Dell launches Apex, a per-use hardware-leasing program

Dell's Apex program is designed to accelerate adoption of IT-as-a-service, starting with storage-as-a-service across public cloud providers.

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All of the major IT hardware suppliers to one degree or other have adopted a consumption model, which is a fancy word for leasing. Rather than the outright purchase of hardware, customers lease it, usage is monitored, and the customer pays a monthly use fee.

Now Dell Technologies has announced it is expanding its as-a-service capabilities with Project APEX, to simplify how customers and partners access Dell technology on-demand.

APEX will cover an array of Dell products —storage, servers, networking, hyperconverged infrastructure, PCs, and broader solutions. Project APEX will unify the company’s as-a-service and cloud strategies, technology offerings, and go-to-market efforts previously sold under the On Demand monicker.

“If you think about the as-a-service experience—that really was born out of the public cloud, and over the last decade as organizations have looked to burst or take advantage of the public cloud to have this as-a-service experience and help to simplify and get them more agility,” said Sam Grocott, senior vice president of product marketing on a conference call.

Grocott cited IDC research that says by 2024 more than 75% of all infrastructure at the edge and more than 50% of all infrastructure in the core data center will be consumed as a service.

At the core of Project APEX is the Dell Technologies Cloud Console, which will be the central control panel for multi-cloud deployments and obtaining on-premises gear to be managed by Dell as a service. The cloud console will be a single Web interface to on-premises compute, storage and other resources as well as major cloud services providers like Azure and AWS. 

The first on-prem service will be Dell’s new Storage as-a-Service (STaaS) portfolio of scalable and elastic storage resources that will offer block and file data services with a broad range of enterprise-class storage features. STaaS, which will be generally available in the first half of 2021, is a turnkey managed service that will be provided by Dell Technologies or a channel partner.

This is the first of many as-a-service plans for Dell, according to Grocott. In the future, Dell hopes to launch PC-as-a-Service, Compute-as-a-Service and Data Protection as-a-Service and to target specfic application markets as well, such as SAP as-a-Service and VDI as-a-Service.

Dell also announced Cloud Power-Protect for Multi-cloud, a managed service that protects data and applications across public clouds via a single, low-latency connection to the major public clouds. The service includes an appliance that deduplicates data before it is moved to the cloud, which reduces costs. When employed with Microsoft Azure, the service has no fee for retrieving data from Azure.

FDell is offering pre-approved Flex On Demand pricing that makes it simpler for customers to select and deploy Dell Technologies solutions with a pay-per-use model. Dell Technologies partners globally will receive a rebate up to 20% on Flex On Demand solutions.

Disposing of Old Gear

One of the elements of these consumption/lease models is that the vendors take back their gear when the lease/contract is up. This is unlike the old ownership model when IT shops bought gear outright and had to figure out what to do with it when it was decommissioned.

Dell manages the return and refurbishing of used IT gear while also helping to support customers’ own sustainability goals. Dell has a project called Progress Made Real, with goals that include:

  • Reselling 100% of the returned leased assets.
  • Refurbishing and reselling 89% of working assets in the North America and EMEA regions.
  • Reselling 10% of non-working assets to Environmental Disposal Partners who repair, reuse, resell, and recycle each asset. Last year, Dell recycled 240,257 kilograms of metal, glass and plastics through this program.
  • Helping customers resell or recycle their excess hardware and prepare to return leased equipment in a secure and environmentally conscious manner through Dell Asset Resale & Recycling Services.
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