Dell will broaden its security product and sevices porfolio, having announced March 13 the intent to purchase firewall provider SonicWall, which itself went private less than two years ago for $717 million in a deal sponsored by Thoma Bravo. This follows the purchase in 2011 of managed services giant SecureWorks.
The acqusition of SonicWall provides Dell’s product line with a number of capabilities via its firewall platforms and SonicOS, including unified threat management (UTM) and a next-generation firewall platform with application intelligence, both key growth technologies, according to our recently completed Wave 15 Information Security Study. This week, we take a closer look at Dell through the lens of infosec professionals interviewed for that study.
Fourteen percent (14%) of Dell’s clients responding through our study saw an increase in spending with Dell in 2011, with the remainder continuing on at their 2010 spending levels. Comparing Dell’s security offerings to other security companies saw Dell score average in most categories including innovation, reliability, and the like, but suffering slightly in the product quality category. There is some switching vulnerability present with Dell; 13% of respondents are defintely considering a switch off Dell’s offerings, and 25% responded that they are on the fence when it comes to switching off Dell’s managed services offering.
Respondent narratives reflect this mixed position:
- “Quest does many of the same things as SecureWorks for less money, and it’s a lot easier to use.”
- “It’s a bit more complicated a relationship than we’d like, and too expensive to keep up.”
- “For a small organization, this type of managed service makes sense. I find that if you have to ask them to do everything, it takes way too long. Sometimes I have to wait two weeks for just about everything. They just do not fit around here.”
- “Other than some late deliveries of custom services, they have built a solid partnership with us.”
- “Their security expertise in general is a huge strength. Their threat info is very valuable. You learn about the context of security in terms of the Internet. Botnet-alerting service is included. They have a good counter-intelligence system as well – they’re out there with the bad guys. The biggest weakness is the account-management-team interaction – it’s like self-service. I have to figure stuff out on my own. I need to figure out what conversations to have – rule usage, for instance. I have to drive that discussion.”
- “Since they [SecureWorks] have been bought by Dell, I think it has freed up some cash and is allowing them to be somewhat more innovative. Dell does have the habit of providing poor helpdesk services. I hope that Dell will leave them alone! And allow some autonomy.”