Feeds

Dell details plans for 'remixed' software strategy

Lots of hardware, software, service mash-ups

High performance access to file storage

Dell has provided more details of its reinvigorated software strategy on Thursday, coming in the wake of its $2.4bn acquisition of Quest Software.

"This is a very interesting time to be thinking about going into the software business. There's more disruptive stuff going on than I can ever remember," said John Swainson, president of Dell's new software group, during a roundtable discussion in San Francisco.

Swainson is a veteran IBM exec who served as chief executive of CA from 2005 to 2009, after the departure of its disgraced former CEO, Sanjay Kumar. He was brought on to head Dell's software division in February.

Broadly, Swainson said, Dell's software business will be organized into four silos, including security, business intelligence, systems management, and applications.

Although the Quest acquisition has not completed yet and Dell is still trying to understand Quest's diverse software portfolio, Swainson said Dell is counting on its Quest properties to form the foundation of its software strategy. Along with Quest's portfolio, Dell's new software unit brings together products from a number of other recent Dell acquisitions, including AppAssure, Boomi, Kace Networks, Scalent, SecureWorks, SonicWall, and Wyse.

Swainson said to expect Dell to buy up more software companies, too, although he thinks another Quest-sized acquisition would be unlikely in the near term.

Swainson's mission is not to launch a standalone software business within Dell, but to build a software unit that can complement and augment Dell's existing products and services.

"Today, most of our customers buy PCs from us," Swainson said. "Some of them buy servers. And everything else trails off pretty quickly after that. In a perfect world, what we'd like to say is that most of our customers buy a broad range of products from Dell, including hardware, software, and services."

For now, however, Dell is shying away from enterprise customers, most of whom already have engagements with the big, established business software players. Instead, Swainson sees a sweet spot for Dell Software in what he calls "midmarket" customers – companies that have between 250 and 2,000 employees – a market that he says has been historically underserved.

Swainson admits, however, that by pursuing these customers, Dell will still inevitably clash with well-entrenched rivals, some of whom are long-standing Dell partners.

"We're not going to go pick fights with SAP and Oracle," Swainson said. "It doesn't mean we're not going to compete."

Swainson said Dell's software strategy is still developing, and that it plans to take different approaches for different products. It might try to grow some categories in the developing world first, for example, before trying its hand in the US market. It won't happen all at once, and it won't happen overnight.

"We're remixing Dell," Swainson said. "IBM took 20 years to remix a business that was hardware centered to one that was services and software centered. It's going to take at least five years – and probably longer than that – to complete this journey." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.