Dell to Acquire Wyse

Just wanted to give my $.02 on today’s news about Dell acquiring Wyse.  Again my disclaimer – I work for Dell and this entire article is based solely on my opinion.  However, I’ve been a Dell (and general consumer of enterprise IT products) customer for way longer then I’ve worked for Dell.

In my opinion this is one of Dell’s best acquisitions right up their with Equallogic.  Several of my co-workers were amped when we bought Compellent, others Force10, some even SonicWall.  This is the first Dell acquisition I’m really excited about because it makes the most sense to me.  I’ve been told by a number of people that Dell is the largest reseller of Wyse thin clients.  I have no data to back that up, but I’ve heard it from a number of people both inside of Dell and Wyse, so that’s a good start.  I’ve always used Wyse thin clients in my former life because I like WTOS.  It’s easy to configure, easy to deploy and update and has a very large community following.  Wyse was also very easy to procure – that was totally directed at you IGEL.

Brian Madden already beat me to it when he said “So on one hand, you have major computer maker (HP) which also makes thin clients, you have the other major company maker (Dell) who doesn’t make their own thin clients, and you have the biggest thin client maker (Wyse) which doesn’t make computers. It was really just a matter of time.”  However there is more to it then that.

First, I work strictly in Large Enterprise focusing on the data center.  I don’t even deal with end user computing or clients for that matter, but since virtualization is large part of my job and my general career interest, VDI/SBC falls into that category.  In my opinion, Cisco has become our biggest competitor in the data center and not because of the network but because of UCS.  Cisco has had a tight partnership with Wyse in their VDI offering and this acquisition disrupts that to some extent.  I’m certain Cisco will partner up with another vendor (DevonIT anyone?) 🙂 but its disruptive for the time being non-the-less.  It also makes some of our partners pay a little more attention to us (I’m talking to you Citrix!)

Second, while Dell has offering around VDI with our DVS Kaviza based appliance as well as many other service offering with XenDesktop and View, this gives us opportunities where we were otherwise left out of the discussions.  Sure there are other thin-client vendors but Wyse is the largest and everyone knows who they are.

Third, Dell has acquired quite a bit of intellectual property over the last couple years and some people I’ve talked to feel as if Dell is growing purely by acquisition with no future vision in sight.  I couldn’t disagree more with those people.  While some of these “futures'” might be a year or two out, the vision is actually there (sorry I can’t divulge…do be honest, I don’t even know the whole roadmap)  If you’ve paid attention to the acquisitions, they all have an underlying tenant and that’s open.  Dell acquired Force10, not because they’re just a really good switching company, but because their FTOS operating system is an open, extensible language that can be easily integrated into IT automation platforms.  Dell acquired Scalent and turned it into Dell’s Advanced Infrastructure Manager which allows for easy server and datacenter workload management that is hardware agnostic.  Dell acquired Compellent and everyone thought “Dell has Equallogic, why buy Compellent, it must be a consolation prize for losing out on 3Par”- WRONG!  Bidding for 3Par was so we could compete with Symmetrix and VMax, but our markets weren’t high end storage so in the end we broke our EMC relationship, made HP totally overpay for 3Par, and have full control of our storage roadmaps and storage future – something we could never do being an EMC reseller.  Oh yeah and we got some really sweet dynamic data tiering and data life-cycle management IP along with it.  We acquired RNA networks, not for what they do with memory, but for what we can do with their IP from servers, to memory to storage.  So if you factor in the entire end to end solutions, Dell has a pretty impressive portfolio.  Imagine if you will, back-end network, server, and storage automation with Force10, PowerEdge and Compellent/Equallogic, intelligent OS streaming, whether it be full fat client, tablet/smartphone or thin/zero client built into the fabric switches, and all fully manageable from a single interface, regardless of hardware vendor…I dunno, but that sounds like a pretty cool vision to me.  A little ways out?….probably.

Of course I’ve seen a few of the negative comments and sure, people should have their concerns.  Just to address a few of them:

– thin clients and PC’s are dead, we’re in the post-PC era.  I give you one challenge, take the best tablet or smartphone and do 1 simple task….PRINT SOMETHING!  Yes, tablets and smartphones are awesome, I have them, use them daily and love them.  Its been well documented and discussed – They consume content not create it.  I’d also be curious to see what Dell does with Wyse PocketCloud for tablets and smartphones…

– I hope Dell doesn’t ruin Wyse.  Dell hasn’t ruined Equallogic, Compellent, Force10 or Scalent.  People much higher on the pay scale then me do a great job integrating these companies and we take the best tools and features of our acquisitions and fold them into Dell Inc.  Great example would be Compellents Co-Pilot support which we’re looking to fold into our other support models thru-out Dell.

I am a little down that this will most likely end the OEM deal we had with DevonIT.  I always liked DevonIT as an alternative to Wyse.  I like their VDI Blaster tool to repurpose PC’s as thin clients and I really liked their VMA management appliance.  It was super simple to use and worked well.

I look forward to seeing the future of Dell and Wyse, it’s exciting news and hope to comment more about it as Wyse gets folded into the Dell family.

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