Dell is acquiring Quest in a move that will expand the company's software capabilities in systems management, security and other areas.

The US-based computer and IT services group said it hopes the acquisition will bolster its competitive position in delivering end-to-end IT solutions.

"The addition of Quest will enable Dell to deliver more competitive server, storage, networking and end user computing solutions and services to customers," said John Swainson, president ofDell Software Group

Quest is a maker of IT management software. The company had 2011 sales of 857 million dlrs and employs 1,500 software sales experts and 1,300 software developers.

The addition of Quest will lay the foundation for a combined software business with 1.2 billion dlrs in annual revenue, Dell said.

The group, which started life as a pure computer maker, has in recent years broadened its portfolio to include a range of IT and software-based products. The company's strategic goal is to become an "end-to-end solutions" provider and it has been making targeted investments to achieve that aim.

In 2011, Dell invested 1 billion dlrs in cloud data and solution centers.

Dell is paying 28 dlrs a share in cash for Quest, for a total of about 2.4 billion dlrs. The transaction is expected to close in the autumn of 2012.