Can Quest Software Balance Dell, NetApp, HP Relationships?
As Dell works to finalize the Quest Software buyout, Quest continues to partner with Dell rivals like NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ). The big question: Can Quest (NASDAQ: QSFT) really continue to work closely with many of Dell’s storage, networking and PC rivals? Hmmm…
The answer appears to be “business as usual” — at least for the “immediate term.” And there could be good long-term news for Quest channel partners as well: Dell Software, which hopes to become a $5 billion division of the PC giant, has vowed to support HP, EMC and other third-party hardware. Quest appears to be keeping an open mind, too.
The latest evidence involves Quest more closely supporting NetApp’s storage technology — which competes on some fronts with Dell’s Compellent and EqualLogic businesses. Quest’s NetVault Backup platform now supports block-level incremental backups for NetApp SnapMirror technology, the company announced this week.
Dell, HP and Quest
Meanwhile, Quest Software has sent a sample Q&A memo to employees, offering prepared answers about Dell’s buyout of the company. In that Q&A, Quest seeks to assure employees (and, by extension, partners and customers) that the HP relationship won’t unravel. It states:
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.
Dell expects to complete the Quest buyout in Q3 2012. In the meantime, Quest is making partner and alliance decisions on its own because the company does, indeed, continue to operate as an independent entity. Still, a Dell-Quest integration team is hard at work on long-term strategies. And so far, the strategy has Quest remaining focused on what’s best for partners and customers — even if it involves partnering with Dell’s rivals.