In the past few weeks, I certainly have an axe to grind with Dell, notably their acquisition of Quest Software. I have been full of praise of how Dell was purchasing the right companies in the past and how the companies Dell acquired were important chess pieces that will propel Dell into the enterprise space. Until now …
Since its first significant acquisition into the enterprise with EqualLogic in 2008, there were PerotSystems, Kace, Scalent, Boomi, Compellent, Exanet, Ocarina Networks, Force10, SonicWall, Wyse Technologies, AppAssure, and RNA Networks. (I might have missed one or two). To me, all these were good buys, and these were solid companies with a strong future in their technology and offerings. Until Dell decides to acquire Quest Software.
At the back of my mind, why the heck is Dell buying Quest Software for? And for a ballistic USD2.4 billion! That’s hell of a lot of money to spend on a company which does not have a strong portfolio of solutions and are not exactly leaders in their respective disciplines, barring Quest’s Foglight and TOAD. A quick check into Quest’s website revealed that they are in the following disciplines:
And as I dug deeper into Quest’s product set, I realized that they have a lot of products. The ones that I know are Foglight, TOAD, Bakbone’s NetVault, Vizioncore’s VRanger and VKernel, and other than Foglight and TOAD, the rest are pretty much niche software. And Dell already has AppAssure, which seems more assuring (pun intended) than VRanger and VKernel.
I don’t know if it was serendipity or what. Just when I was researching this Dell-Quest topic, an obscure email came from someone with extensive insider knowledge of Quest came last night. The person, whom I shall not reveal, had details of how things were run in the Quest development team in Europe, along with the quality control and bug issues they had in some of their IT management products. His cry for help to the highest level of management within Quest seemed like a desperate attempt to change things for the better in the company. I had almost 6MB of files, reports, bug reports, emails and such detailing the sordid environment he was facing or faced in Quest.
I seriously think Dell overpaid. Quest is not a super great software company, in my opinion, and Dell just got suckered punch into reaching out to pay that obscene amount of money. Earlier in March 2012, I wrote about Quest going private, taking up an offer from Insight Venture Partners. That deal, apparently did not go through after Dell upped its offer just a few weeks back.
On a side note, in the recent SNIA event in Singapore, Dell’s booth had the cheek to show their VMware vStart programme when they were supposed to be showcasing their storage solutions. The Dell fellas in Malaysia are forgiven and should be praised for splurging the biggest table to showcase Compellent in the SNIA event in Kuala Lumpur, but not Dell Singapore.
And for your information, I have just discontinued my discussion with Dell about a possible employment with them. I stopped the employment progress at the last junction, for a certain personal belief reason. But I do have to give a BIG THANK YOU to my would-be hiring manager, the lady boss, for a fantastic job she has done to try to get me into Dell.