Dell’s Software Bet Looks Like a Long Shot
Analysts doubt the troubled PC maker can get big in software anytime soon, notwithstanding its recent acquisitions.
By Jayne Jung
This month, after a heated bidding war, Dell acquired Aliso Viejo, Californiabased Quest Software for $2.4 billion in cash at $28.00 per share. It is the ninth acquisition for the Round Rock, Texasbased personal computing company since the start of 2011. Other companies it recently scooped up include San Jose, Californiabased manufacturer of thin computers Wyse in May and San Josebased Ethernet switching manufacturer Force10 in August 2011.
Dell is now looking to build a $5 billion software enterprise over the long term to complement its hardware and cloud computing offerings. The ambitious goal, set out earlier this month by Dell Software head John Swainson, will diversify its PC-reliant revenues although it still will not be close to Microsofts juggernaut of over $17 billion in software sales.
Gartner, a Stamford, Connecticutbased technology research company, estimates that revenues from software-as-a-service, or cloud software, will increase by 18 percent this year. That compares to analyst estimates of about 3 percent for hardware sales. Dell may have difficulty grabbing that growth, however. Its sales have been declining in all segments, government and corporate, except with small-to-medium enterprises.....