Dell attacks HP over 3Par but has either got strategy right?

Opinion

Dell attacks HP over 3Par but has either got strategy right?

Michael Dell, founder of the eponymously named firm, reckons HP paid too much for 3Par and he was right to bow out of the bidding war when it reached $2.35bn.

The Texan PC baron said in a report that Dell demonstrated "good discipline and didn't take an emotional decision", before it went on to splash $960m on Compellent Technologies.

Some partners are scratching their heads at the strategy of both Dell and HP; they argue there is not a million miles between the portfolios of Compellent or EqualLogic; and HP has yet to fill a gap in its enterprise storage range, with EVA judged to be two years out of date.

Are HP and Dell are buying market share rather than buying strategically?

HP argues that the 3Par acquisition propelled it back into the storage game, and plays to partners that are getting into the hosting arena as it provides the ability to have multiple customers on a shared platform.

Partners point out that NetApp already counts multi-tenancy in its armoury, but also provides de-duplication and SAN to SAN technologies, which HP does not.

Popular HP figure Kevin Matthews, UK and Ireland channel manager for enterprise servers, storage and networking, told Reseller Radar that with 3Par on board, it was back in the game.

"We've now got an architecture that was designed and delivered this century."

Resellers are going through training modules to get certified to sell 3Par and Matthews said it had learned from the mistakes made with Lefthand Networks, when it took longer to integrate the vendor into its partner programme.

"If you compare 3Par to Lefthand, we've moved quicker to integrate the products portfolio into the channel compensation scheme so partners can take advantage of the commercial rebates that we are offering," he said.

Sadly, Dell has yet to integrate Compellent into its Partner Direct programme; the deal was only sealed on 13 December.

In fact partners say that Dell hasn't even begun to announce plans in that direction.

So perhaps Michael had better get his own glass house in order before he starts throwing stones at HP's business nous. 

This was first published in January 2011

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