For the first time, IBM's hardware team has released customer names and revenue figures from its ongoing "Migration Factory" campaign to snatch systems customers from competitors, particularly HP and Oracle/Sun.
On top of its 4-year-long formal effort to woo customers from HP and Sun, IBM is currently looking to exploit the awkward dramas that have recently flared up with its two major hardware competitors as HP and Oracle have been embroiled in some vicious exchanges relating to former HP CEO Mark Hurd and new HP CEO Leo' Apotheker.
According to IBM, its efforts are bearing fruit: for the three months ended Oct. 31, IBM says "nearly 400 customers moved critical business workloads to IBM servers and storage systems from Oracle/Sun and HP in the third quarter, a record high since the company began tracking migrations more than four years ago."
IBM periodically sends out press releases touting the ongoing successes from such recruitment efforts, but those announcements do not offer enough detail to give a rich perspective on just how successful those raids have been.
In the past, HP and Oracle have dismissed these claims from IBM as nothing more than PR fluff or simply the cyclical ebb and flow of purchases made by customers who have always sourced systems from multiple vendors.
But the new revelations that IBM has shared exclusively with Global CIO give CIOs a chance to review some specifics to help them determine if these customer shifts are trivial and typical, or if they're tipping-point trends.
Here are a some of the key customer-side details from IBM about what's behind those migrations:
Revenue volume: IBM says that over the span of its four-year program, deal size has averaged almost $1,000,000 per switch. "IBM has tracked revenue numbers from the Power Systems migrations since 2006. During that time, nearly 3,000 customers have migrated to IBM Power Systems (the vast majority from Oracle/Sun and HP), resulting in more that $2.8 billion in revenue," the company said in an email exchange.
Customer names: "Customers that have migrated to IBM Power Systems from Oracle/Sun and HP include Apollo Pharmacy, Baylor College of Medicine, Dow Jones Indexes, India Cements, Kennametal, Inc., Menzies Distribution, Raiffeisen banka a.d. Beograd and Sun TV Network (SDTV)."
Targeted industries: IBM said key wins have come in financial services, communications, public sector, healthcare, and retail.
The impact of optimized systems: In its recent press release about its third-quarter wins, IBM for the first time cited customer preference for integrated and optimized systems as the basis for its ongoing competitive wins. This is in a way ironic, as IBM began to turn up the marketing volume significantly on its own workload-optimized efforts only after Oracle CEO Larry Ellison began touting the huge successes of Oracle's Exadata optimized systems about 12-15 months ago.
Here's how IBM framed it in its recent press release: "Customers are turning to IBM for risk-mitigation in moving off Sun and HP platforms and for IBM's long-term investments in integrated systems—industry-leading hardware, systems software and middleware. These systems are designed to handle emerging workloads such as business analytics. For example, businesses can use IBM technology to connect with millions of prospects and customers, and gain real insight about buyers of cars, insurance, retails and other products by mining global data about those buyers and analyzing that information to their benefit."
While HP and Oracle will no doubt wave off these latest details from IBM as insignificant trivia, and while IBM will continue to hammer away on its ongoing Migration Factory wins, one outcome from this latest bit of competitive cat-fighting can't be disputed: CIOs are eagerly opening up their wallets for the industry's new generation of deeply integrated and optimized systems.
The soaring success of these new systems and appliances have emerged as one of the very top tech stories of 2010, and next week we'll see if it makes it all the way to the #1 spot in our ongoing series of the Top 10 Stories for the past year.
Bob Evans is senior VP and director of
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