Dell Integrating Recent Networking Acquisitions in Quest of New Growth

Dell is pressing ahead with its plan to become a one-stop shop for all kinds of networking, storage and security products through a persistent round of strategic acquisitions as it seeks to integrate a diverse array of products from multiple sources.

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.