News Analysis - Dell moves up the solution stack with Perot acquisition


The remarkable ascendancy of Dell from a one-man college dorm room venture to a powerhouse computer vendor has been well documented.  The world pays close attention to significant announcements such as Dell’s intention to buy Perot Systems, a major provider in the areas of infrastructure, application, business process and consulting services.

For IT professionals, Dell’s purchase  signals the next move in its ability to present itself as more than an alternative hardware supplier; indeed  as Dell beefs up its claim as a legitimate services provider it gives choice to buyers concerned with ensuring due diligence beyond the big duo – HP and IBM.

Dell’s services business, even with Perot on board, pales in comparison to IBM or HP. However, its ability to successfully integrate the Perot capability must be viewed in the context of Dell’s success with last year’s purchase of storage solution provider Equalogic, which has effectively engaged the broader partner community in delivering value added solutions based on Dell technology integrated into the corporate IT environment.  In plain terms, don’t be surprised if this works beyond expectation.

It should be noted that Perot’s business is heavily concentrated in the areas of Healthcare and Government, which account for more than half of its revenue.  So this acquisition is symbiotic.  It substantially beefs up Dell’s vertical ability in these segments, while improving Perot’s geographic reach.

“For most IT professionals it is good news that another systems provider continues to build out its portfolio to encompass total solutions,” said James Alexander, SVP for Info-Tech Research Group.  “However, there are major gaps in Dell’s solutions portfolio and we recommend that IT managers  look for opportunities to engage hardware providers in holistic infrastructure design and implementation. “

So while Dell has moved up the consideration scale, more work is needed to build out its total services offering. In an interview yesterday, Michael Dell indicated that more acquisitions could be on the horizon and this will be key in enabling Dell to present itself as a bona fide competitor across the technology solutions spectrum.

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