March was HP-palooza month with Hewlett-Packard items dominating the most-read Channel Marker blog posts. Some of the activity was intentionally sought by Hewlett-Packard, which, after all, hosted its big Americas Partner Conference that month. But much of it was notoriety that was most definitely not courted by the IT giant.
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For example, the Channel Marker blog item that broke the news that former HP channel chief Adrian Jones was aboard at Oracle was the single-most popular Channel Marker post for March. By far. In fact, Channel Marker broke the news that Jones had turned up—as many expected—at Oracle, which has fast become HP’s nemesis.
Read on for the five hottest posts for March 2011.
1: Adrian Jones surfaces at Oracle
It wasn’t public, yet but on March 16, Channel Marker reported that former HP channel star Adrian Jones, joined Oracle as senior vice president of Asia and Japan.
Jones had quietly left HP a month before with no word as to where he was headed. But, since he had been a “Mark Hurd guy” at HP, many in the HP channel said it was likely he would end up joining Hurd at Oracle. And that’s exactly what happened.
(Flash forward a month and HP was suing Jones for trade secret theft.)
2: HP to host app store for enterprises and consumers
The news out of the “HP Summit” was that Hewlett-Packard would get into the app store business for consumer and enterprise customers alike. Details were slight, but CEO Leo Apotheker said the company would build and launch its own “open platform” that would be trusted by both consumers and the enterprise.” It would, he promised, support multiple languages and be open to all sorts of third parties and would build on both HP’s own software and services and rely on “trusted” partners. The whole notion puzzled HP watchers who said this plan appeared to put HP at odds with Microsoft, which is pushing its own cloud infrastructure for selling and deploying applications.
3: HP partner wish list
Going into the HP Americas Partner Conference, it seemed like a good idea to poll attendees as to what they wanted/needed to hear from Hewlett-Packard. The resulting HP partner wish list was topped by a desire for clarity around HP’s vague cloud plan and the partners’ role in it. HP VARs also wanted to be sold on WebOS, which many saw as seriously behind competitive tablet and phone operating systems. Oh, and they wanted an end to all the trash talk between HP and Oracle and a definitive end to channel contention in the field.
4: Oracle software biz soars
Oracle software sales remained robust in its third quarter as the company flaunted a 29% rise in sales of new software licenses compared to the year-ago period. Folks need their databases and applications, after all.
Oracle hardware sales, on the other hand, were murky. The company claimed $1 billion in hardware sales for the quarter, but there is no year-ago comparison since Oracle completed its Sun buyout in the midst of its third quarter last year.
As one wag put it: “You rent the hardware, you marry the database.” While Oracle execs touted rosy sales numbers for Exadata, no hard numbers were provided, and anecdotal reports, backed up by research from IDC and Gartner for the last quarter of 2010 showed Oracle losing share in a growing server market. Ruh roh.
5: HP services takes it on the chin
Hewlett-Packard execs must have reached for the Maalox when they read this headline in The Wall Street Journal: “IBM shows HP how to serve clients.”
Despite all the company’s self-proclaimed leadership in IT, HP services fared badly in the fourth quarter, according to the paper. Revenue for HP services, which includes what’s left of the venerable Electronic Data Systems franchise, actually fell 2% for that quarter compared to the year-ago period.
Making matters more painful was the fact that both IBM and Accenture reported 12% gains in their respective services business for the same period.
Check out the Top Channel Marker blogs for February 2011.