Dell Integrating Recent Networking Acquisitions in Quest of New Growth

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Posted 2012-12-14

Dell Integrating Recent Networking Acquisitions in Quest of New Growth

AUSTIN, Texas—With PC pricing and competition more cutthroat than ever, Dell executives are putting their faith behind diverse network, storage and security technology acquisitions and integration as the source of future growth and profits.

Company executives participated in numerous round tables, interviews and presentations at the Dell World conference Dec. 12-13 to outline the company's plans for the future, to talk about product integration, open platforms and meeting present and future customer needs.

Executives from five of Dell's latest acquisitions, Quest Software, SonicWall, Wyse Technology, AppAssure and Force 10 agreed that cross product integration will take some time, but will result in better products and services for customers and partners.

Bob Skelley, executive director of Global Certified Partner Program and Channel at Dell, hosted an M&A panel during the event. "One of the core principles we try to operate with is we try to preserve all the great things we do [at each company]," Skelley said. Skelley knows of what he speaks, since he joined Dell as part of the EqualLogic acquisition back in 2008.

While the executives from Quest, SonicWall, Wyse, AppAssure and Force 10 echoed Skelley's musings, they also said that while there will be integration challenges to overcome, some benefits are already evident.

"As we take everything that Wyse built: the end points, the software, the patents and intellectual property we have, we now have the ability to bring a true end-to-end story to market," said Jeff McNaught, who was named executive director of marketing and chief strategy officer of cloud client computing at Dell after it acquired Wyse.

For Wyse the key was that Dell allowed Wyse to continue its strategy post-acquisition, McNaught said. "They let us keep business as usual where business as usual is the right answer," McNaught added. What's more, the additional resources from Dell helped Wyse introduce new bundles to customers. "These were things we didn't have access to” to make easier and more profitable to make such offerings, McNaught said.

Allen Arguijo, sales director for Americas Channels under Dell Networking, tells a similar story. He said the acquisition of Force 10 brought more resources than his company could have added by itself.

"Having Dell further invest in the company in terms of sales and engineering resources has helped us to respond to demand for our networking product and the engineering resources helped us bring to market the road map even faster,"  according to Arguijo.

Marvin Blough, vice president of sales at Dell SonicWall, said SonicWall struggled to figure out how to expand the company before it was acquired by Dell.

"With a smaller company, it's how you go to market. You have to make choices on investments, product development, sales and marketing. As a small company, those are big decisions. The biggest impact has been the worldwide infrastructure that Dell has in place. That's partner resources, sales, marketing but, more importantly, we can support your systems 24/7 worldwide now, things a smaller company would never be able to offer," Blough said.

Dell Integrating Recent Networking Acquisitions in Quest of New Growth

Todd Fredrick, executive director of AppAssure calls the integration strategies at Dell a "Better Together" strategy and said AppAssure has benefited from Dell's strategy of cross-selling different solutions under the Dell umbrella. Fredrick said "Being integrated inside storage arrays goes a long way. As we look across the entire portfolio, we see depth. The other thing is we were a newer company and we found the depth of knowledge that Dell brings beneficial. It gave us the ability to attach with other Dell storage, hardware and components."

Dell's latest Acquisition, some 70 days ago, Quest Software, is still in the early stages of its business integration with its new corporate parent. Michael Sotnick, vice president of worldwide channels and alliances, said it's too soon to see any tangible benefits of integration. But, he added, the quality of conversations around customers' workloads has improved.

"We're now talking about how to address those workloads and how to solve them with our partners in mind. When we're done with a design point, we ask ‘how can I enable my partners to be successful in deploying it,’ " Sotnick said.

While Dell's executives talk the talk, can the company walk the walk? Cross brand integration takes more than talk, it takes commitment. To that end, Dell is turning to open technologies and is embracing OpenStack as its open source platform for public and private clouds, which ultimately can drive the integration of cross platform products.

"At Dell World this week, we're talking about the disruptive forces that our customers are facing, such as cloud, social media, mobility, data and security," said Suresh Vaswani, president of Dell Services. "This year we've seen enterprises turn increasingly to Dell Services to help modernize and adapt their IT environments to manage the growing challenges and opportunities presented by these disruptive forces. More and more, our customers are recognizing the power of information technology and services in enabling their business outcomes."

Dell services hopes to lead the way and the company claims it will build its private and public cloud platforms on OpenStack. The company is backing that claim by releasing today a technical preview of its private cloud, called Dell Cloud Dedicated, with OpenStack. Using OpenStack as Dell's primary platform promises to give customers the benefits of scalability, self-service access and a consumption-based usage model. What's more, Dell's offering should give customers a new, improved way to develop and run applications taking advantage of open source cloud.

Dell Cloud Dedicated with OpenStack also provides private cloud infrastructure that can meet the security and compliance needs of large enterprises and vertical organizations. Companies interested in participating in the technical preview of Dell Cloud Dedicated with OpenStack may email for information.

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