Storage Station

A bird's eye view of the data storage industry.

IBM Again Spinning Falsehoods About Storage Market

What is it with IBM? Why is Big Blue so seemingly insecure when it comes to the data storage markets?

IDC came out with its quarterly world market report on storage software earlier today, and the usual suspects EMC, Symantec and IBM are 1-2-3 in world market share. No big news there; that's been the lineup for a couple of years now.

The news in the report was that No. 4 NetApp's storage software revenue had improved a rather significant 31 percent over last year and that, with 10.9 percent of the market, it had inched ever closer to IBM's 12.4 percent. NetApp has gained a full 1.5 percent of the storage software market in 12 months; that, too, is significant.

But IBM could care less. The media relations folks in Armonk, N.Y., have their own view of the facts, and it matters not to them whether there's any resemblance to truth.

The Station got ahold of a press release from IBM regarding the very same report. Here's the actual headline: "Report: IBM Continues as Storage Software Market Leader for Q3 2007."

Um, say again, please? It says right here that EMC is No. 1, Symantec No. 2, and IBM is NUMBER THREE. That headline's nothing but a big fat lie. There's a Commandment against that sort of thing, you know.

Continuing with the IBM spin document: "IBM today announced that a new IDC report indicates the company continued in Q3'07 as the storage software market leader." [Just plain wrong. See headline above.]

"This marks the eleventh consecutive quarter that IBM Storage Software revenue outpaced the storage software market according to IDC." [Based on the lie in the headline and in the lead of this press release, how can anybody believe this next line ... or any other line in this press release?]

"IBM grew storage software revenues 16.5 percent year-over-year, reflecting in 12.4 percent of the total storage software market. Of the top three storage software market share leaders in Q3 '07, IBM had the greatest revenue growth, according to the report."

[Okay, that much is true. But who cares? What about No. 4 (NetApp), which had 31.1 percent growth in the quarter? How convenient to leave that fact out.]

IBM has done this a number of times before. The most blatant scam up to now happened back in June, when the Big Blue propaganda spinners called a Monday morning press conference and tried to use an apples-and-oranges IDC report to proclaim itself king of the storage hardware world.

Read The Station's take on that one at the link above. We don't feel like revisiting that sick stunt here in the blog.

My favorite American journalist of all time, Mark Twain, said and wrote a great many brilliant things. He had seen statistics being twisted for public relations purposes, even way back in the days of the Civil War.

His line still rings with truth today: "Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable."

Then, another Twain line: "Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please."

Listening, Big Blew-its?

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...