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Channel survey predicts fall in European server growth

Last month's Global Touch Channel Tracker survey for the first quarter in Europe made for interesting reading, with the server space, both Unix and PC, also yielding up some noteworthy results.

The first piece of news - and one highlighted in the summary to the report - concerned Unix server sales. It found that compared to expectations for the first quarter, sales had disappointed.
As many as 42 per cent of those surveyed revealed that sales had been below expectations, significantly higher than the 19 per cent who had reported sales below expectations in the fourth quarter of 2000. In the fourth quarter, just under 30 per cent had reported sales ahead of expectations - by the first quarter that figure had shrunk to single digits.
On the subject of pricing, there had been a significant change with many more reporting higher levels than predicted. Over a fifth said pricing had risen although less than a tenth had predicted rises for the quarter. The numbers experiencing price declines of between ten and 20 per cent was half the 40 per cent or so who had predicted decreases for the period.
Asked for their projections on revenue growth for the next three to six months, the largest group believed it would be flat but a significant percentage - at least one third - thought they would be down ten per cent.
At an individual server vendor level, the largest number of responses for revenue growth year-on-year for Sun, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Compaq were in the one to nine per cent growth range. Over half of Compaq partners opted for that growth range, but less predicted flat revenues compared to those in the fourth quarter.
At the PC server level, revenue projections for the next three to six months were less optimistic than in the fourth quarter. The number expecting a flat market were well over 60 per cent, compared to about 30 per cent in the fourth quarter. Less than a fifth believed revenues would grow by up to ten per cent.
As for individual vendors, the shift was towards growth of between one and nine per cent. Over 60 per cent of Compaq partners opted for this figure, compared to less than 30 per cent in the fourth quarter. The numbers for HP were even more pronounced with over 70 per cent in the one to nine per cent band.
IBM was the laggard with just over 40 per cent in the one to nine per cent band and just under 40 per cent predicting flat growth.
As for inventory, the survey found over 40 per cent reporting normal levels and a slight increase in those claiming low inventory levels (which means one to two weeks supply) from the fourth quarter.

Well over a half of all Compaq partners reported normal levels compared to less than 20 per cent in the fourth quarter. Those experiencing shortages dropped from well over 20 per cent to a marginal level. IBM showed a big increase in those reporting high levels of inventory (four to six weeks), which rose from three per cent in the fourth quarter to 37 per cent this time around.
Related Topics: Server hardware, VIEW ALL TOPICS

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