“We’ve introduced a channel Apex cross-functional team whose primary focus is on the partners,” said Rola Dagher, Dell Technologies global channel chief, in an interview with CRN.
“When we launched Apex last year, we were still actually building it into the channel. We didn’t have a dedicated team. So now we’re investing more in the channel and the Apex team,” said Dagher (pictured above). “What we did is we actually invested in putting dedicated resources to Apex to help accelerate Apex in the channel through our partners. So that’s a newly formed team.”
The new channel-focused Apex team will be led by Dell’s new vice president of channel strategy and VMware channel sales, Lukas Bedi; Darren Sullivan, senior vice president of Global Partner Operations for Dell Technologies; and Driss El Ougmani, vice president of sales for global channels, alliances and OEM.
Dagher said the three leaders have “hired a brand-new team” to focus squarely on driving Apex via channel partners. “We’re collaborating and aligning across the board,” said Dell’s channel chief.
The newly formed channel-focused Apex team will work on becoming “the voice of the partner”, according to Cheryl Cook, Dell’s senior vice president of global partner marketing.
“So this team will be a dedicated team that gives the needs, the voice of the partner, how to optimize the partner opportunity, and empower partners in future Apex offers too,” said Cook in an interview with CRN.
Addressing partner concerns
Several Dell partners told CRN US last year that Apex was launched without a channel sales plan.
Dell Technologies President of Global Sales and Customer Operations Bill Scannell told CRN in December that his company was firmly committed to working hand-in-hand with partners to drive Apex as-a-service deals. “Very quickly, we’re going to make sure that we can transact Apex offerings through our channel partners,” Scannell said.
One top executive from a Dell Technologies Titanium partner said a dedicated Apex team focused squarely on channel sales enablement and alignment is “needed.”
“This is something the entire channel has been asking for for a while now. I’m happy to see Dell step up to the plate here,” said the executive who declined to be identified. “They needed [a dedicated team] like this almost a year ago, but better a bit late than never.”
The executive said his solution provider has sold several Dell Apex deals thus far.
“We have more and more customers looking at buying Apex right now. We’ve closed a few Apex deals that customers are happy about. Some of our biggest customers are also taking a closer look at the financial details and economics right now. But we’d like more help from Dell,” he said. “Hopefully this new team will be that help.”
The forming of a new channel-dedicated Dell Apex team comes two months after the Round Rock, Texas-based company launched several new Apex solutions.
In January, Dell unveiled a new Apex Multi-Cloud Data Services offering that provides file, block and data protection services for simultaneous access to all major public clouds from a single source of data, as well as Dell’s new SaaS-based Apex Backup Services which offers end-to-end scalable, secure data protection with centralized monitoring and management for SaaS applications, endpoints and hybrid workloads.
All of Dell products will become available as-a-service
Dell will eventually make all of its products available to consume as-a-service via Apex.
“We’ve made a commitment that we’re going to make available all of our portfolio to be consumed in a subscription, as-a-service way,” said Cook.
Although Dell declined to put a timeframe on when all of its portfolio will be officially available as-a-service, Cook said there’s a large amount of Dell products available today as-a-service via Apex Custom Solutions.
“There’s considerable amount of our portfolio is available through our Custom Apex offers today. So it covers a pretty good breadth in global availability as well,” said Cook. “I don’t think we’ve put a stake in the ground that says, ‘We must [make everything as-a-service by a certain time].’ But there’s considerable effort in each of our business units for future offers. You can see the way with which we’ve been adding Apex availability over time. We brought our first Apex offers out around Dell Technologies World a year ago. Then every quarter, we’re continuing to bring new offers out. So it will continue to be a drumbeat.”