Dell recently formed the Software Group in an effort to increase its solutions portfolio with Dell-owned intellectual property and I suspect to take a more active role in the way organizations are thinking about transforming application and desktop delivery. Quest on the other hand has made numerous acquisitions over the years, but has struggled internally with its go to market strategy. Quest’s family of software solutions and technologies align well with Dell’s software strategy, and with the acquisition, add critical components to expand Dell’s software capabilities in systems management, security, data protection, and workspace management.
I would first look to see what Dell does with the Quest acquisition in the area of application and desktop delivery. Quest One Identity and Access Management solutions will blend with SonicWall and SecureWorks security products, and Quest’s Performance Management solutions will complement its Clerity Solutions and Make Technologies acquisitions. Quest also has some interesting workspace management solutions, i.e., Quest vWorkspace that may be the sleeper in this acquisition. VMware has Horizon, Citrix has project Avalon, and now Dell is about to own a very compelling set of capabilities to flexibly deliver similar features not locked to a single solution. This may be exactly what customers are looking for. The question is: will they turn to Dell for it?
This acquisition will no doubt impact the way Microsoft views Dell as well. This is a big year for Microsoft, and Quest and Microsoft have already butted heads in the virtualization management space. It will be important to see if Dell takes a 100% System Center approach or they try to weave in Quest’s capabilities.