Whitman: HP Set To Pounce On IBM-Lenovo Instability


Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman Thursday said the computer giant is set to pounce on a bid to grab server share from IBM Lenovo in the wake of the instability caused by IBM's $2.3 billion sale of its x86 server business to Chinese computer giant Lenovo.

"The good news is that this does create an opportunity for us," said Whitman in a conference call with Wall Street analysts after HP posted better-than-expected results for its first fiscal quarter ended Jan. 31. "What I have learned about this business is instability and questions about the future make it very difficult [for customers]. People want to bet on a road map, and they are worried that as a change of ownership occurs, is the road map the same? Are the investments the same? Is the go-to-market going to be the same? Is the service going to be the same? I think we have a near-term opportunity to gain share in our server business. We are all over it!  We are all over it with our channel partners, and I think there is a good near-term opportunity."

[Related: What Could The IBM-Lenovo Deal Mean For The Server, Storage Industries?]

HP, in fact, is readying  a channel offensive aimed at grabbing IBM x86 server share, said Jim Ganthier, vice president of global marketing for HP Servers. "A lot of people [inside HP] are seeing this as a huge opportunity for the channel," he said in an interview with CRN. "We'll be making our public moves very shortly." The IBM x86 server sale has put IBM's "entire [server] line into question," said Ganthier. "That creates huge uncertainty for channel partners. For channel partners looking for a rock-solid island, someone that cannot only show commitment today but in the future, the answer is HP."

The HP offensive comes as HP picks up momentum in the server market with HP industry-standard sever sales up 6 percent in its first fiscal quarter ended Jan.31.

HP's worldwide x86 server shipments grew 9 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with a huge 20.3 percent drop in shipments for IBM and a 5.4 percent drop in shipments for Dell, according to the IDC estimates, which were viewed by CRN.

Overall, HP captured the top spot in the worldwide x86 server unit market share, with 29.9 percent share in the fourth quarter compared with 21.1 percent market share for Dell, 8.8 percent market share for IBM, and 3 percent market share for Cisco, according to the preliminary IDC data.

NEXT: HP Partner Nth Generation On Taking Share From IBM