CIO Symmetry

Apr 6 2012   2:56PM GMT

Will vendor relations be strained after Dell acquisitions?

Wendy Schuchart Wendy Schuchart Profile: Wendy Schuchart

It’s been a busy week for Dell, not to mention for managing CIO vendor relations. This past Tuesday, Dell announced its impending acquisition of Wyse Technology Inc., a cloud software and hardware company (and the source of one of our favorite iPad thin-client computing apps). Then, on Wednesday, it dropped the news that it had acquired Clerity Solutions Inc., another move for more cloud technology. Then, on Thursday, it went for an acquisition hat trick and announced that it would acquire Make Technologies Inc., which produces application modernization software. And this week isn’t an anomaly: In February, Dell bought another cloud player, AppAssure Software; last month, it also grabbed SonicWall Inc., a security hardware and software company.

As Dell rushes to plant flags in the IT services market, CIOs who have a relationship with SonicWall, Clerity, Wyse, Make Technology or AppAssure might be hesitating. After all, Dell undoubtedly will guarantee that those companies’ engineers have a 365-day lock-in period; but there is certainly a risk of brain drain if those engineers take flight as soon as they’re legally able to jump Dell’s corporate ship. The funny thing about people who work for smaller IT shops and startups is that they tend to treasure their indie street cred and might roll their eyes when handed a Dell polo shirt at a massive company picnic.

The good news for Dell is that the mergers are absolutely a good thing for Dell clients. They get access to a broader spectrum of technologies and the vendor is standing strong against the unceasing tide of Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Cisco techno-diversity. However, CIOs who are focused on preserving customer and vendor relations might find themselves considering a move to a different provider. For instance, when Dell scooped up SonicWall, so many of SonicWall’s customers and partners switched customer and vendor relations to other data protection providers that Dell pleaded with those groups to give Dell a chance.

What do you think? Does the rush of Dell acquisitions concern you as a current Dell customer or perhaps a customer of one of the companies Dell has acquired? Should current customers be concerned about their existing and future vendor relations? Sound out in the comments, and let’s discuss the pros and cons of the Dell acquisitions sweeps week.

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