Report: Dell losing ground on storage systems [Austin American-Statesman]
(Austin American-Statesman (TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 10--Dell Inc. appeared to be losing ground in the hypercompetitive storage systems market late last year, according to new data from International Data Corp.
Round Rock-based Dell did not place among the top five makers of external disk storage systems in the fourth quarter, according to IDC, while Dell's figures for overall disk storage shipments, including those built into its server systems, was $983 million, down 1.1 percent from a year ago.
The top players in total storage in the quarter were EMC Corp., with $2.07 billion, up 7.5 percent; IBM Corp., $1.4 billion, down 0.4 percent; and Hewlett-Packard Co., $1.38 billion, down 8.8 percent. Dell was fourth worldwide, followed by fast-growing NetApp, which had factory revenue of $780 million, up 6.3 percent, IDC said.
The data could shed some light on why Darren Thomas, the head of Dell's storage business, resigned in December.
Dell seems to be doing better in server shipments, where it ranked third in the fourth quarter with $2.22 billion in factory revenue, up 5.7 percent from the year before. Dell's server growth was higher than any one of its major rivals.
Both servers and storage are among the key segments Dell is counting on as part of its business transformation strategy as the company attempts to shift away from reliance on personal computer sales. The other key segments in that strategy include networking equipment, services, software and security.
Dell's slide in storage "is problematic," said analyst Roger Kay with Endpoint Technologies Associates. "Dell has already staked part of its reputation on specialization in storage,. It has put down a commitment there and, if something is not going well, then something is wrong."
Dell over the past five years has made two big acquisitions in storage, buying EqualLogic Inc. for $1.4 billion in 2008 and paying $960 million for Compellent Technologies in 2011. It's also made several smaller storage-related acquisitions.
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