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The acquisition is proof that Dell is moving forward on its plans to be a provider of complete business solutions, said Paul Clifford, president of the Davenport Group, a St. Paul, Minn.-based solution provider and Dell partner via Dell's acquisition of storage vendor Compellent.
"It shows that Dell is not standing pat on what it already has but is interested in enhancing what it already has," Clifford said. "Quest is a pure software play, a very interesting play. It goes to the heart of what Dell's doing."
Clifford called the acquisition of Quest a very positive one for Dell. "The more tools Dell offers its partners and customers, the better it is for our customers," he said.
Davenport currently works with Quest by partnering with another channel partner on deals, and Clifford said he expects such partnering to continue based on Dell's acquisition history. "Dell will in all likelihood bring on Quest partners as Dell partners," he said.
All the acquisitions Dell has done in the last few years, from its 2008 acquisition of storage vendor EqualLogic through its May acquisition of thin-client vendor Wyse, have enhanced Dell, Clifford said.
"If Dell is spending $2.4 billion on Quest, they have to have a plan," he said. "Dell has done a great job with its acquisitions."
Before Dell acquired Compellent, Davenport's business came almost exclusively through its Compellent relationship, Clifford said.
Now Davenport is moving forward with solutions based on AppAssure data protection software, which Dell acquired early this year; its SecureWorks and SonicWall security acquisitions; and Wyse. Davenport is implementing them all as part of its business, Clifford said.
"Everything Dell is doing we are starting to implement," he said. "For instance, we were starting with VDI [virtual desktop infrastructure] before the Wyse acquisition. But now that Wyse is on-board at Dell, we use it for all our endpoints."
Robby Wright, chief technical consultant and CTO at Abtech, a Carlsbad, Calif.-based solution provider and partner to both Dell and Quest, said his company has been closely watching the possibility that Dell would acquire Quest.
Wright said he hopes Dell keeps the channel in mind when it closes its Quest acquisition.
"As long as the channel gets to stay in play and is taken care of, I will stay with it," he said. "We're watching it eagerly here."