Dell Nabs Managed Security Provider SecureWorks

Vendor builds out IT-as-a-Service profile seeking credibility as managed service security provider.

January 4, 2011

D.H. Kass

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Dell Inc. today added some heft to its managed service security profile with its acquisition of SecureWorks Inc., an 11-year old, privately-held IT security services provider based in Atlanta, GA.

Neither party disclosed terms of the transaction. A Dell official said that the post acquisition integration plan will include retaining SecureWorks’ operations and employees but did not provide details.

The deal marks Dell’s third in a month’s time, including its December acquisitions of Insite One Inc., a cloud-based archiver of medical data, and virtualized storage provider Compellent Technologies Inc., the latter for some $960 million.

Dell officials positioned the deal as too good to pass up, suggesting that it was largely driven by the high priority its customers place on security, SecureWorks’ impressive customer list and the opportunity to flesh out its security portfolio with a managed services offering.

Dell also said that the security vendor’s roster of technology experts who interact with customers was an influencing factor in evaluating its suitability.

SecureWorks is highly regarded among security providers, boasting prized commendations from researchers Gartner Inc. and Forrester Research Inc. The vendor maintains a channel partner program that includes VARs, integrators and managed service providers, who license its flagship TeraGuard security platform for sale to end users.

Earlier this year, Dell and SecureWorks completed a deal for Dell to offer the SecureWorks’ managed security platform as a service to help mid-range businesses improve security, gain regulatory compliance and lower IT costs.

Jeffrey Longoria, SecureWorks vice president of North America channel sales and business development, who the vendor hired this past September, hammered out that agreement, which Dell was expected to initiate by the close of this year.

“The company is a recognized leader in managed security services, threat intelligence and security and risk consulting,” said Peter Altabef, Dell Services president.

“They work from five security operations centers and serve more than 2,900 customers spread across 50 countries and representing organizations in all industries and all sizes, from local enterprises to multi-nationals,” he said.

SecureWorks customer base includes more than 15 percent of the Fortune 500, he said. “Given the importance of security and the success of their technology and processes, they’ve grown rapidly, creating a world-class research team and attracting outstanding security and technology experts,” he said.

SecureWorks officials place the company’s annual 2010 revenue at about $120 million. In May, 2009, SecureWorks augmented its profile by buying VeriSign Inc.’s managed security services division in a deal that bumped its annual sales to about $100 million and its employee count to more than 500 people.

“With Dell’s commitment to our clients, our team and our market, I am confident that SecureWorks will flourish as part of the Dell Services organization and that our clients will continue to be well-served and well-protected by the services on which they rely,” said Michael Cote, SecureWorks chairman and chief executive.

Other notable acquisitions of security providers late in 2010 include Intel Corp.’s $7.7 billion purchase of McAfee Inc. in August and Hewlett-Packard Co.’s $1.5 billion ArcSight Inc. deal in September. In December, Juniper Networks Inc. ponied up $95 million for Altor Networks Inc., a provider of virtualization security technology.

TAGS: security,Dell,acquisition,managed services,SecureWorks

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