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12/13/2010
06:48 PM
Bob Evans
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Global CIO: HP Claims Server Supremacy And Tells IBM: Migrate THIS!

HP says 100 IBM mainframe customers have switched to HP this year, and offers details on three as a counterpoint to IBM's "Migration Factory" claims.

Continuing to call more attention to its recently achieved status as the world's #1 server vendor, Hewlett-Packard is slapping back aggressively at IBM's recent claims to have wooed hundreds of HP customers via IBM's Migration Factory campaign, with HP saying more than 100 IBM mainframe customers have switched over to HP systems in the past year.

Emphasizing that the only numbers that really matter are worldwide totals for market share and revenue, Craig Wagner of HP's Business Critical Systems team begged to differ with IBM's recent contention that it's gaining market momentum by virtue of HP-to-IBM migratory deals disclosed by IBM in our recent column called Global CIO: IBM Details Raids On Customers From HP And Oracle.

Wagner, who's director of solutions and sales enablement for HP's Business Critical Systems unit, said that while IBM's a formidable competitor, the most-recent numbers from IDC do not support IBM's contention that it is taking share out of HP's hide—in fact, quite the contrary, Wagner said in a phone discussion Monday.

"While it's tempting to speak about some isolated wins, as IBM chose to do, we believe that some of these bigger numbers from [research firm] IDC are more revealing," Wagner said as he cited the following hot-off-the-presses figures from IDC's "latest Q3 tracker" server research:

Based by revenue in the worldwide server market, HP has picked up 3.6 points of market share for a total of 33.4%, Wagner said, while IBM's corresponding share has fallen 1.2 points to 30.6%.

And Wagner went on to say that HP's objectively measured momentum is inextricably linked to the increasing success of its Converged Infrastructure strategy, which includes servers but also extends out to storage, networking, and management.

"Those are IDC's numbers, not our numbers, and IBM has led in server share since forever—or at least since1996," Wagner said with a laugh.

"But that flipped in 2010 when we took over the top spot, and we think it's not a coincidence that that change in server leadership took place when we introduced our Converged Infrastructure strategy. So we think the trends are going in the right direction for us.

Offering a little migratory evidence of his own, Wagner then detailed three big customers that have jumped from IBM over to HP, again in large part due to their confidence in the Converged Infrastructure strategy from HP.

"In the last year, more than 100 customers have migrated from IBM mainframes to HP, and as everyone knows those are very difficult migrations to achieve," Wagner said.

"The typical scenario involves a tremendous amount of inertia and investments in both people and technology and processes, so these are really uphill battles to win.

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"But over and over, we're finding that customers are willing to make that migration from IBM mainframes to HP systems because they're telling us three things: first and foremost, the ongoing cost of supporting those mainframes is difficult to deal with; second, their ability to integrate into the mainframe environment any type of new technology in an agile and innovative way is difficult; and third, that finding mainframe talent and expertise is simply very hard to do—guys who know it are retiring," Wagner claimed.

He then detailed three specific large-customer wins that HP has chalked up in its ongoing competition with IBM:

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