. You are seeing the emergence of AWS Outposts, Azure Stack, GCP Anthos and these are all direct responses to the threat that these providers are experiencing. Customers are bombarded by a myriad of offerings and everyone is pushing their stack. We can agree that each stack has its strong suits and pitfalls and if customers are wanting agility it comes at the price of burdensome management, difficult cost containment, inconsistent SLAs, compromised security, and the list goes on.
This is WHY we have introduced APEX. Simplicity. Agility. Control.
Here is where Dell Technologies APEX can really bring value in your overall Cloud Strategy approach. Let's just start with what APEX is NOT to clear up some common misconceptions:
APEX is NOT a new product
APEX is NOT a replacement to existing products
APEX is NOT a Public Cloud solution
APEX is NOT, by default, a managed cloud infrastructure
Now that we've cleared that up, let's talk about what APEX is in a little more detail. In this post I cover the high level components that together make up APEX. I will do a deeper dive into the portfolio offerings in some follow on blog posts.
APEX is a portfolio of Dell Technologies as-a-Service offerings that simplify digital transformation by increasing IT agility and control. It's a business model. It's about radically simplifying our customer's IT experience by delivering an end-to-end portfolio as-a-Service to deliver outcomes with a consumption-based expenditure. The Cloud Operating Model is a necessity to keep up with the demand on technology and APEX is our response from Dell Technologies.
APEX Console - This gives the customer a unified, self-service experience that allows them to independently access the services we include in the APEX Portfolio. This is a web-based marketplace of APEX Services that customers can browse, configure and purchase. You also are able to get a single, upfront price for services on a 1yr or 3yr Subscription term in the portal at the time of service selection.
APEX Offers - APEX is still new so currently there are only a handful of offerings in the portfolio. The plan and vision is that ALL of Dell Technologies' products will be offered as-a-service through APEX. These are the offerings currently available in the APEX Console:
APEX Infrastructure Services
APEX Data Storage Services (STaaS)
APEX Cloud Services (A re-brand of what we previously called Dell Technologies Cloud Platform or DTCP for short)
APEX Private Cloud
APEX Hybrid Cloud
APEX Custom Solutions
APEX Flex on Demand (FOD)
APEX Data Center Utility (DCU)
Let me repeat myself…these services are NOT fully managed services and they are NOT public Cloud services. These are on-premises solutions that are installed in the customer's data center or choice of colocation facility and they are operated by the customer, but owned by Dell Technologies. Dell Technologies provides ProDeploy Services and ProSupport as a standard offering with the APEX Data Storage Services and Cloud Services. We can provide options for Custom SOWs and Service Contracts for APEX FOD/DCU or when desired services fall outside the scope of ProDeploy and ProSupport.
Let me close Part 1 with this….APEX is a smart choice for any customer who want a simple approach to consume and manage technology to allow them to focus on business outcomes.
In the next part of the series we will take a deep dive into the APEX Console. Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings and please drop a comment! I would love to know how this resonates with you and start some dialogue!