Dell, Dell, and More Dell
Dell Inc. continues its acquisition spree by acquiring mainframe rehosting company Clerity Solutions Inc. and application modernization tool provider Make Technologies Inc. In the course of the past month Dell has also acquired network security and data protection provider SonicWALL Inc. and Wyse Technology Inc., a thin client solutions vendor.
• Dell announced it has acquired Clerity, a leading provider of applications modernization and re-hosting solutions and services. Dell claims the addition of Clerity's capabilities will enable Dell Services to help customers reduce the cost of transitioning business-critical applications and data from legacy computing systems and onto more modern architectures, including the cloud.
• Dell's second acquisition just weeks ago was the purchase of Make Technologies, whose tools are aimed at modernizing mainframe and midrange applications. The Make Technologies acquisition gives Dell a tool that can examine the structure of mainframe and midrange applications, generally written in COBOL or RPG.
• In March Dell purchased SonicWALL, a privately held provider of data security measures for businesses. The purchase price was undisclosed but according to the New York Times, Dell paid about $1.25 billion, including the assumption of SonicWALL's debt. The new acquisition gives Dell a provider of high-grade networking security services, which include next generation network firewalls, e-mail protection, backup and recovery, and policy, management and reporting offerings.
Experton Group believes Dell is aggressively pursuing its transformation into a full-service commercial IT products and services provider and should make the transition successfully. Dell recognized that its personal PC business would not continue to provide it with the growth required once Apple Inc. started to dominate the market with its smartphone and tablet products and services. Management realized the success it was having with its Data Center Solutions unit, which had grown to be a $1 billion business and is the largest provider of densely-optimized servers.
IT executives that view Dell as a strategic partner should meet with Dell executives to understand the strategy and roadmap to ensure that Dell's direction and timing is compatible with corporate goals and requirements. In companies where Dell is not a strategic partner but a supplier, IT executives should continue to keep Dell on the short list to help ensure the company is getting the best deals possible from its full-service competitors.