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ARC 2011: Volume Servers

HP dominated the Volume Server category of this year's ARC.

WINNER: HP

HP took home the 2011 Annual Report Card award in the Volume Servers category after sweeping the product innovation, support and partnership subcategories, as well as 17 of the 18 criteria in each of these subcategories for servers under $25,000.

The company beat out IBM and Dell, with its highest score coming in product quality and reliability and its biggest margin over the next-best company coming in managing channel conflict, neither of which surprises John Gromala, director of product marketing, infrastructure software and blades, for HP.

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"We work with partners to deliver solutions that customers want. We'll take engagement with channels and customers to find out what customers want and consistently drive not only our own development team but our partners as well," Gromala said. "It's that virtuous cycle of us engaging with the channel end customers to make a difference. It really shows in the market share we've got."

HP claims more than 50 percent share in the blade category and 38 percent in the broader x86 category that make up volume servers, Gromala said, adding that HP's relationships with other vendors to build a solutions-based approach to selling volume servers has also been a key to success.

"The ability for us to work with partners, with whom we have deep partnerships, has been [vital]. We've got every one of the major [vendors] out there: networking partners, software partners, storage partners. We're all focused on how we add value to solutions on Proliant [servers]," Gromala said.

David Dadian, CEO of powersolution.com, a Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J.-based solution provider, said other vendors knock on his door all day long, but he's sold almost nothing but HP servers for 16 years. The product quality and support are unmatched by other server vendors, he said.

"They just really make an outstanding product value-wise and reliability-wise," Dadian said. "And as far as channel conflict, we don't see any to be honest. If we need something, we pick up the phone and pretty much get it."

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