Wyse, Clerity, and as of today, Make Technologies, are the latest software company acquisitions by Dell, all of which happened this week.

Most people know Dell best for its desktops and laptops. This week it seems like Dell is doing its best to change its image, shifting from hardware to software. On April 2nd, Dell announced that they were purchasing Wyse. On April 3rd the company made plans to buy Clerity. And finally today, Dell has acquired Make Technologies. Three software companies bought in four days may be an indication that Dell is headed in a new direction.


Wyse was founded in 1981 and has adapted through the years by changing what it actually does. Despite the company’s constant shifting, it is best known for providing what is known as thin client hardware and software. This is hardware and software that is available to a client, but has most of its processing roles filled by a server. Wyse works closely with virtual desktop infrastructure to create such thin solutions for its customers.

Clerity is a “mainframe migration and modernization solution provider.” In layman’s terms, the company comes to the rescue of old software that needs to be updated to run on newer systems. Make Technologies, Dell’s latest acquisition, provides the same service for customers. While these solutions were already in place, and there are other competitors in this market space, Dell has the advantage of already being a global company, and already having one of the largest client bases in the world.

Most often, simply updating software is a more affordable solution than say building a new, modern software solution for companies. In a statement from Dell, the company has revealed that it would like to become the industry leader in modernizing client software and systems. In February, Dell hired John Swainson (formerly an executive at IBM and also at CA) to run a brand new software division at Dell.

This is the 16th acquisition in the past two years for the company. Dell’s CEO and founder, Michael Dell, was quoted as confirming the company’s shift from just manufacturing hardware to becoming an “end-to-end IT solutions company.” And the proof is in the pudding: aside from Citrix and VMware, Dell is quickly becoming the first company to provide so many virtualization solutions, including solutions for desktops, servers, storage, applications, and management.

Dell has a division called Kace, which manages all of its imaging and application virtualization products. These products can be put to use in a myriad of places, including locations like call centers, classrooms, and any other office where the majority of the staff run the same desktop configuration in lieu of installing and supporting individual installations. And to address the company’s budding virtualization direction, buying Wyse was a great move. Now the company has brought veterans of desktop virtualization on board to help shape and inform Dell’s direction.

Last month, the company bought SonicWall, a company that focuses on network security and protecting data. In addition to starting its new software venture in February of this year, Dell also bought AppAssure in February, which provides security but for virtual and cloud computing environments.

Each company purchased brings in a new revenue stream in the hundreds of millions of dollars for Dell, as well as hundreds of knowledgeable employees. By the same token, that could present a problem of how to integrate these new divisions into already existing businesses and departments within the company. Dell’s previously mentioned Kace division was created by purchasing the company Kace two years ago and has had a near seamless integration into Dell’s business strategies. Industry observers note that the success is probably partly due to the fact that Dell maintained the original Kace staff and it’s structure.

To read more about Dell’s hardware, or competition facing it, check out our blog about middle-men server builders that are giving some big-name companies a run for their money.