Connecting the Dots: Lesson from the recent high stakes bidding war between HP, Dell over 3Par: Actionable insight

During the past few weeks, most if not all postings stemming from the 3Par intense bidding war invariably focus exclusively on HP and Dell. In addition to the inevitable speculations who will be the ultimate winner, the discussion generally addresses the implications of 3Par on both company’s Cloud Computing strategy and prospect.

Now that the apparent “testosterone-driven” sumo match has ended on September 2, 2010 with HP the “winner” by paying about $2.7 billion for 3Par, perhaps it is only prudent to step back and reflect by taking a broader perspective. And that’s what Steve Lohr, a contributor of NYT, did precisely on September 3rd. Instead of routine post mortem reporting, Lohr connected the dots in a refreshing post by highlighting one of the more profound and unexpected actionable insights that came from a different perspective, namely IBM.

I.B.M. has said it looked at 3Par and other companies more than two years ago, when it was building up in the field of clustered storage, an important technology in handling data remotely for so-called cloud computing systems. Instead of 3Par, it bought an Israeli clustered-storage specialist, XIV. I.B.M. will not comment on those estimates, but it does point to the XIV deal as an example of how its research labs are used to inform the company’s merger, acquisition and divestiture strategy… The labs provide strategic “headlights” for the company as a whole. At the end of each year, the lab researchers prepare a global technology outlook, which presents senior management with an assessment and predictions about key technologies over the coming several years.”

Food for thought:

“It is not enough to see in the future, you have to act. If you’re ahead of the game, you can go in and get companies at a good price, before others recognize the value.” – Robert Morris, a vice president of I.B.M. Research

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