Travel industry giant Sabre Holdings recently made the decision to implement Converged Infrastructure in their environment and chose HP as their partner. Sabre had strong relationships with EMC and Cisco, both of them with large install bases at Sabre. Why wasn’t one of them chosen to be the Converged Infrastructure partner? I doubt I’ll ever know for sure what all their reasons were, but I can suggest three.
First and foremost, neither EMC nor Cisco has their own Converged Infrastructure solution. Obviously both are very strong in their technologies, but neither one of them has a product set complete enough to build a Converged Infrastructure solution. EMC is a leader in storage technologies, but nothing in servers or network. Cisco is clearly recognized as the current leader in network infrastructure – but servers and storage? (See my recent Blog http://www.enterprisecioforum.com/en/blogs/markjgrindle/who-network-infrastructure-king on their network leadership, however.) The problem is that neither one of them has a product set complete enough to provide Converged Infrastructure.
Now, of course, some of you are saying “Wait a second! What about VCS?” What I said was that neither one has a complete enough product set to offer a Converged Infrastructure solution. That is true; what they’ve done is partner with each other as well as VMware and Intel to offer a solution.
And this brings me to my second reason Sabre may not have chosen them – the challenges of “Vendorgration”. I wrote about Vendorgration back in January (Blog Post: http://h30507.www3.hp.com/t5/Transforming-IT-Blog/The-Vendorgration-Path-Doesn-t-Lead-to-Converged-Infrastructure/ba-p/105117) and I do think it’s a very valid concern. Time has shown us that best-of-breed, point solutions can be integrated and do work, but they do take more effort. They also can be problematic as one vendor upgrades their solution and the others don’t keep up. (This, of course, is presuming that EMC, VMware, Intel, and Cisco are the best-of-breed solutions. They are strong in their arenas, but “best in class” can be debated.)
A third reason could be lack of history and vision. Both are new to Converged Infrastructure and their product is evolving. Partnering complicates and clouds the vision. It also creates uncertainty. Any one of them could decide that the partnership isn’t working, or that they could do better with other partners.
So why was HP selected? I’d like to believe it’s because we offer a truly integrated solution, one that is based completely on HP Technology (Hardware and Software) and only HP Technology – a solution that is based on HP’s Converged Infrastructure strategy and vision that we have been building for years and are committed to enhancing, improving, and growing in the future. Oh, and I’m sure we were cost competitive, but isn’t cost secondary when you’ve selected the best solution? J
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