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Dell outlines growth strategy in APAC

Dell Technologies is building on its momentum with Apex while eyeing growth areas such as edge computing and AI in a bid to expand its business in the region

Dell Technologies is building on its momentum in hybrid cloud infrastructure and growth areas such as edge computing and artificial intelligence (AI), as it seeks to expand its footprint in the Asia-Pacific region.

Speaking to regional media on the sidelines of Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas, Peter Marrs, the company’s president for Asia-Pacific and Japan, said offerings such as the recent additions to its Apex hybrid multicloud and as-a-service portfolio will provide an uplift for its business in the region.

He noted that while concepts such as “cloud to ground” and “ground to cloud” that refer to the management of workloads across public cloud, edge and on-premise locations are not new, bringing them to market through Apex is “going to enable us to live up to our commitments and the things we’ve been talking to our partners and customers about”.

On the opening day of Dell Technologies World, the technology supplier unveiled a slew of cloud platforms aimed at easing hybrid multicloud deployments in the biggest expansion of its Apex portfolio to date. This will enable the company to tap the region’s infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market, which is expected to reach $9bn by 2026.

Dell has seen growing demand for Apex across the region, but its Apex business, which rakes in some $1bn in revenues globally, is bigger in markets such as Australia, Japan, South Korea and India, according to Marrs.

Chris Kelly, senior vice-president for datacentre solutions at Dell Technologies in Asia-Pacific and Japan, said the company will continue to build up its Apex capabilities, beyond its work with Microsoft, VMware and Red Hat on the Apex cloud platforms.

“We had to start somewhere, and it was sort of building it on the fly,” he said. “I think the big thing here is that not only is the portfolio now really comprehensive end to end, the capability across the geographies in Asia are getting expanded as well. And we are trying to work closely with some of the big CSPs [cloud service providers] in the region, and channel partners, which are going to be critical as well. That’s probably the best path to growth.”

Champaka Guruge, lead consultant at N-Able, a Sri Lankan IT service provider, told Computer Weekly that Dell’s partnerships with Red Hat, VMware and Microsoft will provide more choices for enterprises as they embark on their hybrid multicloud journey.

He said: “The Apex cloud platforms will cater to different customer preferences and are a step in the right direction, but the price points have to be attractive for organisations in emerging markets that may be more cost-sensitive”.

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Besides Apex, Dell is also eyeing growth areas such as AI, where it announced a joint initiative with Nvidia to make it easier to build and use custom generative AI models on-premise for use cases with data privacy and low-latency requirements.

Dubbed Project Helix, the initiative will deliver a series of full-stack services with technical expertise and pre-built tools based on Dell and Nvidia infrastructure and software, including a blueprint to help enterprises use their proprietary data and easily deploy generative AI responsibly and accurately.

Kelly said the partnership with Nvidia is an example of how Dell is democratising IT by bringing complex capabilities to the mainstream, particularly for small companies that may not have the financial means or technical expertise to harness the potential of generative AI.

“What we’ve done with Nvidia is essentially trying to short circuit that process … where we’ve done a lot of the testing and groundwork, so that you can hit the ground running a lot faster without a lot of effort upfront that’s, quite frankly, costly when you’re sitting on expensive equipment,” he said.

Edge computing is another focus for Dell Technologies in the region, said Kelly, noting that the new Dell NativeEdge software will ease edge deployments, which can be challenging as organisations grapple with different use cases and offerings from various independent software vendors (ISVs).

“What we’re creating is a capability to bring it all together, so that once you have the devices, sensors and compute capabilities, you can manage it all with a single pane of glass and integrated with different ISVs,” he said.

“It will take a little bit of time for us to build out all the ISV certifications, but because it’s open source, it’s quite an easy process, and just a matter of how quickly we can get all the partners involved.”

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