October 10, 2012
quest-Michael-Sotnick-6_111Now that Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) officially owns Quest Software, the race is on to cross-educate Dell and Quest Software channel partners. The good news: Roughly 70 percent of Quest’s top channel partners are Dell PartnerDirect members. And that’s not all. There also appears to be synergy between Dell Channel Chief Greg Davis (pictured, l.) and Quest VP of Channels and Alliances Michael Sotnick (r.). Here’s why.
Both Davis and Sotnick are veterans of multiple M&A deals. And within Dell, there are dedicated full-time M&A experts who help to accelerate the integration and success of acquired companies, Davis and Sotnick told The VAR Guy today.
“I’ve been through six of these [channel-oriented] acquisitions now,” said Davis. “During each deal leading up to the close of the acquisition we’ve been able to talk about high-level synergies. Plus, we’ve not only acquired great companies. We’ve been able to attract and keep great people who know the channel.
Enter Sotnick, who says Quest Software is already “benefiting greatly” from all of Dell’s acquisition experience — from EqualLogic to Wyse. “What we’ve seen [inside Dell] is a world-class integration process,” said Sotnick. “The two key themes are do no harm [to the existing Quest business] but also look for points of leverage to ignite even more growth.”
Dell acquired Quest Software to focus on six core opportunities, ranging from database management to performance monitoring. Also within the deal is the PacketTrap business, which is catching on with MSPs.
The Big Show
So where are Dell and Quest Software heading together next? The answer will likely surface during the DellWorld conference in December. There, Dell Software President John Swainson will offer an overall update on the company’s software strategy. The conference will attract CIOs, technology managers and somewhere between 400 to 450 channel partners, Davis predicted.
Longer term, Dell sees an opportunity to position Quest Software’s portfolio to manage Dell’s end-to-end server, network and storage solutions, said Sotnick. In the meantime, “it’s very much business as usual,” said Sotnick. “
“To understand where we’re going with Quest Software in the channel just measure us by what we’ve done with EqualLogic, SonicWall, Wyse and other acquisitions,” said Davis. “Our approach with those integrations should give you clear guidance that we’ll take the best of both Dell and Quest and integrate the partner programs together.”
Calling All Partners
To drive home that point, Davis and Sotnick hosted a call with several hundred Quest partners last week. Next up is a joint call with Dell partners this week. “The most important thing is to both communicate and to listen,” said Davis.
“There are partners who may identify areas of concern but then there are also partners on these calls who come to our defense,” said Sotnick. “You know you’re onto something good when that happens. Also, when there’s an issue measure us by how we react. There’s a shared commitment to competencies and specializations across Dell and Quest. I think partners will be impressed.
So far, Davis and Sotnick are saying all the right things. But perhaps more importantly, they are focused outward — speaking and listening to partners — even as they balance inward integration priorities.
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