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Dell Enterprise Solutions President Marius Haas Tuesday told CRN that the company is seeing market momentum in server sales versus rival HP even as Dell moves to close its $24.4 billion leveraged buyout.
"From a data perspective based on what we are seeing and based on the information from the market that we are getting, we are highly confident that we are in a 'take share' position both from the data being shown as well as from the customers that are asking us to partner with them more aggressively," said Haas.
Dell executives pointed to preliminary worldwide first quarter data from market researcher Gartner that shows Dell's unit server shipment share up 2.6 percent in the first calendar quarter, ended March 31, compared to the year ago quarter. HP's share during the same period was down 15.2 percent compared to the year ago quarter, according to the preliminary Gartner data.
The first-quarter server data is critical because it is one of the first third-party data points that measures Dell's performance since the company announced the blockbuster buyout on February 5.
HP retained the No. 1 spot with 25.0 percent of the server market in the first quarter of 2013, down from 29.2 percent in the first quarter the prior year, according to Gartner.
Dell maintained the No. 2 spot with 22.2 percent of the market in the first quarter of 2013, up slightly from 21.5 percent in the year ago quarter, Gartner said. Gartner, which noted that the first-quarter server shipment numbers are preliminary and could change, plans to release the final first-quarter shipment figures at the end of May.
Both Dell and HP are undergoing major transformations in their businesses. Each perceives those shifts in the other as a weakness that opens the door to gain share, leading to more intense competition in the sales trenches.
The two vendors are competing fiercely for share of a shrinking market. Overall server shipments fell 0.8 percent in the first quarter, compared to the previous year, Gartner said.
Jim Ganthier, vice president of global marketing in HP's server organization, said HP considers the IDC server shipment data, which CRN was unable to obtain, as the "industry standard" market share measure. What's more, he pointed out that HP has led the server market for 17 years in a row.
"Frankly one quarter does not a trend make," asserted Ganthier. "Seventeen years is a trend."
That said, Ganthier said he believes the Gartner numbers will change. "We are still having conversations with them," he said. "I am just not ready to tell you how much or what the final numbers will be."
"For the last 67 some odd quarters we have led this market, for as long as this market has been in existence or as long as IDC has been measuring," said Ganthier. "And the reason why we have been able to do that is because we have been coming up with truly differentiated products." As an example, Ganthier pointed to HP's new Moonshot server, which he boasted is winning raves from CIOs because of its ability to deliver more server muscle with an 89 percent smaller footprint, 89 percent less energy and 90 percent less density.