IT Stack wars continue, will HP survive?

By Clive Gold, CTO Marketing, EMC Australia and New Zealand.

You know something is happening when there are $10Billion+ acquisitions going on, and people asking if leading IT vendors will be purchased, like Forbes asking if Oracle will purchase HP? (here)  We certainly seem to be living in interesting times!

In the past whenever there has been a major shift in the IT industry there has been a corresponding reshuffle of the leading vendors.  (I joke sometimes that I should have kept a ‘logo’ museum of merchandise from brands that have disappeared.) I have two poignant memories that typify these changes; the day the Wang sign, which dominated the North Sydney skyline for so long, was replaced by the ‘SAP’ one that is there now!  The other was hearing the news that the second largest computer company DEC, who dominated ‘technical’  computing when I was at Uni, was being purchased by Compaq. The new consuming the old!

The issue I question is, have we learnt from history? I thought that we moved away from the monolithic, single vendor IT solution to gain portability, wider innovation, and lower costs! It just seems that as the new architectures are being defined these critical advances are being ignored by some of the vendors.

HP, IBM and Oracle appear to be trying to convince the world that a single company can innovate better than an industry.(Maybe Dell is in this pack as well).  I have two issues with this; firstly the run of acquisitions we see demonstrates that larger companies do not innovate as effectively as smaller ones. Secondly, as Gartner classified these vendors at last year’s Symposium, as the ‘Super Vendors’. Likening them to super-markets, where you purchase generic stuff all in one place. My flippant view is they are pursuing their old strategies; ‘you need services with that’ or ‘there has to be a licence in there’ or ‘do you want ink with that!’.

The trick here is how to create an ‘open’- simple portability, ‘integrated’-vendors carry the cost and risk, ‘best of breed’-leverage all the bright minds in the world – solution.  Here is where EMC believes that virtualisation enables this new  converged infrastructure model, (which I have beaten to death elsewhere in this blog.)

So will Oracle purchase HP? And maybe we should open a book on what other rumours will start about who is purchasing whom?


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