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9/8/2016
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RSA's Yoran Says Firm's Mission Remains Unchanged In Dell-EMC Merger

RSA remains in full charge of its destiny, RSA president Amit Yoran says.

With RSA this week officially joining Dell Technologies as part of the giant merger between Dell and EMC announced last October, executives from the security firm were quick to reassure customers that it would be business as usual for them.

In a press conference Thursday morning, RSA president Amit Yoran stressed that the company will continue to have full brand autonomy under Dell Technologies and also the ability to maintain its own partner programs and ecosystems.

“Customers should expect to see business as usual,” Yoran said. “We will continue to execute on this notion of business driven security,” while leveraging Dell’s capabilities and market presence, he said.

Dell Inc. this week announced that it had formally completed its giant $67 billion acquisition of RSA parent EMC Corp. about 11 months after it first announced the deal last October. The unified company, called Dell Technologies, is the world’s largest privately owned technology firm with revenues of $74 billion, some 140,000 employees and 98% of Fortune 500 companies as it customers. It has claimed market leadership position in nearly two-dozen technology market segments.

The newly merged entity offers a huge portfolio of technology products from a wide range of vendors including Dell, EMC, VMware, RSA, SecureWorks, and Virtustream.

For RSA, the integration with Dell takes it one more step away from its roots as an independent security vendor. EMC acquired the company in 2006 and it has been operating as a subsidiary of the Hopkinton-based storage vendor since then.

As part of Dell, expect to see RSA continue to expand on its concept of a business-driven security model, Yoran said. The goal is to help organizations enable IT business transformation in a secure way, he said. “RSA remains an absolutely focused entity in control of our own destiny,” he said, “Our mission remains unchanged. We have encouragement and autonomy to continue to pursue that,” under Dell.

All changes to product strategies, sales models, customer support, and resource management will continue to be full in RSA’s control, he said in separate blog post. Yoran will report to David Goulden, CEO of Dell’s EMC Infrastructure unit.

Grant Geyer, senior vice president of products at RSA, said the company’s strategy remains focused on three key technology areas. One of them is enabling businesses to get greater visibility over their endpoint devices, networks, and cloud infrastructure via technology from NetWitness, a company that EMC acquired in 2011.

The second area of focus is identity management, where RSA’s SecureID technology will play a critical role in helping organizations mitigate security risks related to issues like user authentication and access control to on-premise and cloud-based IT assets.

RSA’s third major focus area is risk management and security analytics, where the company will leverage its Archer governance, risk management and compliance platform.

Despite the upbeat assessments of the future from Yoran and Geyer, RSA faces challenges as a Dell subsidiary. Dell Technologies, for instance, already has one fairly major security company in its technology stack in the form of SecureWorks. With RSA joining the ranks, both security outfits will need to find a way to minimize product overlap while leveraging each other’s specialties to fill gaps in their respective product lines.

RSA will also have its work cut out harmonizing and eliminating overlap between some of its products and those in VMware’s technology stack. It is an area of focus for RSA and one that is already under active discussion, according to Yoran, who did not elaborate further.

It will be interesting to see how RSA leverages the synergies between VMWare and SecureWorks, says Doug Cahill, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group.

“I don’t see this merger as affecting RSA customers in the near term as most are likely to adopt a “wait and see” posture,” he says. “But in the mid- to long-term, RSA should be able to leverage the flexibility of being a privately held company to execute at a greater velocity,” he says.

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Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio
 

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