Dell APEX ‘Unlocks Richer Services Opportunities’ For Partners, Dell Says

‘This now gives partners the ability to really just leverage all the APEX infrastructure with 100% partner led manage services,’ says Cheryl Cook, senior vice president of partner marketing at Dell Technologies.


Cheryl Cook, senior vice president of partner marketing at Dell Technologies

It’s all in on Dell APEX, as Dell Technologies told partners this week it is boosting incentives on the front end, providing market development funds (MDF) on the back-end and giving partners the chance to sell, install and maintain the offering with their own managed services.

“Dell will absolutely let you take the reins and run with it,” said C.R. Howdyshell, president and CEO of

CRN Solution Provider 500 star Advizex, who is also a member of Dell’s partner advisory board.

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Howdyshell told CRN that partners will be required to meet certain competencies to participate in the program, but Dell has also created training programs to help partners not only build product maturity with APEX material, but business maturity as well with persona-defined courses for those looking to build their business or improve technical know-how.

“The expectation from Dell is, if you are willing to invest, they are willing to make the entire APEX experience profitable for partners across the board,” Howdyshell said.

Cheryl Cook, senior vice president of partner marketing at Dell Technologies, said the updates to the partner program allow partners to leverage their existing service delivery competencies, and also offer customers an APEX solution that is completely partner-managed.

“What this means is partners can engage in our APEX offerings, whether that’s our private and hybrid cloud APEX solutions, our data storage services solutions, and the installation, the deployment, the implementation is 100-percent done by the partner,” Cook said. “Then the ongoing management and engagement with the customer is 100-percent partner led, rather than a combination of Dell and partners.”

“It opens up and unlocks richer and more services opportunities for the partner,” she added.

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Cook said while partners had the opportunity to complement and augment the Dell managed services with their own services before, this now gives partners the ability to leverage all the APEX infrastructure with 100 percent partner-led managed services.

“The fact that we’re trying to empower our partners to meet their customers where they are, is just another expression of our ability to offer just the ultimate choice and flexibility,” Cook said.

At VirtuIT Systems, a longtime Dell partner in New York, CTO Josh Lee said the business anticipates quickly ramping up APEX business this year.

“It gives us an opportunity to really compete with the customers that are trying to be ‘cloud first’ or feel like that they need to shift to the public cloud,” he said. “This gives us an actual on-premise, consumable product that gives customers all the things they’re looking for in the public cloud, only it can be on-premise or the way we do our offering is we can offer the full colocation. It’s the full colocation, turnkey, one bill. We can provide all the management. The customer just needs to log into their console to access it, just as if they were going to log into their AWS portal or their Azure portal. We can give them that same look and feel now with with Dell APEX.”

Dell Channel Chief Rola Dagher told CRN that Dell is focused on improving four key areas for partners in 2023: growing and modernizing its core business, continuing to build market opportunities, strengthening the collaboration and streamlining the partner, and driving human progress.

“We’re seeing strong partner momentum with Dell APEX. And this is just the beginning,” Dagher said. “What we are introducing is a consolidated product category to continue to simplify our incentive structure. We are introducing a single and a harmonized APEX-Plus category for all incentive eligible to Dell APEX solutions.”

Dagher said Dell is launching a new APEX competency program to help partners learn the portfolio. She said while partners get up to speed on this competency, all metal-tiered partners will be eligible for base rebates on APEX+ offerings.

To help build its partners’ market share, Dell is offering persona-based training built around those new to the business, those new to Dell, and partners who want more technical training.

“I think our partners will find that this is very much in support of their growth and whether it’s in really strong economic times or more uncertain times that we very much are their partner that they can count on with high confidence and trust to ensure that we’re going to lean in and help them grow together,” Cook said.

Scott Winslow, president of Winslow Technology Group -- a Dell Platinum Partner and CRN Triple Crown Winner in 2022 and No. 310 on the 2022 CRN Solution Provider 500 -- said partners are looking for consistency from vendor partners in their partner programs, as well as behavior that shows the vendor is removing obstacles to partners transacting in the channel. Dell, he said, has been delivering a consistently good experience.

“Dell Technologies continues to enhance and evolve their leading partner program, with additional training competencies, robust partner incentives, service delivery capabilities, and collaboration opportunities,” he told CRN. “Winslow Technology Group looks forward to understanding how we can fully leverage Dell’s partner program as we architect and deliver comprehensive Dell-based solutions for our broad customer base.”