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RSA: No major changes expected following Dell-EMC merger

Following the Dell-EMC merger, RSA executives expect no significant changes to the business -- although, there will be some product overlap to deal with.

The $60 billion Dell-EMC merger has been finalized, and the top executives of RSA, the security division of EMC,...

expect little change within the company and how it serves its customers.

The Dell-EMC merger creates the world's largest privately controlled tech company, operating under the name Dell Technologies, with $74 billion in revenue and 140,000 employees. Amit Yoran, president of RSA, confirmed during a press call that RSA would retain brand autonomy; and Zulfikar Ramzan, CTO of RSA, said he expects the company to retain its ability to be agile, despite being part of such a large company.

"Everything I've seen so far suggests that the way things are going to be at Dell, the way things work, it tends to be a fast-moving, fluid company," Ramzan told SearchSecurity. "The model the way it is, each of the different brands within Dell has some level of autonomy, so we can develop our own ecosystems. We can leverage the best of what we can get from the broader platform itself."

Overall, executives from RSA are pushing the dual ideas of "business as usual," but also "strength in numbers." RSA doesn't want customers to be worried about big changes, but it also wants to stress the value it expects to add by being part of the combined Dell-EMC powerhouse.

Yoran said he thinks there is a "natural upside of having the broader ecosystem of Dell Technologies from a leverage and relationship standpoint."

"You never hear any large enterprise CIO or other executive say, 'I'd prefer to work with more vendors on more siloed issues versus having a broader platform and more strategic partner at the table working with me on my key business drivers and issues,'" Yoran said. "I think we're extremely well-positioned and situated, and I think having that broader relationship in enterprises will be helpful."

Ramzan said the offerings between RSA and Dell have been "remarkably complementary," meaning a limited amount of overlap, but there are still opportunities for improvements on both sides. For example, Ramzan said Dell SecureWorks tends to be more focused on services, while RSA is more of a product company.

Grant Geyer, senior vice president of product for RSA, said he believes the Dell-EMC merger will enable RSA to continue to extend its reach into customers and routes to market that were previously closed off -- and Yoran teased some specifics.

"We're still obviously very early into discussions, but there are some capabilities around packet capture technology and network forensics that SecureWorks doesn't have in [its] portfolio and a lot of other MSSPs [managed security services providers] don't have in their portfolios that we are advocating as route to market both through SecureWorks and though other channels as well," Yoran said. "The balance for us is to arm SecureWorks to bring capabilities to market as one potential opportunity, while we also ensure we're also providing those same capabilities out to other channel partners."

Geyer did admit there are areas of overlap that will need to addressed.

"We're actively in conversations not only with VMware, but all members of the Dell Technologies team to ensure that we can harmonize and streamline the portfolio and eliminate as many overlaps as possible as makes sense for our customers," Geyer said, but he wasn't able to provide further details.

Ultimately, Ramzan said areas of focus put forth by Yoran during the RSA Conference would remain the same for RSA with identity and access management, security analytics and governance, risk and compliance (GRC).

"If you look at security analytics, it's all about monitoring and gleaning insights about different events and different situations in an organization," Ramzan said. "What GRC enables you to do is put business context on top of those events to enable organizations to decide intelligently where to place their efforts."

But RSA executives acknowledged that communicating the company's new focus and value proposition will be a challenge. Holly Rollo, chief marketing officer for RSA, said she joined the company in April because she thinks it can be better about conveying its message to customers.

"[I] joined because it's probably one of the most well-known security brands in the world and probably one of the least well-understood," Rollo said during a press call. She said she was "really, really excited about helping RSA do a better job explaining its value proposition -- really tell this amazing story to the market, which, honestly, I think over the last handful of years hasn't really been happening."

Next Steps

Learn more about when to use a packet capture appliance.

Find out how to evaluate MSSP security before taking the plunge.

Get info on how Dell freed up funds to make the EMC deal work.

Dig Deeper on Security vendor mergers and acquisitions

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