"Unlike many other vendors, IBM does not dictate margins and is flexible when it comes to pricing. They value the efforts of the partner and are open for discussions."
Rahul Meher, Founder, Leon Computers
The world-wide server market has always been an interesting space to watch out for. As the enterprise hardware budgets started shrinking gradually, the server market was predicted to spiral down over a period of time. This, coupled with the recent hard-drive shortage has clearly shaken this market up. However, the good news is that the market has been growing, contrary to the predictions by industry experts.
According to IDC, worldwide server revenue for the year 2011 increased 5.8 percent to $52.3 billion when compared to 2010, while worldwide unit shipments increased 4.2 percent to 8.3 million units. Just about back to the pre-recession days, the server market at present is evolving positively with new technology advancements, new product form factors, and above all, new players who are literally changing the market equations. IDC believes that server demand will begin to improve in the second half of 2012 “following a number of critical product refreshes occurring in the first half of the year.”
The India market figures, however, do not seem to be very bright. According to IDC, the overall server shipments in India declined in Q4 2011. The x86 shipments were the worst affected.
IBM has been a leader in this market, followed by HP and Dell, when it comes to market share. Interestingly, in the ChannelWorld MVP survey, IBM held on to the number 1 spot, while HP emerged number 2, in a neck and neck competition. In fact, all the top 5 vendors retained their respective positions in the server category in 2012.
Leon Computers, an SI that has been working closely with IBM for the last three years has closed many key deals with the vendor. Rahul Meher, Founder, says, “Unlike many other vendors, IBM does not dictate margins and is flexible when it comes to pricing. They value the efforts of the partner and are open for discussions. Besides, they don’t decide the level of support based on our level of partnership. IBM has worked very closely with us on many key accounts.”
IBM led the pack with its strong ratings in technology and marketing assistance.
Bangalore-based Navigator Systems has a decade-old partnership with IBM and is planning to take this relationship to the next level. “IBM has been exceptional in terms of support and marketing. This helped us migrate some of our customers from Sun to IBM platform, immediately after Sun got acquired by Oracle. There was a lean period during which Sun customers were looking for other options and IBM wisely capitalized on this opportunity,” says Suresh R, Director.
At the same time, HP’s forte turned out to be its customer support, in which the vendor was better-rated than IBM itself. Oracle could not improve its rating this time around too, and is still at number 4 spot, below Dell.