Today, Dell announced the finalization of an agreement to acquire Wyse Technologies, the leader in cloud client computing. As a result of the acquisition, Dell strengthens its positioning in the desktop virtualization space by obtaining access to Wyse’s portfolio of thin and zero clients as well as software for managing virtualized cloud client machines. The acquisition is intended to further Dell’s longer term business strategy of shifting its focus away from sales of PCs and servers toward cloud based products and services such as its OpenStack offering or desktop virtualization, whereby enterprises remotely store all of the software and data for a user’s machine on a remote server. Desktop virtualization, which typically leverages thin or zero clients with no expansion slots, CD-ROMs or diskette drives, gives enterprises greater control over software deployments while enabling multiple operating systems to run on one machine.
For Dell, the most significant business opportunity from desktop virtualization is likely to come from the cloud and data center investment that enterprises will need to make in order to implement desktop virtualization across the enterprise. Additional revenue will derive from sales of Wyse’s portfolio of thin and zero clients. Matt Eastwood, Group Vice President, Enterprise Platform Research, IDC, summarized the market opportunity for desktop virtualization in Dell’s press release as follows:
“The total market for desktop virtualization solutions should continue to see strong growth globally, with the larger revenue and margin opportunities coming from the datacenter infrastructure, cloud and services offerings that are tied to thin client and desktop virtualization technology sales. Thin client and desktop virtualization solutions typically drive high attach rates to data center solutions, including servers, networking, storage and services. The end-to-end datacenter infrastructure stack for these solutions is expected to exceed $15 billion by 2015.”
Importantly, the acquisition of Wyse gives Dell access to software for “remote device management for the extended enterprise” in addition to Wyse’s thin and zero client portfolio. Wyse has shipped more than 20 million thin clients to date and claims over 180 patents covering its hardware and software offerings. Dell’s Jeff Clarke, President, End User Computing Solutions, remarked on the acquisition by noting:
“Desktop virtualization can help organizations streamline IT management, improve productivity and security, and increase cost efficiency for discrete workloads or usage scenarios. The Wyse Technology desktop virtualization capability complements Dell’s strongest-ever device and computing solutions portfolio, and strengthens our position in offering customers among the broadest set of computing choices from the edge to the core to the cloud.”
As a market leader in the cloud client computing, Wyse complements Dell’s offerings by allowing it to catch up to HP in the thin client hardware market. The total market opportunity for thin clients is expected to be $3 billion by 2015, whereas the “the total addressable market for servers, storage, networking, and services sitting behind those thin and zero clients will hit $15bn” by 2015, according to David Johnson, Senior Corporate Vice President of Strategy at Wyse, citing IDC figures. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed although it is widely believed Dell acquired Wyse for roughly $400 million.