Leading from the front

Christine Reischl, senior VP and GM of Industry Standard Servers at HP, discusses how the company plans to keep the lead in the server market

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Leading from the front REISCHL: We’re having significant market share gains on a worldwide basis, extending our lead as number one.
By  ACN Staff Writer Published  September 27, 2009 Arabian Computer News Logo

ACN talks to Christine Reischl, senior VP and GM of Industry Standard Servers at HP, to find out how other vendors are being kept in its jet-wash.

Are you planning for growth in the Middle East?

What I can give you is some sort of overview right now of how things are worldwide. On the one side we clearly saw – I would say the bottom out – in calendar quarter one and into quarter two, and then from there on we are actually seeing momentum. I’m commenting specifically around our business which is the x86 business. Part of the momentum is the amount of products we launched and the innovation we bring to the customers, which exactly hit the sweet spot of what they need right now which is really helping them to actually survive and thrive in that type of market.

I’m starting to look at sequential growth and no longer looking at year-to-year, because it’s not going to respond and so you sort of go through with it for one year. Sequentially, in the US we’ve seen momentum, actually we [have] started building it in some areas, in some countries across the globe.

When talking about sequential growth, are you targeting new business going into the next quarter or are you looking to strengthen your existing relationships?

Let me put it this way, one is market share gains, for the third quarter we’re having significant market share gains on a worldwide basis, extending our lead, which is the number one position, and putting even further distance between us and our competitors.

Fujitsu recently made big claims about how they are going to achieve 10% worldwide server market share by 2012. Do you feel there is a direct challenge to your position in the market at the moment?

ISS as we call our business in HP, which is the x86 business of the company, has been the market leader for over 20 years. The company created the market by first introducing towers, which we sold one at a time, then ten years later the racks, which we sell a few at a time, then we have the blades which we sell more at a time. Now we even have a purpose-built architecture to scale out to our customers where huge quantities of nodes are sold for the tower and have innovated that. Nobody in the industry has that [level] of product control to address individual business and customer case needs as we do here at HP.

With the Compaq-HP merge being a very big success story for HP, does it worry you then that the Oracle-Sun merger could basically be doing what you did with Compaq many years ago? Is that a threat to your position?

If you look at Sun, and clearly it [has] its own analytics, and the mergers and acquisitions group is always going to be scenario planning across Silicon Valley and across the globe, you need to think about Sun’s strategy – what are they trying to build going forward. What do they value from the portfolio Sun brings? I have my own ideas [about] what you could utilise. The hardware footprint is clearly very small, specifically in the x86 space, you think about how small it is. Solaris is enabled in ProLiant and even supported by our services group and we are the biggest footprint in the industry driving Solaris.

From that respect, and I can’t talk more, but it gives you a couple of our processes, but that’s specifically looking into that portfolio of Sun, if you were Oracle, what would you pick, what would you drive out for future revision?

With Solaris, have you had discussions with Sun since the merger announcement in terms of supporting Solaris on HP systems going forward into the future?

Actually, lots of discussions. The reason is because my research and development team and my marketing team worked closely with Oracle on Exadata, which is an extremely fast and innovative machine. I’m watching closely to see how it’s managed, and how our joint partnership is going [forward] and I am confident with that sort of environment.

Are you finding there is as much focus on the green credentials of servers as there was 12 months ago, or is it more on the total cost of ownership now?

The green is always an aspect, but green now becomes a business case, because the energy cost and green goes together. The greener you are, the more cost efficient you are, so I think that the business case in itself is one aspect, but clearly the other way is how we drive our customers and [handle our] management.

It’s not only the aspect of the energy required for that, because it’s things like the operational running costs, which we have tremendous savings on with the HP Matrix system which was only just recently launched, with time-to-market being one of the top cost savings aspects.

That aspect of [the current conditions in] this economy, you want to be ready for when the momentum starts blowing and of course you want your customers to be enabled with a fast time-to-market with that.

More for the Middle East

Is the local branch of HP planning for growth in the Middle East in terms of your x86 business? Fawwaz Qadan: Yes, if you look at published reports we’ve been sequentially growing share and there’s big momentum, we’re actually having resources, we’re seeing key adjustment areas that we have to make in how we engage with customers. Working with customers when the market is growing is different to when we meet with customers when the market is declining. We need to get closer and closer and I think we’ve made some very good progress in terms of getting closer to customers and understanding the real issues and how our technology can fix these issues. In terms of things that are tangible, that they can fit in their business I can give you an example, we visited one of our key customers, where we were able to save them US$2 million worth of real money. This was from direct cost, not indirect as indirect was significantly more, $2 million through the deployment of technology and an integrated solution. These are the kind of adjustments we are making and we are making good progress, not only in terms of offering the technology but getting closer to customers, which is the reason that we’re here.
Fawwaz Qadan is the director of enterprise storage and servers at HP Middle East.

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