Dell buys application modernization firm Clerity

The deal will give Dell technology for re-hosting mainframe applications

Dell said Tuesday it has purchased application modernization vendor Clerity Solutions, in its second enterprise software-related acquisition news this week.

On Monday, Dell announced it has agreed to buy Wyse Technology, maker of software and hardware for thin clients. Now the Clerity deal, whose financial terms were not disclosed, will give Dell technology for transitioning applications now running on older mainframe systems to newer architectures, including cloud hosting platforms.

Clerity's tools automate the migration of legacy applications to new systems, reducing the amount of re-testing and staff training, according to a statement.

The Chicago company has about 70 workers, who will become part of Dell's services division. It competes with vendors such as Micro Focus and CA Technologies.

Earlier this year, Dell tapped former CA Technologies CEO John Swainson to lead a newly formed software division. Observers expected Swainson to begin making a number of acquisitions to build out the business, as he was known for doing at CA, with a focus on system management and cloud services.

While Dell's applications strategy has seemed geared more toward smaller and medium-sized businesses versus the large enterprises that are more likely to be using mainframes, the Clerity deal doesn't signal a schism, said analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research.

"While they're trying to get to the SMBs, they're also in the enterprise when you think of the size of contracts they have, as well the public sector with the government," he said.

Swainson also clearly sees value in the mainframe modernization market, according to Wang. "There's still a lot of money to be made just managing application lifecycle," he said. "[Customers] are trying to automate these application lifecycle processes so they can go do something else."

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