Posts

Inside Xerox bid for HP: What would a merger mean?

“The not-so-hidden gem in the HP Inc. portfolio is additive manufacturing, more commonly called 3D printing. HP Inc. has more than a decade of research in this field, growing out of the inkjet business. It has products and customers and regularly announces partnerships, small acquisitions and improvements in speed, size and materials. TBR believes 3D printing is a slow-moving, large-scale disruptor, starting with medical applications and retail customization and expanding into repair parts and low-volume manufacturing.” — WRAL TechWire

Inroads opened for HP’s PC rivals amid Xerox uncertainty

“However, a higher offer by Xerox would be difficult to achieve due to the increasing debt burden and the decline of its share price since making the move. Meanwhile, HP itself could pose a counteroffer that would see a merger that gives itself better terms. ‘Both companies are executing restructuring plans that involve headcount reduction to adapt to the globally shrinking market for printing, and therefore, print supplies, which has been a profitable part of both businesses,’ TBR noted.” — ARN

IBM reports spike in revenue thanks to boost from Red Hat

“Catie Merrill, research analyst at TBR Cloud and Software, said IBM is actively placing OpenShift at the core of its innovations. ‘This growth is reason to be optimistic about the IBM Red Hat relationship going forward and how the two plan to surmount the hybrid cloud opportunity from multiple angles,’ she told WRAL TechWire in an email.”

“Looking ahead, some analysts are predicting  the go-to market plan for integrated offerings will continue to gain traction, while the innovation engine shows no sign of slowing down with investments in augmenting solutions in areas like security, artificial intelligence, and Internet of Things. ‘These developments in combination with a strong suite of services offerings poises IBM to continue its growth trajectory in hybrid cloud and related services,’ Nicki Catchpole, senior analyst at TBR Cloud and Software.”

WRAL TechWire

HP Inc. reaffirms its rejection of Xerox offer

As of this writing, Xerox is attempting a hostile takeover of HP Inc., after HP Inc.’s board reiterated its rejection of Xerox’s offer on Jan. 9, 2020, and has obtained a commitment for the necessary $24 million loan to complete the deal should HP Inc. accept a Xerox offer.

HP Inc. continues to contend Xerox’s valuation of approximately $33 billion is too low, implying it would consider an offer with a higher valuation. HP Inc.’s stock market valuation is almost four times that of Xerox.

Acquisition remains a possibility

HP Inc.’s board has signaled its willingness to consider higher offers, as the driver of the offer, activist investor Carl Icahn, is a major stockholder in both companies and there is considerable overlap among leading institutional investors in both companies. Nevertheless, since the first offer was made, HP Inc.’s stock has increased in value and Xerox’s has decreased, making the proposed acquisition less attractive to shareholders. Xerox is limited in how much it can increase its offer, since higher offers would increase the debt carried by the new company.

Supporters of the acquisition recognize that Xerox’s and HP Inc.’s printing and printing-related services businesses are very complementary. Xerox is stronger in the enterprise, while HP Inc. is stronger with SMBs. HP Inc. relies on a strong channel, with emphasis on value-added services, and Xerox has a larger direct business, with channel partners relegated more to a reseller model. Xerox owns a more comprehensive services business, Xerox Business Services, that retains its locally and vertically oriented subsidiaries. HP Inc. is relatively stronger outside North America, especially with SMBs.

But it could go the other way

Because of its larger size and lower debt burden, HP Inc. is positioned to counteroffer Xerox with an offer to merge. The companies were in talks before Xerox’s original offer, and HP Inc.’s objection to the current offer is regarding valuation, so TBR believes HP Inc.’s board would consider a merger on better terms. Both companies are executing restructuring plans that involve headcount reduction to adapt to the globally shrinking market for printing, and therefore, print supplies, which has been a profitable part of both businesses. Both restructuring plans are also aggressive, Xerox’s more so than that of HP Inc. However, TBR believes Xerox’s proposed plan for the new company is too aggressive for HP Inc., suggesting an HP Inc. acquisition of Xerox, or a more equal merger, would not align with the plans of Icahn or the Xerox board.

3D printing: HP Inc.’s unhidden gem

The not-so-hidden gem in the HP Inc. portfolio is additive manufacturing, more commonly called 3D printing. HP Inc. has more than a decade of research in this field, growing out of the inkjet business. It has products and customers and regularly announces partnerships, small acquisitions and improvements in speed, size and materials. TBR believes 3D printing is a slow-moving, large-scale disruptor, starting with medical applications and retail customization and expanding into repair parts and low-volume manufacturing. Over time, 3D printing will drive top-line growth that the mature PC and printing businesses cannot. Xerox’s plan includes 3D printing, but it is one of many ostensibly adjacent businesses in which it has an interest. It is not clear that a Xerox-led merged company would continue to make the investments necessary to capitalize on this gem.

The PC impact

The big question for the PC industry is what a unified company would do with HP Inc.’s PC business. For HP Inc., PCs are a relatively low-margin business but generate a considerable amount of cash because of an advantageous cash conversion cycle. Spinning off or selling the PC business to reduce the new company’s debt burden is one possibility; however, Xerox has plans to leverage HP Inc. to make its services businesses more comprehensive, effectively combining managed print services with PCaaS.

There are no obvious acquirers for HP Inc.’s PC business. Acquisition by HP Inc.’s primary competitors, Dell Technologies and Lenovo, would probably be met with regulatory objections. Huawei is too restricted in the U.S. market, due to concerns over Huawei device security, to profit from such a deal. These facts suggest that an offer for HP Inc.’s PC business would be too low for the new entity’s needs.

Irrespective of the future of this deal, the uncertainty has opened up opportunities for HP Inc.’s primary PC competitors among customers and partners. While a merger would be more disruptive than the uncertainty, a spinoff or sale of HP Inc.’s PC business would be more disruptive than a merger. And TBR believes the uncertainty of this deal will continue to hinder HP Inc. as a whole until issues are resolved.

TBR Weekly Preview: March 18-22

In addition to this week’s vendor analysis, TBR Senior Analyst John Caucis will host a webinar Wednesday, March 20, sharing his insights on the state of the healthcare IT services market and the 2019 HIMSS mega-event. 

Furthermore, TBR analysts will be attending several events this week, so be on the lookout for special reports on Accenture, SAP and Oracle as early as next week.

Monday

  • Despite its top-tier innovation and optimistic messaging, Oracle struggles to find incremental growth outside its cloud ERP portfolio. While traction around autonomous database builds, these ERP inroads present an opportunity for Oracle to more effectively craft a story across its integrated cloud applications and platform capabilities. TBR’s initial findings can be accessed today, but read more on the subject in our 1Q19 Oracle Cloud full report publishing in April. (Meaghan McGrath leads TBR’s analysis of Oracle.)

Wednesday

  • HP Inc. delivered corporate growth of 1.3% year-to-year, a significant slowdown after five quarters of double-digit growth. During the company’s 4Q18 earnings call, executives discussed challenges within HP Inc.’s profitable print supplies business, but slowed growth in its commercial printing and overall PC businesses indicates the problem is broader. Slowing consolidation opportunities and rising opposition from its peers in the PC market will increasingly challenge HP Inc., whose PC business composes most of its top line. In addition, the CPU shortage has been more impactful to HP Inc.’s wider portfolio. Read our full report to find how HP Inc. will navigate these challenges throughout 2019, including growing its Device as a Service portfolio and supporting its sales channels to build a bulwark for upcoming PC share wars. (See Dan Callahan for more analysis.)

Thursday

  • According to TBR estimates, Dell Technologies achieved $23.8 billion in revenue, up 8.6% year-to-year in 4Q18. Gross profit increased 20.7% year-to-year, highlighting Dell Technologies’ successful improvement in overall profitability. In TBR’s 4Q18 full report on the company, we will dive into the performance of key business units. Within Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG), TBR believes aggressive market share expansion in both servers and storage will be a key focus for at least the first half of 2019, which will result in investments in direct sales, ISG’s channel partner program and portfolio enhancements. In Client Solutions Group, Dell Technologies will continue to benefit from shrinking memory prices as well as the CPU shortages, which will drive profitability up during 2019. From a corporate perspective, 2019 will see tightened integration between the vendor’s strategically aligned companies. (See Stephanie Long for more analysis.)
  • In this quarter’s analysis of Dell EMC Services, TBR will highlight how Dell Technologies integrating preconfigured services solutions around core infrastructure technology competencies enables Dell EMC Services to attach profitable and recurring services revenue streams. (Kevin Collupy leads TBR’s analysis of Dell EMC Services.)
  • In 4Q18 Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) reported corporate revenue of $7.6 billion, down 1.6% year-to-year. TBR estimates total cloud revenue reached $1.9 billion, up 3.1% year-to-year, as HPE continued to invest in its cloud portfolio and capitalize on customer demand for hybrid IT solutions. HPE’s leaner business and ongoing restructuring efforts through HPE Next allow HPE Cloud to focus on and invest further in its core areas of strength, namely hybrid infrastructure and edge computing for IoT and telecommunications use cases. (Cassandra Mooshian leads TBR’s coverage of HPE Cloud.)
  • VMware’s top-line growth continues to outpace that of its software peers in TBR’s Infrastructure Management Software Vendor Benchmark. In 4Q18 VMware experienced its strongest quarter since 3Q14, with revenue growth of 16.4% year-to-year to $2.6. Revenue growth was buoyed by strong adoption across VMware’s emerging product lines, with vSAN revenue growing 60% year-to-year and Hybrid Cloud and SaaS revenue growing 35% in the same time period. Further, the company is successfully packaging solutions around hybrid management to increase deal sizes and reported a company-record 23 deals in excess of $10 million during the quarter. (Cassandra Mooshian leads TBR’s coverage of VMware.)
  • Huawei is taking a prominent role in setting standards for 5G and launching solutions to help operators implement 5G services, which has led to key early commercial 5G-related contracts in EMEA and APAC. While security concerns around 5G will persist, Huawei will continue to grow revenue in 2019 largely due to its Consumer and Enterprise business units, which are taking share from incumbents.(Michael Soper leads TBR’s coverage of Huawei.)

Friday

  • According to TBR’s 1Q19 Telecom IoT Market Landscape, TBR estimates global communication service provider (CSP) IoT revenue rose 25.6% year-to-year to $22.3 billion in 2018. Despite sustaining strong revenue growth, TBR estimates global CSP IoT revenue accounted for only 1% of consolidated global CSP revenue in 2018, which is insufficient for most service providers to offset erosion within challenged segments such as legacy network services. To maximize IoT revenue opportunities long term, CSPs are focusing on attracting customers by implementing more cost-efficient network technologies such as NB-IoT and LTE-M, targeting high-value contracts in areas such as smart cities and healthcare, and by positioning to support next-generation IoT solutions integrating technologies such as 5G and edge computing. (Steve Vachon is TBR’s lead analyst covering the Telecom IoT space.)

1Q18 device revenue results were boosted by market shifts and increasing ASPs in PCs and smartphones compared to a weaker 1Q17

HAMPTON, N.H. (July 13, 2018) — Technology Business Research, Inc.’s (TBR) 1Q18 Devices and Platforms Benchmark finds that there is ongoing revenue opportunity in both the PC and smartphone markets. Total benchmarked revenue increased 15.9% year-to-year to $112 billion despite indications of saturation in the high end of the PC market.

Total PC benchmarked revenue increased 12% year-to-year to $32 billion. Total PC benchmarked gross profit increased 10.4% year-to-year to $5 billion despite increasing component costs. “Despite speculation that the PC market is dead, major device OEMs have been able to successfully navigate the shifting market and generate healthy profits,” said TBR Analyst Dan Callahan. “Renewed appetite for premium PCs in enterprise — and PC OEMs shifting their go-to-market strategies to respond — has been the primary driver.”

Total benchmarked smartphone revenue increased 11% year-to-year to $72 billion. Total smartphone benchmarked gross profit increased 14.8% year-to-year to $23 billion. Smartphone OEMs are combating worldwide saturation by increasing average selling prices (ASPs). Apple’s gamble with a $1,000 smartphone paid off, as customers responded with demand, and Android peers are following suit.

Device as Service (DaaS), an expansion of the former PC as a Service market, is transforming into an offering aimed at supplanting traditional PC financing. The benchmark explores how HP Inc. was the first of the big three PC OEMs to capitalize on the emerging opportunity and has been the first with concrete outbound messaging to partners and customers. This has afforded the company a lead, but it is not cemented. Dell Technologies and Lenovo will use the path HP Inc. paved to introduce DaaS to the market and quickly solidify their own unique solutions. Lenovo and HP Inc. see opportunity beyond the PC in PC as a Service, thus the introduction of DaaS.

The DaaS opportunity remains mostly untapped. Customers and partners are still trying to understand how this service differs from traditional financing and are still kicking the tires on the analytics often attached by OEMs as the main selling point of DaaS.

TBR’s Devices and Platforms Benchmark provides insight on interrelated ecosystems, including device vendors, platform providers, supplier relations, and technology partners across the consumer and commercial spaces. TBR’s vendor-centric analysis speaks to industry trends, while market sizing illustrates opportunity. Our Devices and Platforms research includes PC, tablet and smartphone vendors; platform providers; and technology partners.

For additional information about this research or to arrange a one-on-one analyst briefing, please contact Dan Demers at +1 603.929.1166 or [email protected].

 

 

ABOUT TBR

Technology Business Research, Inc. is a leading independent technology market research and consulting firm specializing in the business and financial analyses of hardware, software, professional services, and telecom vendors and operators. Serving a global clientele, TBR provides timely and actionable market research and business intelligence in a format that is uniquely tailored to clients’ needs. Our analysts are available to address client-specific issues further or information needs on an inquiry or proprietary consulting basis.

TBR has been empowering corporate decision makers since 1996. For more information please visit www.tbri.com.

Is the IT hardware market ready for Hardware as a Service?

Hardware as a Service — or maybe you call it PCaaS, DaaS or XaaS — is basically referring to bundling some type of hardware (e.g., phones, PCs, servers) with life cycle services and charging a recurring fee over a multiyear contract. The customer never really owns the hardware, and the vendor takes it back at the end of the agreement.

Sure, it’s not a new concept. But the solution hasn’t exactly taken off like a rocket ship, either. So, is it going to? Maybe. Its initial speed may be more like a Vespa than a SpaceX Falcon, but there are a few things working in its favor.

Why do buyers want it?

  • Retiring hardware is a huge pain. I have talked to IT leaders who have literally acquired warehouse space solely to store old hardware they have no idea what to do with.
  • Making it easier to stay up to date with tech. Management can no longer deny the negative impact on morale brought by an unattractive, slow and/or unreliable device.
  • Automation & Internet of Things (IoT) usher in new capabilities. Who doesn’t want to make managing hardware easier? Hardware as a Service is basically IoT for your IT department. Device management features like tracking device location and health are key functions of many IoT deployments and is a core selling point of Hardware as a Service offerings.

Why do vendors want to sell it?

  • Business models are changing. That darn cloud computing had to come along and change expense models, not to mention make it easier to switch between vendors. From Spotify and Netflix to Amazon Web Services and Salesforce, “as a Service” is second nature to IT buyers in both their personal and professional lives.
  • Creating stickiness. Hardware is more often perceived as “dumb” with the software providing the real value. If you’re a hardware maker (or a VAR), you need to make the buyer see your relationship as one that’s valuable and service-oriented versus transactional.
  • Vendors desire simplicity. Most vendors will tell you they have been building similar enterprise service agreements on a one-off basis for years. These new programs will hopefully create swim lanes to make it faster and easier for partners to build solutions.

Buyers are used to monthly SaaS pricing models, but that’s not really what creates the main appeal for Hardware as a Service. Buyers really want the value-added services and fewer managerial headaches.

So, how’s it going?

As someone who manages several research streams, I get to peek at results from a lot of different studies. Here are a few snippets of things I’ve heard and seen in the last month or so.

  • Personal devices: It certainly seems like there’s the most buzz around PCs, with Dell, HP Inc. and Lenovo all promoting DaaS offerings. I have also heard from enterprises doing initial DaaS pilots with as many as 5,000 PCs, but we seem to still be in very early stages of adoption. Both PC vendors and their channel partners are beginning to report “legit” pipeline opportunities tied to DaaS.
  • Servers: Either outright purchasing or leasing servers is still the overwhelming choice of purchase method for about 90% of IT buyers recently surveyed by TBR. Perceptions that an “as a Service” model will be more expensive in the long run is the main customer concern to date that vendors will need to address via emphasizing the value-added life cycle services.
  • Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI): A bundle of hardware and a services bundle? This is the bundle of bundles! Not too many HCI vendors are openly promoting an “as a Service” pricing model at this point, but 80% of current HCI buyers in TBR’s most recent Hyperconverged Platforms Customer Research indicated they are interested in a consumption-based purchasing model, particularly to enhance their scalability. About 84% of those surveyed are using HCI for a private or hybrid cloud buildout, so maybe a more cloud-like pricing model make sense. Make no mistake, interest is not synonymous with intent, but it’s safe to say these buyers are at least paying attention to their purchasing options.

My general verdict is that things are still moving at Vespa speed. PCs have a head start over data center hardware based on the concerted go-to-market efforts of the big three OEMs and a consumption model that more closely aligns with the consumer services we’re used to. The second half of this year will be an interesting proving ground to see if the reported pipeline growth is converted to actual customers. Depending on how that goes, maybe we’ll see the data center guys making more serious moves in this space.

What do you think? Add a comment or drop me an email at [email protected].