HP Slates IBM’s Mainframes Bias
IBM depends on mainframe revenues, so don’t go there to streamline your IT, says HP’s Paul Evans
Users need to streamline their IT, but is every company really going to help in doing that? During a presentation on application transformation, Hewlett-Packard was scathing about IBM’s likely bias.
“Your drug dealer won’t get you off heroin”
“In our view IBM is totally and utterly biased,” said Paul Evans, who markets enterprise transformation at HP, speaking at a briefing in which the company claimed to be the best company to get users out of “information gridlock” by switching off old applications. For many companies old IT is a “ball and chain”, with up to 80 percent of the budget continuing to support obsolete applications running on mainframes, said Evans and his colleagues.
We spoke to Evans about the details. Why is it so difficult to shut down old applications, and why does HP think it is better at it?
Along with new servers and finance options, the company offers free transformation workshops where a company can work out how to simplify its IT. IBM is the only other vendor which supplies the full range of technology and services required for the job, and is selling efficiency and agility. But Evans said HP’s approach will be more open.
HP will support any middleware or database software the user wants to go with, said Evans, contrasting this with its rival: “IBM gets 75 percent of its gross margins from mainframe software. It is not going to give you a truthful answer. It can’t.”
“No IBM salesman is going to get a pat on the back for taking out mainframes,” said Evans. Instead they will preserve the 1980s and 1990s technology the user wants to get rid of. “How can you ask someone who got you into this problem to get you out? IBM has no incentive to help you – what you need is someone that is not wedded to an architectural paradigm.”
“It’s a bit like going to a doctor who has been giving you heroin for the last year and saying ‘I need some drug therapy’,” said Evans. “The doctor says ‘Do you really? Because I love selling you heroin. It’s great.’ ”
So what’s in it for HP?
Of course, HP does sell its own kit, but Evans promises the “transformation workshops” are not a death-by-Powerpoint sales experience. With the gridlock promotion, it’s offering a limited number of workshops free (apply here and cross your fingers) but normally the events, which have been going for a couple of years, cost £15,000 to £25,000.
The customer sends their own experts, and HP matches them with suitably experienced staff, to deal with suitably meaty problems. “We have professional moderators who are prepared to drill in. If you want to know how to upgrade from SAP 4 to SAP 6, that’s not a workshop subject. If your CEO has given a mandate to reduce IT spend from four percent to two percent of turnover, that is a subject we can get involved with.”
Normally the workship clients are in HP’s “top 2000″ accounts, but smaller IT-intensive companies with serious issues could also be considered for a free go. “If they have a day’s worth of heavy work to sort out their IT, we won’t dismiss them,” said Evans.
However, HP does hope to get business from these events. HP can and does offer servers, and even offers to host mainframe apps if that helps users bin old hardware. It also offers cashback on old hardware. “We don’t do this as a charity,” said Evans.