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January 4, 2011
Dell's Big Acquisition
This Morning

As we move forward in 2011, we're curious what you think are the hottest topics in the tech world. Have an idea or topic for a future event? Send us an email.

Dell announced it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Atlanta's SecureWorks, a 700-person, $120 million globally recognized provider of information security services. It continues Dell's growth of IT-as-a-Service offerings and security expertise.
Peter Albateff
We were just on a conference call with Dell Services President Peter Altabef (above, he heads the $8 billion, 40k employee business unit) and SecureWorks CEO Michael Cote. Peter says the deal helps Dell expand its cloud based services offerings, a move it previously decided to handle via acquisition, rather than building its own ground-up solutions. SecureWorks processes more than 13 billion security events and sees more than 30,000 malware specimens each day. The company has more than 1,500 banks and credit unions as managed security services clients and is protecting trillions of dollars in financial assets, not to mention more than 2,900 clients, something Peter says Dell plans to rapidly expand. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed (though Dell has always had good after-Christmas sales).

More From Doug!
Doug Smith
We also just got off the phone with Doug Smith, CEO of Ericsson Federal, which announced yesterday it's breaking off from the $30 billion mothership and going on its own as Oceus Networks. (Oceus is from the Latin root meaning fast.) Doug says he pushed for the move that will allow the company to make a bigger impact on the federal market, since the company is American owned, opposed to Swedish. As for losing the Ericsson trademark name, "We have great relationships with our clients and have exclusive rights to a number of Ericsson solutions, so we know we're still the company the government will want to work with for next generation broadband solutions." Doug tells us the deal closed on New Year's Eve, creating an easy celebration opportunity for him and the company's 110 employees (something he wants to double in the next year, so send resumes, OceusNetworks.com).

2011: Year of the Exit
Scott Frederick
Yesterday, we pinged the IT community for some predictions, and none struck us more than Valhalla Partners Scott Frederick, right, who says this could be the best year for local VC firms in a decade. His reasoning: NEA, Grotech, and Valhalla each have companies in their portfolios that appear well positioned for significant exits (Groupon, Living Social and SafeNet respectively) that could hopefully make everyone forget the doldrums of the past two years. We have more predictions from some tech luminaries below.
Tony Bardo and Rick Lober

From Hughes AVP for Government Solutions Tony Bardo, right: 2011 will be the year of the managed network in the federal government. The market has shifted, and technology requirements have changed. One-size fits all network solutions are as outdated as cassette tapes and rotary dial phones. Federal agencies and their small/medium-sized field offices need managed broadband to run applications, connect to the cloud, and enable key mandates like telework. In 2011, we'll see federal agencies demand reliable, resilient networks tailored to their unique requirements broadband—where, when, and how they need it. This move to managed broadband networks will usher in a transformation and modernization of our nation's federal network infrastructure. 

And VP and General Manager of Hughes Defense and Intelligence Systems Division Rick Lober, left: This will be the year that the DoD and Intelligence community realize that they can save millions on satellite transponder bandwidth through the use of today's commercial off-the-shelf solutions versus yesterday's custom designed products and waveforms.

Metrostar Systems CEO Ali Reza Manouchehri

Metrostar Systems CEO Ali Reza Manouchehri (left): I believe government will continue to look for ways to collaborate and share information more effectively, efficiently, and securely, both internally and externally. This will include the development of multimodal mobile applications, and new media/social media tools and platforms, as well as integrating cost-effective methods such as virtualization and cloud computing to facilitate information sharing. There will also be a strong focus on cybersecurity inherent in all these efforts. I also think new tools will make sharing agency data easier and more approachable to citizens, a great step forward allowing for a transparent government process, increasing communication and involvement of US and global citizens.

Guident's Dan Ackerman
Guident partner Dan Ackerman, left: The Obama Administration has been, and will continue to be focused on "tightening the belt" within government—meaning agencies will have to do even more with even less. This will force agencies to more strictly focus on the return on investment for their IT expenditures and, more importantly, force them to look internally for the most efficient way to leverage existing investments/assets. This will also place a renewed focus on how an agency's IT spending aligns with its overall goals and mission, ensuring that procurements are more strategic in nature. All that said, security is still the number-one consideration in government and will remain a top priority for acquisition, with continuous compliance solutions leading the way.
Network Solutions Shashi Bellamkonda

Network Solutions' Shashi Bellamkonda:

  • The term "Social Media" will disappear as it will integrate into mainstream communications—just like there is no separate email department.

  • Facebook will continue to grow, and niche networks (social networks for photo professionals, weight loss, etc) will be more prolific.

  • Function based networks, like Social Q&A networks (eg. Quora.com) will see growth just like BBoards and Forums.

  • Social Commerce, shared shopping, and of course coupon shopping will continue to be popular.
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