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9/26/2011
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IBM Tops Oracle, HP In Data Center Win

Indian engineering giant Escorts Group opts for Power systems over PA-RISC, Exadata, as part of a technology refresh.

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IBM will deliver Power 750 Express and Power 740 Express systems to the Escorts Group, which is based in India and manufactures railway, automotive, construction, and other lines of heavy equipment. Escorts chose the IBM Power technology over HP's Itanium-based PA-RISC systems and Oracle's Exadata Database Machine, which is based on technology Oracle inherited through its $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems last year.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

HP is struggling with uncertainty in the corner office. The company on Thursday ousted CEO Leo Apotheker after less than a year on the job and replaced him with former Ebay chief Meg Whitman. There's also doubts about HP's long-term commitment to the Itanium platform. The deal isn't a total loss for Oracle, however. Escorts will use the new infrastructure to expand its deployment of Oracle ERP software.

[ IBM has won other deals in India recently. Read IBM Wins 'Strategic' PepsiCo India Deal ]

IT officials at Escorts said the installations are part of a larger, strategic technology refresh that will gird future expansion.

"Escorts Group has embarked on a journey of IT transformation to achieve operational and manufacturing excellence," said Escorts CIO Vipin Kumar, in a statement. "To achieve this we are not only going beyond prevailing norms, we are in fact setting our own standards and relentlessly pursuing them to achieve our desired benchmarks of excellence."

Escorts is expanding amid strong demand for its machinery. Sales were up 32.5% year over year in the most recent quarter, while net profits jumped 77%. It's the kind of growth that IBM is counting on to justify its heavy investment in India. Big Blue is no longer looking at the subcontinent simply as a source of low-cost labor, but also as a huge market for IT products and services in its own right.

"IBM has extensive global experience in helping clients implement solutions that save money, create operational efficiencies, and improve competitiveness," said Viswanath Ramaswamy, IBM's Power Systems manager for India. "The solution we designed for Escorts provides a strong platform for further development and growth."

IBM's revenue from growth markets, including India, Brazil, Russia, and China, jumped 23% in the most recent quarter.

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