Many IT vendors now want to establish lines of annual recurring revenue (ARR). In fact, some are willing to shift cash flow from the outright sale of products to recurring revenue models. For this reason, we now see familiar IT infrastructure vendors actively promoting as-a-Service acquisition alternatives to traditional purchase. These programs include Dell APEX, HPE GreenLake and NetApp Keystone, among others.
In addition to ARR generation, as-a-Service alternatives also achieve another increasingly important objective for vendors: closer and continual contact with customers. As-a-Service programs typically include the use of a portal to the service where customers can go to increase capacity, monitor usage, view billing and check system performance and availability parameters. Vendors often use AI tools to remotely monitor the system and better understand and customer usage patterns. Monthly/quarterly billing cycles also keep vendors in regular contact with customers.
Here we present a brief overview of the acquisition alternative, now available from IT infrastructure vendors. For a more detailed exploration of these offerings, see specific Evaluator Group Product Briefs for each.
APEX is Dell’s portfolio of as-a-Service offerings. Under the APEX brand, Dell delivers its IT infrastructure that is owned and managed by Dell but operated by users of APEX services. Three services have been announced: Data Storage, Private Cloud and Hybrid Cloud. It is Dell’ intention to offer its entire infrastructure portfolio via the APEX services delivery model. However, the only service immediately available as of May 2021 is the APEX Data Storage Service, available directly through Dell sales and available in the US. Additional solutions and geographies will become available later in 2021. Availability of APEX via Dell Partners will also be announced later in 2021.
Dell APEX is structured so as to qualify for OPEX treatment under FASB and IASB standards. Payment for APEX services is based on infrastructure and services consumption, delivered to the Service Level Objectives (SLOs) that customers require. Dell infrastructure is owned and managed by Dell Technologies but operated by the customer. The Dell Technologies APEX Console provides customers with a comprehensive management portal. All APEX infrastructure and services are ordered through the Console as well.
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