When most of us hear the name “Dell” we think “laptop” or “server,” if we hang around that side of the enterprise.

Little do we know that Dell has a sizeable enterprise software business which goes well beyond its high performance network and mobile security product, SonicWall, and onto cloud integration platform Boomi, database tool Toad, big data analytics suite Kitenga … and more.

Today Dell announced its acquisition of StatSoft, a provider of predictive analytics and data analysis, software which Gartner has recognized for its  “ability to execute” on advanced solutions.

Broadens the Portfolio

StatSoft promises to deliver a wide range of data mining, predictive analytics and data visualization capabilities to its customers. With the Statsoft purchase complete, Dell software now serves, stores, manages, integrates and analyzes data to ultimately help its users make smarter decisions faster.

StatSoft brings to Dell a number of specific tested and proven capabilities which have been verticalized into industries like banking and finance, manufacturing, insurance, pharmaceutical and healthcare.

Solutions have also been built around predictive analytics to forecast future trends, to identify new customers and sales opportunities, to forecast industry shifts, to explore “what-if” scenarios, and to reduce the occurrence of fraud and other business risks.

It’s interesting to note that StatSoft was founded in 1984, around the same time as Dell, and that according to most, it has never lost its edge. In fact, it ranks in Gartner’s Advanced Analytics report along with newer companies that are considered to be innovative and/or disruptive market leaders.

Learning Opportunities

STATISTICA, StatSoft’s data mining tool, is reported to be the primary tool used by practictioners according to the Rexer Analytics Survey, which looked at 1,319 data miners from 60 countries. StatSoft received the highest rates of customer adoption and satisfaction in predictive analytics, far outpacing industry rivals.

Customers Love It

“This is a company and a product line that customers love,” wrote Matt Wolken, vice president and general manager, Information Management Products, Software Group at Dell, in announcing the acquisition to Dell employees.

StatSoft brings to Dell not only its analytical brains and brawn, but also a vast footprint with offices and partners in more than 25 countries. To them, the name Dell will no longer signify only computer hardware.

Dell’s mid-market customers who are thinking about big data and advanced analytics may discover that StatSoft holds the key that opens the door to computing’s third wave.

And to anyone who says Dell can’t be a player in a big data world, come again; according to revenues, they already rank third (and yes we know they’re mostly hardware-related, but Dell already has the customer’s ear and access to his wallet.)