​SonicWall splits from Dell to become independent security vendor

Dell Technologies has officially spun out its software group after the EMC acquisition left a $67 billion dent in its purse.

Network security firm SonicWall has officially spun out of Dell Technologies as an independent company, with private equity firm Francisco Partners and hedge fund Elliott Management completing the acquisition of the technology giant's software arm.

In conjunction with the creation of an independent SonicWall, the company named cybersecurity and networking veteran Bill Conner as its president and CEO, with Conner believing the separation will allow SonicWall to act even more deftly and quickly in serving its channel partners and customers.

"We are in the midst of a cybersecurity arms race," he said.

Francisco Partners and Elliott Management acquired Dell Software Group -- which posted an operating income of $28 million for Q1 2016 -- for a previously reported sum in excess of $2 billion, which includes IT firm Quest Software in addition to SonicWall.

Speaking with ZDNet, Sandeep Joshi, ANZ country manager at SonicWall, praised the work Dell had done with SonicWall under its umbrella, and said the Dell name gave the security firm "amazing" brand awareness, benefiting both the channel and enterprise markets.

"We are witnessing the most complex and critical cybersecurity landscape the world has ever seen," he said.

"Becoming an independent company is going to enable us to focus on new markets and strengthen channel partnerships in ANZ to help us serve businesses of all sizes with specific strengths in large distributed environments, campus education, retail, financial, healthcare, and government institutions."

Having been with SonicWall prior to its acquisition by Dell in early 2012, Joshi said it was a privilege to have experienced all 360 degrees of SonicWall.

"SonicWall and Dell have had a strong history over the last few years with leading positions in the security space, and I have no doubt that we will maintain synergies going forward," he said.

When the Francisco and Elliott deal was originally announced in June, it was also said that Dell would be selling off its IT services division to Japanese telco NTT for approximately $3.1 billion.

Dell tied up its own acquisition in September, closing the $67 billion purchase of EMC to position itself as the one-stop shop for the entire IT stack.

Despite selling off the firewall-focused SonicWall, Dell has not left the security scene, unveiling its new endpoint security and management portfolio combining Dell Data Security Solutions, Mozy by Dell, RSA, and VMware AirWatch at the inaugural Dell EMC World last month.

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