Yankee Cases the Platform Vendors in the SMB Space
August 14, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The analysts at Yankee Group have just issued a report with the unwieldy name of Is IT Computing for the SMB and Mid-Market a Strategic Priority for Dell, IBM, HP and Sun?. And in that report, Yankee tries to assess who the winners and losers are among the vendors who chase the SMB space in the United States.
Every year, Yankee does a giant study of IT buying patterns among SMB shops concerning their opinions of and purchases of laptop, desktop, and server computers. This recent SMB report is actually based on data extracted from SMB customers in 2005. According to that report, IBM is focused on this segment of the market and the revenue leader (which seems odd, considering that it has sold off its PC business to Lenovo Group), and has attained this position thanks to the Express bundles it offers for its server System x, System i, and System p products. Dell is the volume leader in the SMB space, according to the Yankee report, and has the volume trifecta leadership in servers, desktops, and laptops in the United States. Hewlett-Packard has, according to Yankee, slipped in the SMB segment in the States, but has “a unique opportunity” to capture a big piece of the SMB market at companies with two to 50 employees. (Exactly why is unclear.) Sun Microsystems is not a player in the SMB market, but the advent of its “Galaxy” Opteron servers gives it a chance to start building an SMB customer base and reseller channel.
“Increased focus on SMB and mid-market specific business solutions is just one proof point that IT computing for this segment is a strategic priority for the top computing vendors IBM, Dell, HP and Sun,” said Sanjeev Aggarwal, senior analyst of Yankee’s small and medium business strategies practice, in releasing the report. “For vendors to increase their market share with SMBs and mid-market companies, a focus on innovative changes in products and channel programs will be instrumental.”