After months of speculation, it seems that Dell is primed to win its bidding war for Quest Software. The price tag: $2.4 billion, a 21% premium to the deal Quest had reached with private-equity buyer Insight Venture Partners in March. While this is great news for Quest shareholders, Quest users might not share the enthusiasm. Dell has been on a shopping spree in the last 18 months with a clear intent to sell a combination of hardware, software and services to larger enterprises and compete more directly with the IBMs and HPs of the world.


This is particularly ironic when you look back at where Quest started out in the late nineties: a lower-cost alternative to the Big 4 IT Management vendors (IBM, BMC, CA, and HP)… But, not a surprising fate. While their products were originally less complicated and more user-centric than the Big 4 (which contributed to their initial success), they proceeded to use their capital to acquire smaller companies after they went public, and in many cases, bought several companies that did the same thing.  For instance, they bought at least three companies that offered virtually the same Active Directory Management functionality.  It was a similar story with virtualization management.  Most importantly, they failed to consolidate these overlapping properties, so today, they find themselves with a very messy portfolio.


Will the Dell acquisition fix that problem? Time will tell. It may give them the resources to try to figure it out over time, but Quest users should either expect disruption in the product lines or, if they can’t figure out the product rationalization, they should expect the overlapping products to continue to languish, with little attention.  In either case, Quest users have the right to question what level of investment and innovation in their products will be sustained, what the roadmap will look like, and whether their products will now be part of much complex and expensive software platform. Not to mention the anticipated professional services fees that will be tagged along as Dell competes with HP and IBM for these services dollars.


At SolarWinds, we have a different philosophy. We don’t believe in professional services. We don’t believe in complex suite of software that users hardly ever get to work. Instead we focus our investment and resources on the needs of IT professionals across organizations of all sizes who demand powerful, usable products that can deliver immediate value a price that does not break the bank. We like simplicity. And we like even better when our customers praise our powerful, scalable and affordable products.


If you are a Quest user, you are probably already looking at alternatives. Well the quest is over (no pun intended). You should definitely give a look at our Server & Application, Virtualization and Network Management products.  We make it easy for you with free 30 day trial, and a price likely lower than your current software maintenance cost.


Now that will make you smile!