Today is the (a?) day of reckoning in the 3Par saga, with Dell widely expected to make a counter-offer higher than HP’s bid. But this mega deal, like the Data Domain war before it, sends a strong signal to the enterprise IT world: It’s open season on data storage companies! But the rising superpowers are also likely looking at networking as an area of expansion. The game is afoot!
After years spent focusing on personal technology, businesses are increasingly turning back to the enterprise. The corporate IT market is much more dynamic and competitive, with a few very large “superpower” companies discovering their power to drive purchasing decisions. If a supplier can create an integrated “stack” of hardware and software, they can push product purchases that might otherwise be overlooked or postponed. This is the main reason that enterprise IT acquisitions work so well: Where a small company must fight to sell their product, a large one can hitch it to a much more strategic sale and have it pulled along.
The 3Par acquisition is a slam dunk at under $2 billion. The company has great enterprise-grade SAN technology and a proven ability to sell into high-end accounts but lacked the revenue to go it alone. A major enterprise IT vendor like HP or Dell (not to mention Oracle, IBM, or even NetApp) will kick sales into high gear. But there’s an amazing short-term win to be had for whoever acquires 3Par!
I got something to say to Mark Hurd over at HP about Dave Donatelli and all that.