Q&A: Paul Christman, Vice President of Public Sector, Dell Software, Discusses Quest Acquisition and the Future of Government IT

Last fall, Dell acquired Quest Software to enhance its software portfolio of complete end-to-end IT solutions for its customers.

As part of this acquisition, Quest’s public sector subsidiary now bolsters Dell’s ability to serve federal, state and local governments and education institutions with software tools that help with data center optimization, application performance management (APM), identity and access management, and virtualization management.

FedPulse spoke to Paul Christman, Vice President, Public Sector, Dell Software, about the acquisition and what the future holds for Dell. Christman formerly served as the President and CEO of Quest’s public sector subsidiary.

FedPulse: Tell us about Quest’s public sector subsidiary.

Christman:  Quest Software has had a dedicated public sector division for over 10 years and formed a public sector subsidiary 5 years ago.  Dell acquired Quest in late September 2012. Quest’s team is now the core of the Dell’s software organization.  Working with the other software groups within Dell we can offer end-to-end IT solutions to our customers.

Key government IT trends we address include data center consolidation, cloud computing, big data, and BYOD.  Underlying all of these trends is the need for regulatory compliance and risk management.  Within these areas, our software reduces risk, accelerates results and supports mission goals for government customers.

FedPulse:  Tell us about Dell’s acquisition of Quest, and how the acquisition enhances Dell’s overall government IT capabilities.

Christman:  As a company, Dell is going through a transformation.  Building upon its foundation in personal computers and servers, acquisitions like that of Quest are enhancing Dell’s portfolio to include networking, services and software solutions.

Quest offers the software that ties all of these solutions together in a cost-effective and unified way, providing complete, end-to-end enterprise offerings.

FedPulse:  How do these types of acquisitions help larger technology providers, like Dell?

Christman:  Dell is already one of the largest technology suppliers to the government, but our customers are asking us to do more than just supply great hardware. Our customers are also looking to reduce the number of vendors they deal with to eliminate complexity. This trend is driving Dell to develop more complete enterprise service offerings. Quest’s software portfolio is a logical addition given Dell’s long-term strategy.

FedPulse: What are some of government’s key challenges that you are addressing now?

Christman:  Currently agencies are dealing with challenges including budget issues and sequestration. Our solutions align well with customer needs to extend technology lifecycles and utilization.

For many agencies, technology and data is at the core foundation of their missions.  Adopting technologies that accelerate results, reduce risk and enhance efficiencies is the right thing to do for government agencies, regardless of the budget situation.

FedPulse:  In an era of austere government, how can your solutions help agencies achieve mission goals with fewer resources?

Christman: Our country’s public servants know they still have a responsibility to accomplish their agencies’ missions. This will involve creatively using the right solutions, which is why Dell’s approach to providing complete end-to-end offerings and reducing total cost of ownership is vital right now.

State and local governments have been dealing with budget issues for years and now it is the federal government’s turn. Agency missions will continue to be accomplished and government will remain a gigantic enterprise. We will need to be creative and nimble in support of mission requirements.

Dell currently serves more than 15 million government and education end-users and looks forward to providing the right solutions in emerging areas like Big Data, BYOD and virtualization.  These foundational technologies will continue advancing agency missions, even in today’s challenging budget climate.

We would like to thank Paul for sharing his insights into Dell’s enhanced software offerings for the federal government.  To learn more about Dell’s public sector business, click here.



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