McAfee is mentioned frequently as an acquisition target. The rumor du jour is that EMC is now a serious suitor.
It’s plausible on a couple levels.
First, there are personal (and personnel) connections at the executive level between the two companies.
Dave DeWalt, McAfee’s CEO and president, is a notable EMC alumni, as are David Milam, McAfee’s chief market officer; Michael DeCesare, McAfeee’s VP of worldwide sales; and Joseph Gabbert, the company’s VP of human resources. Having knowledge of both companies — including an understanding of their cultures and processes — these executives could ensure a successful post-acquisition integration.
More important, McAfee would fit strategically into EMC, which already offers security products, plus solutions contiguous to security. For example — in addition to its existing information-security products — EMC offers solutions for archiving, availability, and compliance.
Its security offerings, derived primarily from its acquisition of RSA, include access control, authentication, credential management, data-loss prevention, encryption and key management, fraud prevention, physical security, and security management.
During a recent conference call with analysts, EMC CEO Joe Tucci said he expects industry consolidation to continue, but he declined to cite specific areas where EMC might make acquisitions.
Tucci also said EMC had no glaring holes in its offerings, but that it is “always looking for opportunities.”
Opportunities that EMC already has identified and is pursuing include building next-generation virtualized data centers, cloud computing, virtual clients and servers, and next-generation backup and recovery.
In that context, it is interesting to note that McAfee has been working diligently to build a complete portfolio of cloud-security solutions. After announcing its acquisition of security-service vendor MX Logic, McAfee proclaimed that it possessed the “most comprehensive cloud-based security portfolio in the industry.”
Regardless of whether one agrees with that assessment, McAfee certainly is trying to grow into the role.
With EMC’s focus on cloud computing and virtualization, it is within the realm of possibility that EMC would find McAfee’s cloud-computing security solutions attractive complement.
Regardless of whether the acquirer is HP, EMC, or even IBM, it is increasingly difficult to envision McAfee remaining independent for much longer.