Dell Memo Seeks to Assure Quest Software Partners, HP Customers
Dell’s (NASDAQ: DELL) buyout of Quest Software apparently has raised questions about Quest’s commitment to channel partners and cross-platform integration with Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) servers. In an FAQ emailed to employees, Quest Software (NASDAQ: QSFT) seeks to ease those concerns, assuring partners and customers that the company won’t abandon the channel and heterogeneous IT systems. Here’s the update.
An FAQ viewed by The VAR Guy, sent sometime in July from Quest to employees, included the following partner program information and insights…
Q: Will partner or pricing strategy change after Quest becomes part of Dell Software?
A: All Quest partners should continue to engage with Quest and their customers and prospects as they always have. At this time, we have no plans to change pricing strategies for the Quest portfolio of products. The Quest and Dell leadership teams are currently assessing both channel programs to find ways to improve them collectively. Changes in the program, partner coverage, and other activity will be done in a fashion that will encourage more partner engagement, not less.
Q: Since Quest’s Data Protection business is 100% channel, our partners may get nervous about Dell changing that relationship. How will things change, and how should we handle this with our partners?
A: Nervousness from channel partners is understandable given Dell’s heritage of direct selling. However, the PartnerDirect program has received multiple accolades and continues to add partners and increase channel transactions at a rapid rate. In fact, Greg David, Dell’s VP GM of Global Commercial Sales, topped the list of CRN’s Top 10 Channel Sales Leaders of 2011. There will certainly be opportunities for direct sales of Quest products, but we are mindful of maintaining channel integrity through robust registration processes that include Dell’s sales team.
Q: HP is a partner to Quest, but more of a competitor with Dell. How are we (Quest) going to manage the HP partnership going forward?
A: For the immediate term and consistent with the overall partner engagement model during the integration planning – it is important that we drive a ‘business as usual’ cadence with HP and all Quest partners. Longer term, Dell Software has adopted a philosophical position that continued leverage of all Quest partners is the right/best go-to-market model. This includes HP, EMC, and others that, in other business areas, compete with Dell. Today’s IT landscape contains complex relationships and partnerships that are maintained with the best interests of our mutual customers as the common goal. We will continue to support these partners as we grow our business within Dell Software.
No doubt, Dell wants to destroy in the server, networking, storage and PC markets (among others). But Dell can’t afford to turn of the Quest-HP relationship anytime soon because it will definitely alienate some partners and customers. Also, it’s good to see Dell talking up Channel Chief Greg Davis within the halls of Quest Software.
But Dell will need to back up this FAQ with solid M&A execution.