Advizex Helps Utility Company Meet Its IT Goals Through Dell APEX and Consumption-Based IT

by | 16 Feb, 2024 | Case Study

Solution: Dell APEX
Field: Utility Company


Advizex helps utility company meet its IT goals through Dell APEX and consumption-based IT

“As a non-profit, community-owned provider of power, water, wastewater, and telecom services, this Advizex customer has reliably served its community and surrounding area for more than 100 years. Over that century, it has evolved. Originally responsible for power and water, the customer has added “triple-play” telecom services — Internet, video, and phone — and other offerings. Of course, along with its evolution as a service provider, this has naturally required significant technological advancements.

When the organization looked at several of its recent technology initiatives, it realized that the capital expense would make them prohibitively costly. Nevertheless, these initiatives were essential, so they reached out to Advizex to figure out how to achieve their goals within their budgets. With over 15 years of experience working with the customer, the Advizex team was able to recommend the ideal solution: consumption-based IT services.

Solving a host of needs

Three main initiatives prompted the customer to seek aid from Advizex: a refresh of its hyper-converged infrastructure platform (VXRail), improvement of its security posture, and, on the telecom side, a new platform for digital storage. From infrastructure to SaaS solutions to networking, Advizex had become the utility provider’s go-to partner in all areas of IT, notes Tim Sharp, Business Development at Advizex. Given the capital expense involved, the Advizex team recommended Dell Technologies APEX, the vendor’s as-a-service, pay-per-use platform for infrastructure, devices, and multi-cloud.

“All three of these investments would have been significant, and APEX allowed them to avoid a capital outlay that would have exceeded $1 million, instead utilizing the consumption model to their advantage,” Sharp says. He adds that the team introduced the model to the customer during a day-long field briefing on location, during which the utility company laid out a list of IT areas needing to be addressed. Sharp and his team, including solutions architect Tim Krause, recognized how APEX could be one platform to solve them all — while providing more predictable costs, and greater flexibility and agility.

“They would have had to prioritize, and they may not have been able to address all the needs without this solution,” Sharp says. “This allowed them to.”

Poised for future innovation

The hardware refresh conducted through Dell APEX not only provided significant cost savings — approximately 50 to 60 percent — but as Krause notes, “We were able to put more resources on the floor.” This positions the customer well for growth, with flexible capacity to entertain new business ventures and customers, should they decide to pursue them. A new storage solution also opened up flexibility on the triple-play telecom side of the customer’s business.

Recognizing a shift in the use of storage by its video customers — with greater adoption of streaming services and fewer customers recording movies and shows — the customer realized that its existing storage solution was becoming obsolete and no longer cost-effective. Advizex recommended Dell PowerScale data storage solutions to handle unstructured data (video) flexibly, reliably, and securely. Also under the APEX platform umbrella, the customer only pays based on consumption of the storage resource, reducing capital outlay. However, the solution’s ability to support any workload also allows the customer to separate video and file data, should video recordings continue to decline, and if it requires the storage capacity for other applications.

Secure and reliable digital business

It should be no surprise that a utility company serving tens of thousands of citizens emphasizes reliability and security. In recent years, like many organizations, the customer has come under attack by malicious actors.

“They didn’t experience any security breaches, but they became aware of attempts and wanted a plan in place should something happen,” Krause said.

The plan included Advizex’s recommendation of implementing Dell PowerProtect Cyber Recovery solutions (also via the Dell APEX platform). Critical data is now stored immutably within a dedicated cyber vault, allowing the organization to resume business operations should it face a cyberattack or ransomware. Krause notes that from both the perspective of security and being able to remain confidently up to date on hardware and infrastructure, Advizex and Dell APEX are providing the utility company with peace of mind.

“Dell APEX helps break the four- or five-year cycle of CapEx pain, and other things to worry about. It becomes a monthly cost, and after five years, if it’s what they want, they can just keep on trucking with a subscription model.”