Well, it looks like Dell has managed to close the deal to acquire Quest Technology, a transaction that appeared to have hit the rocks on May 25. The deal is for $2.4 billion, or $28 a share. When I last wrote about the potential deal, I thought that it was a bad one for Dell and I don’t see anything in the new detail to make me believe any different. The same difficulties of a fragmented software portfolio assembled over time being acquired by a hardware company exist.
But perhaps Dell views the Quest portfolio as a way to make a statement in software that broadens the strategic value that it can bring to customers through enterprise software, something that Dell hasn’t been known for in the past. If so, I hope that it takes the necessary steps to retain all the programming talent in Quest for more than six or twelve months. If not, the fear is that the talent will ebb away and take a lot of the value with it.
There’s no doubt that Dell can afford to acquire Quest. The question now is how Quest responds to being acquired. And on another topic altogether, whether the well-regarded “The Experts Conference” (TEC) will continue in its present form. It would be a great pity if TEC disappeared after corporate accountants go through the normal cost excising process that invariably follows post-acquisition. Many folks in the Active Directory, PowerShell, and Exchange communities hope that TEC continues. I hope Dell believes that this would be a good thing too!
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