VirtuIT Systems Sees ‘Significant’ APEX Opportunity, More VMware Business Ahead

‘The capabilities of the APEX console, the insights, the ease of management that comes with it, make Dell a player in that space,’ VirtuIT CEO Gary McConnell says.


VirtuIT CEO Gary McConnell

VirtuIT Systems CEO Gary McConnell said the year is off to a strong start for the Dell Titanium Partner, which expects to see significant APEX business in 2023, in addition to more VMware opportunities.

The job of seizing those opportunities begins at the office, where customers are turning to VirtuIT for increasingly sophisticated technology solutions, he said.

“Customers come to us with much more now. Looking to us as experts across the board, from their end user machines, to their compute storage all the way up to the security realm as well,” McConnell said. “So, it’s a much different conversation, there’s much more opportunity. But again, there has to be the ability to evolve and the skill set to to fulfill.”

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To deliver that technology VirtuIT has invested in training employees in-house, and it has managed to navigate the labor crunch happening across the solution provider market by relying on that bench of talent, he said.

“We’ve been able to hire tier-one resources, get them under our more senior technicians, and getting them trained up from the inside and promoted within,” he said. “Then rinse and repeat.”

McConnell said 2022 was a great bounce back from an uncertain era between 2020 and 2021.

“There’s concern for the economic outlook for 2023. Knock on wood, we have not felt those effects yet,” he said. “It’s been business as usual among our customer base.”


In October, VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram told CRN that partners should expect “more empowerment” under Broadcom. Josh Lee, director of sales at VirtuIT, said the company’s VMware channel account manager has been driving home that message as well.

“There should be a lot more services opportunities in accounts where there’s not going to be as many VMware resources, they’re going to need help … which means there are going to be more opportunities for partners to be leading the charge, rather than being directed by VMware,” Lee said.

For shops like VirtuIT, which carry a VMware master service competency in data center, customers could use their VMware credits to pay partners.

“They’re going to make good on what they’ve been talking about,” he said. “They’re making it easier to get some competencies. They’re going to reward partners that have competencies. The idea is there are going to be services opportunities that they bring to us, whether it’s around NSX, VSan, they’re going to go to partners in those territories that have those competencies and help them fulfill.”

For their existing VMware customers, Lee said news of the merger has, so far, not been a concern. He said the concerns around Broadcom driving up prices has not been raised by customers.


As an exclusive Dell Technologies partner, McConnell said VirtuIT, which made CRN’s 2022 Solution Provider 500, sees “significant opportunity” around APEX for his shop and Dell. He said in 2008 people didn’t think of Dell as providing infrastructure, but that has changed due to the share it has now captured among data center customers.

“The capabilities of the APEX console, the insights, the ease of management that comes with it, makes Dell a player in that space,” McConnell said.

Lee said he plans to use APEX to compete against public cloud opportunities where customers are on prem now, but want to go to the cloud.

“We’re looking at that private cloud offering,” Lee said. “And we’re looking at providing our own colocation services around that. We have the ability to execute that, so the customer can get one bill for everything, which I think is a big differentiator.”

It gives VirtuIT an opportunity to compete with the customer who are trying to be ‘cloud first’ or need to shift to the public cloud. APEX is an on-premise, consumable, product with all the things customers want in the public cloud, but it can be on premise, or a full colocation, turnkey, one bill.

“We can provide all the management, everything. The customer just needs to log in to their console to access it,” Lee said. “Just as if they were going to log in to AWS or their Azure portal. We can give them that same look and feel with APEX.”

APEX comes with an additional sales lever to take advantage of, which is the ability to craft short term contracts, as low as 12 months. This is ideal for businesses testing proof of concept, test dev environments, or for running programs in areas where they may not yet have a practice.

“If they just want to try an operating model, or testing software, there are opportunities to do that with APEX as well,” Lee said. “You can spin up a 10-terabyte cluster in APEX if you need to. It’s pretty scalable … If you want to add more capacity, you can do it on the fly. If you want to add more compute, you can do it on the fly.”