Dell Buys SonicWall for Aggressive Managed Security Push
Dell has acquired SonicWall in a bid to push deeper into the managed security and firewall markets. SonicWall has longstanding relationships with hundreds of managed services providers, many of which are MSPmentor 100 companies. Dell has stated that it will combine the best of SonicWall’s channel programs with its own PartnerDirect partner program.
SonicWall makes firewalls, secure wireless solutions, secure remote access, anti-spam, backup and recovery products. Under Ted Hulsy (now at eFolder), SonicWall built close relationships with MSPs across the market, offering a partner program that included recurring revenue opportunities from security hardware. SonicWall was particularly active in HTG Peer Groups, and MSPs such as Network Depot have worked with the company for years.
Thoma Bravo LLC, a private equity firm, acquired SonicWall in 2010 in a deal valuated at about $717 million. SonicWall’s value apparently has grown since that time, according to The Wall Street Journal — though financial terms of the Dell-SonicWall deal were not disclosed.
Dell, meanwhile, has been diversifying beyond PCs through a range of acquisitions — including Boomi, Compellent, EqualLogic, Force10 Networks and now SonicWall.
Hulsy, now at eFolder, sees potential synergies betweem Dell and SonicWall. When MSPmentor asked Hulsy for perspective on the deal, he replied:
“Dell’s acquisition of SonicWALL makes sense for both parties. Despite Dell’s OEM relationship with Juniper in security appliances over the past two years, Dell has remained one of SonicWALL’s largest channel partners. Dell will be able to combine SonicWALL hardware, software, and services with Dell’s SecureWorks managed security division, allowing Dell to capture more of the total revenue opportunity.
“Thoma Bravo never really had a master plan to roll up all of their security acquisitions; they are a logical, financial buyer and were able to better sell the SonicWALL vision to Dell than the formerly public SonicWALL. After having retired a good amount of debt from the original transaction – say upwards of $70 million – they were able to get a good return on their equity.”
Still, Hulsy conceded that he has not seen or heard the financial details of the Dell-SonicWall deal.
More details of the Dell-SonicWall deal will be discussed during a media briefing later today. MSPmentor will be back with more insights about Dell-SonicWall soon.