Quest Software, One Identity To Operate Separately From SonicWall After Dell Software Sale

After Dell Software’s expected sale is completed this fall, its new private-equity owners will separate some of the divisions -- including Quest Software and SonicWall -- into independent companies.

Dell announced in June that it planned to sell its entire Dell Software Group to private equity firm Francisco Partners and the private equity arm of activist hedge fund Elliott Management. The deal, expected to close this fall, would include almost all of Dell's software assets, including Quest and its SonicWall security business. It does not include Dell's Boomi cloud integration business.

However, while the Quest Software and SonicWall divisions had operated together under the Dell brand, executives at this week's Peak 16 conference in Las Vegas said that will not be the case under the new ownership. One Identity, Quest's growing identity and access management solution line, will be a wholly-owned subset of Quest.

[Related: SonicWall Execs At Peak 16: Partners Will See Big Boost From Pending Private Equity Deal]

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John Milburn, executive director and general manager of Dell One Identity, said that decision was made for multiple reasons, including that the two companies target different customer sets, succeed best with different types of partners, and need different messaging for their respective network security and identity and access management solutions.

Milburn will lead One Identity after the close of the sale, he said. Curtis Hutcheson, general manager of Dell SonicWall, will lead the SonicWall business, he said.

As an independent subset of Quest, Milburn said One Identity will look to grow its channel presence. He said One Identity currently goes to market direct 90 percent of the time, but is looking to grow its channel push to 40 percent or more by fiscal 2018. He said that push will be easier separately from SonicWall, as the network security vendor targets the SME space and One Identity does best with companies that have more than 10,000 users. Instead of meeting in the middle, Milburn said One Identity can now target security-focused partners and systems integrators addressing its target market.

’Any opportunity I can get to continue growth in a leveraged fashion will be a priority over a traditional, direct sale model,’ Milburn said.

Milburn said One Identity has already hired nine partner-focused field employees over the past six months to lead this charge around programs and business development. Josh Lewis, currently strategic alliances lead for security sales at Dell, will lead that charge as channel chief, he said. One Identity will have a separate partner program from Quest Software and SonicWall, he said.

The other area of focus for One Identity will be to roll out security-as-a-service offerings, Milburn said. He said the company plans to launch its first four SaaS offerings by Jan. 1, with another five in the next year.

’The partners are very excited. I think the partners for the most part didn’t like adhering to the Dell partner model… It’s going to be up to us to convince people [it’s the right choice in the long run] and continue to do what we do,’ Milburn said. One Identity held a separate partner advisory council meeting at the Peak 16 event this week.

While SonicWall executives told partners at the event that it intended to remain independent and reap the benefits of being a standalone company, Milburn was vague about whether One Identity would follow that same path.

’There are reasons they are choosing to keep this business separate [as a wholly-owned subsidiary],’ Milburn said. ’Certainty there is more growth here…and who knows what our new owners will want to do, but we will be a Quest Software company and sub-company in the Quest Software family.’

Larry Cecchini, president and CEO of Greensboro, N.C.-based Secure Designs, praised the move by SonicWall to establish itself as a standalone company from Dell, calling it a ’great thing.’ Secure Designs has been a partner of SonicWall since 2005, but is not a partner of Quest Software.

Cecchini praised the moves this week by SonicWall to establish itself as a standalone company, including the launch of a new, dedicated partner program and new technologies, such as a new Cloud Global Management System.

’SonicWall needs to be nimble, fast, and when they got entangled with Dell it [became] more bureaucratic,’ Cecchini said. ’I think it will be really good.’