Is HP storage turning the corner?

by Robin Harris on Monday, 9 June, 2014

StorageMojo’s busy analyst team is getting a break from the smoldering fire and smoke of northern Arizona: several days in Las Vegas at HP Discover. For a few days everyone had a 3 pack a day habit.

HP storage
HP’s storage group hasn’t had an easy time of it the last couple of years. The current industry slowdown plus their transition to 3PAR hit them hard.

This bar chart of sales in millions shows it:
hp_sales

But this is the key metric: year-over-year percent change.

hp_yoy_change

It looks like they’ve hit bottom and are starting to turn the corner. The April quarter results will tell us if sales growth is a trend or not.

The StorageMojo take
Most of the analyst results focus on market share, which is important. But YOY growth is an earlier indicator because if a vendor’s sales aren’t growing their market share probably isn’t either.

HP was particularly vulnerable because their pre-3PAR storage was a jumble: some OEM; some HP; a layer of software to integrate it. Once they told customers that 3PAR was the future, they were bound to take a hit.

The good news is that in 3PAR they have an integrated product line that scales from SME to F25 markets on one platform. No one else does.

HP’s challenge is rarely technology. It’s getting the sales force aligned and incented to move the product.

Given the struggles the rest of the storage industry is going through – NetApp stagnant, EMC VMAX/VNX sales declining, IBM flailing – this may be HP’s year. If your enterprise wants to invest in a modern architecture with global support, HP should be on your shopping list.

Courteous comments welcome, of course. I worked at HP Storage predecessor DEC 20 years ago and they are putting StorageMojo up this week in LV, but the opinions about the facts are my own.

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