Lenovo DCG and the Benefits of “Failing Fast”

IT industry vendors evolve in different ways and for different reasons but corporate acquisitions can affect that process substantially in both expected and unexpected ways. For example, purchasing new products and/or intellectual property can enable the acquirer to enter unfamiliar markets far quicker than if organic development were pursued. Such deals can also substantially bolster the buyer’s reputation, especially if it purchases a solid brand and carefully manages product quality and customer relationships. But virtually every deal encounters at least some turbulence related to customer- and technology-integration issues. How and how well a vendor negotiates those challenges should be points of interest for IT customers and partners alike. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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HPE: “Nowhere Left To Hide”
Jun08

HPE: “Nowhere Left To Hide”

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is in Sin City this week, holding its annual customer and partner event (HPE Discover 2017), accompanied with the usual flurry of product announcements and preceded by another troubling financial report. HPE’s Meg Whitman, President and Chief Executive Officer, believes the company is heading for an upswing, “accelerating out of the turnaround”, according to a recent interview. “I can feel it,” she said. “It is just smarter, easier, simpler. You cannot underestimate the accountability. There is nowhere left to hide at this company. I see a perfect place. There is nowhere left for partners to hide. There is no place for HPE employees to hide. It just makes things far easier and, frankly, more fun because you can get stuff done faster.” Faster, maybe, but better? HPE’s commodity hardware businesses and primary revenue generators — servers, storage, and to a lesser extent, networking — all took hits in the most recent quarter, with the to-be-expected impacts on revenues and margins. Second quarter FY17, announced on May 31, included a 13% year-over-year drop in GAAP net revenue ($7.4 billion vs $8.5 billion), and a more than 50% drop in GAAP operating margin (2.4% vs 2016’s 5.3%). While Whitman is predicting a speedy upturn, the current performance is not reassuring: -Enterprise Group revenue was $6.2 billion, down 13% year over year, down 7% when adjusted for divestitures and currency, with an 8.8% operating margin; -servers revenue was down 14%; -storage revenue was down 13%; and, -networking revenue was down 30%. Overall IT spending is expected to inch up 1.4% this year, to $3.5 trillion, with the datacenter segment pegged at a very anemic 0.3% growth. “We are seeing a shift in who is buying servers and who they are buying them from” said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. “Enterprises are moving away from buying servers from the traditional vendors and instead renting server power in the cloud from companies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft. This has created a reduction in spending on servers which is impacting the overall data center system segment.” Vendor revenue for the global server market declined 4.6% to $11.8 billion in 1Q17, but HPE took a much bigger hit, with a 15.8% YoY decline in sales. Second-place Dell — 20.1% vs HPE’s 24.2% market share — grew its revenues 4.7%, while Cisco, IBM, and Lenovo were statistically tied for third place, and all saw revenue declines (3%, 34.7% and 16.5%, respectively). Storage was worse. 4Q16 enterprise factory revenue was down 6.7% YoY, to $11.1 billion, with Dell holding down top spot, courtesy of its EMC acquisition, and with HPE tied with...

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Dell EMC: Convergence Is Reshaping The Datacenter
Jan26

Dell EMC: Convergence Is Reshaping The Datacenter

Trey Layton says the future of the datacenter is all about convergence and while he congratulated HPE for last week’s SimpliVity acquisition, he didn’t appear too optimistic about its prospects for success in the still small but rapidly expanding hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) subsegment. “As related to Simplivity, we rarely see them in a deal… we don’t see them when it comes down to evaluation and comparison”, said the CTO of Dell EMC’s Converged Platforms & Solutions Division (CPSD), the group currently sitting atop the integrated infrastructure market, which includes HCI. As the world rushes to all-digital, all-the-time, somewhere there is a datacenter powering all that software making DX possible. While numbers of the overall market are sketchy, a slew of recent surveys reinforce the growing need for datacenters of all sizes: -the global datacenter market will grow at a CAGR of 10.72% during the period 2016-2020; -the modular and containerized datacenter market will grow at a 12% CAGR between 2017-2021; -the mini datacenter — a self-contained system designed to be from a single rack (micro datacenter) to up to 40 rack enclosure (containerized and aisle containment solution) — market will grow at a CAGR of 17.17% during the period 2017-2021; and, -the hyperscale datacenter market — also called cloud 2.0 — will explode 4100% between 2016-2023, from $869.7 million in 2016 to $359.7 billion in 2023. Increasingly, these datacenters are turning to integrated, or converged solutions that IDC breaks down into four segments: -integrated infrastructure and certified reference systems are pre-integrated, vendor-certified systems containing server hardware, disk storage systems, networking equipment, and basic element/systems management software; -integrated platforms are integrated systems that are sold with additional pre-integrated packaged software and customized system engineering optimized to enable such functions as application development software, databases, testing, and integration tools; and, -hyperconverged (AKA hyperconverged infrastructure or HCI) systems collapse core storage and compute functionality into a single, highly virtualized solution; a key differentiator of hyperconverged systems is their ability to provide all compute and storage functions through the same server-based resources. Not liking to play well with others, Gartner prefers to label HCI as hyperconverged integrated systems (HCIS). However, whether HCI or HCIS, this segment is still relatively small: hyperconverged sales grew 104.3% year over year during Q3, generating $570.5 million worth of sales, or 22% of the total converged market, according to IDC. It will account for just 24% of the integrated systems market by 2019, but it will reach ‘mainstream use’ and is expected to be worth close to $5 billion, stated Gartner. According to the latest available numbers (Q3), the combined integrated infrastructure and certified reference systems market accounted...

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Lenovo at SC 16 – A Commitment to HPC Innovation

How companies evolve after major acquisitions is usually interesting and seldom predictable, as numerous examples can show. That’s especially true in the rare cases where one company acquires multiple properties from another, as Lenovo has from IBM. In 2005, Lenovo purchased IBM’s PC division and assets, then repeated the process in 2014 with IBM’s System x server organization and Intel-based products. In the former case, some competitors suggested that Lenovo (then known mainly for its sales in China and other Asia markets) would be a poor steward for IBM’s Thinkpad and its solid business-class reputation. The company quickly proved those critics wrong, and steadily expanded its PC and notebook portfolios and market position. Then in Q3 2012, Lenovo achieved what many considered unthinkable and surpassed HP to become the world’s largest maker of PCs by volume, a position it continues to enjoy. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Lenovo and Nimble Storage Join Forces

Today, Lenovo and Nimble Storage announced a joint partnership, furthering the capabilities and the reach of both companies. The near–term product offering that results from the partnership will be Lenovo’s ThinkAgile CX converged system available on October 28th, with Nimble providing the storage element. From a business perspective, the deal makes so much sense for both companies; the real question may be what took them so long. First, let’s start with the obvious benefits. Lenovo gets access to Nimble’s Predictive Flash technology for its converged offering, rounding out its storage portfolio and adding a larger scale converged offering to pair with its existing hyperconverged solutions from the partnership with Nutanix. Nimble Storage gains access to Lenovo’s substantial enterprise sales channel. While the immediate impact will likely be a boost in revenue for both companies, this partnership looks like it goes beyond the simple reselling of technology. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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