November 2, 2010 – Dell announced an agreement to acquire cloud integration provider Boomi, a move that an Altimeter analyst says could be the first step toward bigger action by the Texas technology giant.

Terms of the proposed acquisition were not disclosed.

In a news release, Dell stated that Boomi’s software as a service and cloud technology would help customers gain the full value of cloud computing.

Dell highlighted Boomi’s Atmosphere technology, which enables users to integrate data between and among cloud and in-house applications, and touted use of its technology by Salesforce.com. Its headquarters are in Berwyn, Pa.

Dell executive Steve Felice said in a news release that the addition to its cloud provider would bring customer costs down and increase innovation similar to its moves more than two decades ago with client-server computing.

“For years, Dell has been working directly with our customers and SaaS leaders to understand the value cloud computing can bring and the issues customers face when contemplating this paradigm shift,” Felice said.

Dell lost out on a previous cloud storage acquisition of 3PAR following a bidding war with Hewlett-Packard.

Altimeter Group analyst R “Ray” Wang says that the acquisition of Boomi marks Dell’s move into SaaS and getting cloud applications “done correctly.” It could also be a precursor to building a bigger cloud platform or additional buyouts, Wang says.

“The question now is what other SaaS applications will Dell make?” he says.