back to article Confirmed: Dell software sell-off

Dell has confirmed rumors that it is selling off its software division to private equity firms Francisco Partners and Elliott Management. "Francisco Partners and Elliott Management's deep passion for technology and proven track records in nurturing and building software businesses will enable Dell Software's loyal base of …

  1. K

    Francisco Partners has been done...

    Most of the products are out of date and suffering from years of underinvestment and underdevelopment, most have not seen new features, whilst also being ludicrous-speed slow at maintaining compatibility with the systems they're meant to work with (for example, vRanger support newer VMWare releases).

    It's not surprising Dell stashed the cash whilst exiting stage left!

    1. Locky

      Re: Francisco Partners has been done...

      Quest tools are still the go-to tools for AD migration in my book, I hope that these keep on being updated, or someone else fills the gap

  2. Mark 85

    Elliot Partners?

    If I were an employee of the company they're buying, I double check that the CV is updated.

    They are not a company I want owning my employer given their nature of ripping things apart.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Elliot Partners?

      They are not a company I want owning my employer given their nature of ripping things apart.

      To be fair, that's what private equity firms do. And the usual opportunity is because a firm (or business within a larger corporate) isn't sustainable, and the owner doesn't know what to do with it. I've been given my cards during a PE takeover. But as my initial employer was on the verge of being declared bankrupt, there wasn't any better option, and at least the PE house paid my notice and statutory redundancy, and honoured pension commitments. All of that would have gone by the board if my employer had become insolvent.

      So certainly intolerant, profit-obsessed people. But often doing a job that needs to be done. And whilst they only live to make money, it does give them a refreshingly direct insight missing from most corporate PHBs.

  3. JasonLaw


    Is that included in the fire sale?

  4. W. Anderson

    Dell- caught between Microsoft rock and tech reality hard place

    Dell's success is due almost entirely to their Desktop and laptop sales with Microsoft Window. They also experienced a blip with small server sales with Windows, but now that these 2 categories are on down swing. along with that of Lenovo for same reasons, which all other periphery business cannot make up for in such negative trends.

    Two possible reasons can be pointed to as reasons for this dilemma. Dell was never a networking or enterprise service company at heart, and recent. rapid global technology moves to Mobile computing – where Dell is non-existent - and Cloud Domputing/Docker virtualization/containerization amoung other related developments has caught the company out completely, with outdated networking architectures (no software Defined Networking) and partnering with Microsoft exclusively for Cloud Computing/virtualization when Amazon AWS and Openstack based products were eating Microsoft's lunch.

    The other significant reason is technology industry, enterprise and governments adoption of Linux for all infrastructure requirements against the Windows preferred and pushed from Dell.

    A recent very credible study of technology needs going forward showed that 85% of the Fortune 1000 corporations, US government departments and especially international governments declared their intent of making Linux and other Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) the foundation of their technology use.

    Dell and Quest software division has very little experience and no expertise in non-Microsoft technologies, and SonicWall was initially a Linux structured product, so it makes perfect sense for the company to ditch these technologies.

    The really difficult choice comes however, when Dell's Microsoft obligations and commitments, not to mention their inseparable bonding, come in direct conflict to strongly competitive solutions from EMC and especially VMWare that Microsoft has been furiously attempting to destroy for several years.


    1. _Absinthe_

      Re: Dell- caught between Microsoft rock and tech reality hard place

      "outdated networking architectures (no software Defined Networking)" - Then why did Gartner recently call them the worlds most innovative, disruptive and visionary networking vendor? The push they've been making towards open- and software-defined architectures may not have been advertised very well, but they are substantial and very real.

  5. J. R. Hartley

    They have lost the plot

    This EMC shenanigans is gonna be their Accenture moment.

    1. Chris Wicks 1

      Re: They have lost the plot

      What was Accenture's Accenture moment?

  6. Potemkine Silver badge

    "Francisco Partners and Elliott Management's deep passion for technology and proven track records in nurturing and building software businesses will enable Dell Software's loyal base of employees to continue delivering innovation"

    "A private equity firm is an investment manager that makes investments in the private equity of operating companies through a variety of loosely affiliated investment strategies including leveraged buyout, venture capital, and growth capital."

    Sounds like they are real entrepreneurs, with a vision... nah, just kidding, they're just here to maximize their profits... Good luck for Dell's developers, they'll need it;

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Welcome to the Fed-Dell-ration

    I'm afraid the new Federation emerging from DELL acquiring the EMC federation is a nightmare on all perspectives. Michael Dell is the ultimate cost cutter. Dell was built with a sharp knife always in his right hand: cut the middle man, cut inventories, cut margins, cut benefits and yes: cut employees whenever possible too.

    So all he has to do is feed-his-ration to the federation. EMC is the company with private jets and flying customer to big impressive customer demo facilities, expensive events and so on. Also known for its agressive sales force with BIG egos and BIG paychecks/benefits.

    He didn't know how to actually save DELL from himself based on technology (something DELL was never brilliant at), so he took the finance view. Bought a fat federation full of lard so he could keep using his knife.

    Yes, it will likely become profitable again after being "FED-DELL-RATION", unfortunately it will just not produce any relevant technology ever again, since everyone with a brain and some self esteem will jump off the boat as fast as they possibly can.

  8. enormous c word

    Dell has a software division???

    I didnt know that - I'm not sure anyone else did either. I'm sure Francisco & Elliot as equity firms will maintain the investment in Dells software portfolio.

  9. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    "At this rate, Michael Dell will be forced to auction off the contents of his sock draw before the EMC board votes on July 19 whether or not to approve the takeover."

    At this rate, Dell won't have anything left to merge EMC with...

    Would it not have been easier to sell everything first and then buy EMC?

  10. cmaurand

    If Dell thought there was any growth or profit there, they wouldn't be selling it off. The statements from Dell, Francisco Partners and Elliot Management are all spin.

  11. Anonymous Coward


    It is odd that DELL ® stayed a one product company all these years, perpetually dependent on Windows ® desktop PCs sales.

    "We do not want Dell to have the ability to automatically license a model for Office without our usual channel restrictions"

    ""We should whack them, we should make sure they understand our value... I want them to understand that every day they lead with Linux over Windows in Unix migrations they turn our field against them"

    "We have been closely monitoring, attacking, and winning NC threatened accounts .. Though we have made great strides to ensure the NC does not gain footholds in any of our accounts"

    'it all comes down to Intel's insistance and our obstinate refusal to allow them to use the term "Network Computer" in their hardware specification .. Intel to pull explicit reference to NC and comment on it in the Q&A .. We go nuclear and release our own WBT spec, press release with our own OEMs, and directly counter the Intel spec."

  12. Christopher Rogers

    Theres all the potential here for a reverse takeover...

  13. tim 13

    So Dell has been buying all the software that we already use, spent money rebadging it and are now selling it off again?

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