Dell has taken another bold step towards its continued plans to expand its enterprise solutions portfolio, after it announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire SonicWall, a provider of advanced network security and data protection solutions.
Although details of the intent to acquire SonicWall have been sketchy, Dell has continued on the acquisition path and should this deal go through, it will be the latest addition in recent years following the EqualLogic, Compellent and Force 10 Networks mergers.
Dell's channel plan for its acquisition of SonicWall is very similar to its plan for previous acquisitions, said Greg Davis, Dell's vice president and general manager of global commercial channels.
Dell took great steps to ensure that partners coming over in the company's EqualLogic, Compellent and Force 10 Networks acquisitions had a painless transition, Davis said, adding that channel sales of all three companies grew after being integrated into Dell's PartnerDirect programme.
"What I'd like to tell current Dell partners and existing SonicWall partners is, 'Look what we've done to make you feel comfortable and bring the best to bear for you,' " Davis said. "There is opportunity for channel partners to engage with Dell, grow profitably with Dell. Our intent is to offer the same opportunities to [SonicWall] partners through this acquisition."
"We are building a strategic software portfolio to address the needs of our customers with key assets in the fast-growing and highly profitable IT security solutions business. Our customers see security as a key IT concern for the foreseeable future," added John Swainson, president, Dell Software Group. "SonicWall gives Dell access to unique intellectual property resources and technology that position us well in fast growing parts of the software security business."
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Matt Medeiros, president and CEO, SonicWall said: "Dell's distribution, reach and brand are well-recognised across the industry. This transaction aligns well with Dell's mid-market design focus and allows us to accelerate growth of our flagship SuperMassive next-generation firewall solutions with large enterprise customers."
"Additionally, SonicWall is recognised as a leading security solutions provider for small and medium businesses through our UTM solutions. Dell's phenomenal breadth and reach into small and midsize companies provides a significant opportunity to expand our customer base," Medeiros said.
Dell and SonicWall will spend the next few weeks ironing out programme details for partners and then several more weeks integrating that strategy, Davis said.
"We still have a lot of due diligence and work to do prior to everything being finalised. Over the last several weeks, we've been very involved in understanding their technology and channel. We will learn a lot about their programs, partners, etc., that we don't know today," Davis said. "Having said that, SonicWall has a great reputation in the channel with 15,000 partners and a program that is very similar to ours."
After the acquisition closes, Dell will begin marketing SonicWall.