At Dell Technologies World 2020, the company is pushing its new Project Apex. Project Apex is Dell’s re-invigorated approach to transforming itself into an as-a-service offering as more customers move workloads away from Dell to other vendors’ hardware via the cloud.
Dell Technologies Cloud Console and Project Apex
Dell’s chief competitor in the legacy infrastructure player space, HPE, has been making a big push towards providing everything-as-a-service. We covered this last year in HPE GreenLake Everything by 2022 or HPEaaS Strategy Launched.
Now, Dell is providing its strategy in the place. Dell has had its financial services arm, as well as some XaaS offerings for some time. We covered the Dell Technologies On-Demand Consumption Model last year as well. DTOD has around 2000 customers and over a $1b annual revenue run rate. With Project Apex, Dell has its answer to GreenLake. Instead of just creating a financial tool to help with OpEx v. CapEx models, the Dell Technologies Cloud Console will underpin Project Apex.
With the new Dell Technologies Cloud Console the company will have a single pane of glass/ experience that will let customers to manage their cloud and as-a-Service journey. The console will have a marketplace and order cloud services and as-a-Service solutions. Customers can deploy workloads, manage their multi-cloud resources, monitor their costs in real-time, and add capabilities.
As part of this, Dell Technologies Storage as-a-Service (STaaS) will provide block and file data services on-premises.
Part of Dell’s strategy is that the company wants to provide a console that can provision clusters, applications, and individual resources across a multi-cloud environment. The vision is that a company can provision resources in AWS or GCP or on a VMware-based on-prem cluster priced by consumption or through an aaS model. The company is saying it can provide a hybrid cloud for as low as $47 per instance per month (~$0.0653/ hour) or around the price of smaller AWS t3/t4 nano instances.
Dell is also expanding the Dell Technologies Cloud Platform subscription availability to the United Kingdom, France, and Germany to expand its footprint.
Perhaps the big question on the minds of Dell’s channel partners reading STH is on what this does to their business. After all, once a partner moves their customer to Dell’s cloud platform, the customer becomes reliant on Dell versus a channel partner to a much greater degree. Dell is saying that it is giving rebates of up to 20% for Flex On Demand for channel partners. It is probably correct to think that if a customer is managing their multi-cloud experience on the Dell Technologies Cloud Console, there will be a significantly weakened channel partner value proposition.
Dell Addresses Sustainability
Recently, STH broke the news that Dell is using AMD PSB to vendor locks EPYC CPUs. There, we address the fact that Dell is taking the step of vendor-locking AMD EPYC CPUs once they are put into Dell servers. As a result, Dell’s servers are less recyclable than those from other vendors.
With Project APEX, Dell will aim resell 100% of leased assets and help customers manage the resale and recycling. This is extraordinary. Dell is looking to not just manage the initial sale, but also push further into the extended lifecycle of systems.
Overall, Project Apex is underpinned by the Dell Technologies Cloud Console is focused more on how customers purchase, provision, and consume resources. The last mainstream server platform launches were in 2017 (or 2019 if you consider AMD Rome distinct) so we are not getting breakthrough hardware in this cycle. Instead, Dell is focusing on enhancing its go-to-market models.