Dell has a high bar for as-a-service offerings.
Dell has a high bar for as-a-service offerings.
Last week at Dell Technologies World, the most significant announcement was a massive as-a-service offering called Dell Technologies Apex. This promises to return the IT market to its long lost but fondly remembered IBM past. Let's talk about Apex this week. We'll then close with the product of the ...

At Dell Technologies World last week, there was an announcement of a massive as-a-service offering.

The IT market has been lost but this will bring it back to life. IBM was the most powerful technology company when I was in school. This benefit was mainly due to a sales model that predated as-a-service.

IBM was assured of a steady, easy-to-manage income stream and customers an equally manageable cost stream by using the services first leasing model. Dell and its customers will get even better benefits.

Dell is the leader in the market and its competitors should also be aggressive in their as-a-service moves. This offering is in a sustainable lead because of Dell's size.

This week, let's talk about Apex. My product of the week is a new wireless mesh solution from Linksys.

The golden days of technology.

IBM was in its prime after I left college. When I joined IBM, the damage had already been done by executives who were removed from the technology they sold.

Things looked better outside IBM. IBM was immune to the U.S. economy and world economic problems, and it was known as the firm no one ever got fired for choosing.

Cancer was growing inside IBM as executives shifted from long-term policies that preserved IBM's annuity-like income to policies which favored selling, rather than leasing, products and away from the services-focused model that had made IBM great.

IBM terminated its CEO for the first time, hired a new CEO from the outside, and slashed its workforce, all because of the changing market and customers abandoning the company.

IBM was one of the last remaining employment-for-life companies and this was traumatic for customers and employees.

Since then, the market has been looking for stability, vendor/customer relationship, and relatively low risk of that old IBM model. It looks like Dell is bringing back a better model.

The old leasing model that IBM used in services is very similar to the new pivot back to a services model called Apex. It has the same benefits. It ties Dell more closely to its customers, and it provides a more stable revenue stream for the company. Customer satisfaction should be improved by it.

Unlike the IBM program, this as-a-service effort can adjust to customers' needs based on usage, and there aren't built-in penalties for demand spikes. You pay for what you use, but you aren't punished if usage goes up.

The cutting-edge rethinking of how to measure customer satisfaction was the basis for the NPS effort. It is unlikely that Dell will experience the same long-term problems that occurred at IBM if Dell continues to assure this effort.

When Dell went private, it put in place protections that should protect the company from being forced to make the same catastrophic moves that almost sank IBM.

If management executes this strategy, it will put Dell on the path to becoming more trusted, better regarded, more stable, and market dominant.

Dell's current leadership and NPS efforts should prevent the company from making similar catastrophic mistakes, but executive turnover will allow new execs to favor short-term gains over strategic relationships.

If you have been paying more for lower bandwidth than you really need, or if you don't have a good range of products with the same name, this solution could be just what the doctor ordered.

The Linksys Atlas Max 6E is my product of the week because it addresses a bandwidth and network crashing problem I have, and it is the most advanced mesh solution currently in the market.


1. Dell Technologies Apex

2. Net Promoter Score

3. Linksys Atlas Max 6E

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