Dell at a storage crossroads

After being outbid by HP for 3PAR, Dell faces a conundrum: Pick up another storage vendor, or move on to other IT stacks in its acquisition strategy.

Enterprise Storage Forum posted an article today, by freelancer Brian Fonseca, which examines Dell’s position from the viewpoint of a Dell executive, several industry analysts, and a Dell customer. Here are some selected quotes:

“We saw [3PAR] as a unique opportunity, but we’re looking forward, not backwards,” said Darren Thomas, vice president of Dell Enterprise Storage, adding that he was unsure if Dell’s next acquisition would attempt to replace that specific area of focus.

Forrester Research analyst Andrew Reichman believes that Dell got a black eye in the 3PAR deal.

“I think it’s definitely bad for Dell to lose this one. If they wanted to truly be an enterprise player in storage, they needed to have their own offering and 3PAR was the only independent option for that. Buying a company which spent time climbing the mountain was the best option,” said Reichman, adding that Dell’s reputation in the storage arena remains as a hardware provider that caters to the SMB space.

Brad Blake, CTO of Boston Medical Center – a Dell customer – disagrees that Dell got a black eye from the 3PAR war, saying that Dell’s methodical and calculated acquisition strategy has been perfectly suited to the hardware company.

“Some [other vendors] make acquisitions and they just destroy the technology. I’ll put HP and IBM in those buckets. Dell has done a great job of architecting, building and supporting hardware.”

Read the full story and analysis on Enterprise Storage Forum: “Dell Enterprise Storage: Contender or Pretender?”

This article was originally published on September 29, 2010