Dell-Quest Software Rumor: Managed Services Implications
Dell apparently is ready to buy Quest Software (NASDAQ: QSFT), according to reports that surfaced July 1. If true, there are potential big-picture channel implications and cloud migration implications. But the angle MSPmentor's readers want to hear about involves Dell's potential plans for Quest's PacketTrap business, which develops software and cloud services for MSPs.
First, a reminder: Dell has never confirmed that the company is bidding on Quest Software. All we know for sure is that Quest accepted a $2.3 billion offer from a mystery bidder last week. And rival bidders such as Insight Venture Partners have had a few days to consider presenting new, more lucrative bids. But Bloomberg on July 1 suggested Dell's bid won the deal, with a potential announcement coming as soon as July 2.
If true, Dell could wind up competing against most of the major MSP software companies in two markets:
- Remote monitoring and management (RMM) software, where such companies as Continuum, GFI Software, Kaseya, Level Platforms, N-able Technologies and many others compete. Here, Quest offers PacketTrap MSP, an on-premises solution.
- Professional Services Automation (PSA) software, where such companies as Autotask, ConnectWise, Tigerpaw software, CommitCRM and upstarts (like Promys) compete. Here, Quest offers PacketTrap PSA, a cloud-based business management platform that PacketTrap acquired several months ago.
On the one hand, PacketTrap has been successful in the MSP market. But on the other, I think Dell is potentially buying Quest Software for a lengthy list of additional reasons. Pushing beyond the PC market, Michael Dell wants to build and manage cloud data centers. And Quest Software has a range of technology management tools in its portfolio. Much of Quest's portfolio focuses on Windows and Microsoft applications management, plus desktop virtualization.
But Dell's exact plan for Quest Software remains to be seen. And remember, the Dell-Quest Software rumors are just that — rumors. No deal has been announced as of this writing. But we're poking around for updates.
Dell has previously played in the managed services software market. The company never did gain MSP critical mass with the Silverback buyout from around 2007. But don't overlook's Dell's more recent moves in such areas as KACE. And perhaps soon, Quest Software and PacketTrap.