Global Retailer Gets Flexibility for Less Investment

A global retailer moves to APEX Flex on Demand infrastructure, improving budget power and business outcomes with a consumption-based IT solution.

Retail is one of the most challenging and competitive markets for consumer non-durable goods. While most sales are generated in-store, appealing online experiences and fast deliveries mean retailers need to offer customers a multichannel experience that builds brand loyalty. Successfully competing in this environment involves a substantial amount of IT infrastructure that is integrated across the organization to deliver a unified and personalized buyer journey. Managing the associated costs is equally important, especially in this intensely competitive market with razor-thin margins.

Deploying Modern Technology

Recently, Dell Technologies worked with a global multichannel retailer to modernize its storage environment for unstructured data. Historically, the retailer refreshed this technology every five years and purchased new equipment as a capital expense (CapEx). However, during the next refresh cycle, it wanted to avoid incurring another large upfront investment and a cash flow analysis identified significant cost savings made possible with a consumption-based payment model. The retailer chose Dell Technologies APEX Flex on Demand solution so that it pays only for the storage capacity consumed monthly, helping lower the cost of IT infrastructure.**

Dell Technologies’ server, storage, networking, data protection and CI/HCI products are all available with Flex on Demand. Customers select the configuration and services for their workload requirements, a contract term and levels of committed capacity, typically 40 – 80% of the total amount deployed, with the remainder being buffer or reserve capacity.

Committed capacity charges are billed monthly and buffer usage is charged only when consumed. At the end of the 12- to 60-month contract term, customers can go month-to-month, agree to a new contract, or return and refresh the equipment. Flex on Demand also features a billing limit for storage, data protection and hyperconverged infrastructure, so charges for usage above 85% of deployed capacity are waived, a feature that is unmatched by other on-prem vendors and public cloud providers.***

Increasing Budget Flexibility and Leverage 

Deploying this payment model enabled the retailer to pay for the exact amount of storage capacity is used. On-demand buffer capacity is available to scale up or down at any time to effortlessly support the company’s growing storage requirements, usage spikes and cyclical increases during peak shopping periods. Flex on Demand’s unique billing limit also enabled the ability to control costs during high utilization periods.

The retailer projected its infrastructure costs would be approximately 10% lower over five years compared to a capital expenditure because it is paying for the technology consumed. These and other cost savings enabled the retailer to upgrade the storage system in a second data center and deploy the additional capacity needed to deliver a superior customer experience. It also helped reduce the risk of under- or over-deployment and produce stronger business outcomes and margin performance. Results of this magnitude are helpful to any business or industry, especially in the slim profit margin world of retail.

Staying on the Cutting Edge of Technology 

Faced with a very competitive environment, the retailer needed to provide an industry-leading personalized buyer journey. This required processing large volumes of highly sensitive customer and operational data. By upgrading to a modern storage system, the retailer was able to deliver better customer experiences by increasing its ability to generate rich insights into consumers’ wants, needs and purchasing behavior. 

Gaining Simplicity, Agility and Control 

To manage highly sensitive customer data, retailers must comply with strict business standards to maintain security and privacy. By leveraging an on-premises, cloud-like solution, the retailer maintained security controls within its data centers. This allows security protocols to stay consistent with business standards without interruption to existing processes. The on-premises solution also provides full control of data security policies and responsibilities, an option that is not possible with public cloud solutions.

For the retailer, a flexible IT consumption model using APEX Flex on Demand is an ideal financial approach that generates multiple business benefits. Deploying modern technology in not one but two data centers with 10% in cost savings justified a pivot in the retailer’s overall business and IT strategies. Moving from a CapEx model to an OpEx-like approach enables enhanced customer experiences and business outcomes, delivering the ultimate benefits of less is more.

Read more about APEX Flex on Demand in Retail here. 

Copyright © 2022 Dell Inc. or its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved. Dell Technologies, Dell, EMC, Dell EMC and other trademarks are trademarks of Dell Inc. or its subsidiaries. Other trademarks may be trademarks of their respective owners. This case study is for informational purposes only. Dell believes the information in this case study is accurate as of its publication date, May 2022. The information is subject to change without notice. Dell makes no warranties — express or implied — in this case, study.

**Payment solutions provided to qualified commercial customers by Dell Financial Services through Dell Technologies group companies or authorized business partners. Solutions may be changed without notice and are subject to product availability, eligibility, credit approval, acceptable documentation and local applicable law. Some solutions, including end-of-term purchase options, may not be available or may vary by country. Within the EU, the EEA, the UK and Switzerland certain solutions are provided by Dell Bank International d.a.c. and in Spain by Dell Bank International d.a.c Sucursal en España. Dell Bank International d.a.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

*** Available with Flex on Demand for Storage, Data Protection, and VxRail. Dark sites, non-metered deployments, and customers non-compliant with their contract terms are not eligible.

Erick Brown

About the Author: Erick Brown

Erick Brown is the Vice President of APEX Custom Solutions, a division of Dell Financial Services and a pillar of the Dell Technologies APEX Portfolio. APEX Custom Solutions provide our customers flexible, pay-per-use payment solutions, namely Flex On Demand and Data Center Utility. Erick started his career as an Engineer in Manufacturing for EMC from 1996 – 2003, and held various business operations roles between 2003 and 2010. Prior to the Dell EMC merger, Erick led the Global Commercial Solutions team which was responsible for Utility and ELA pricing. Erick has a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth with a High-Tech MBA from Northeastern University. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, flying planes and golfing.