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Analyst Q&A on IBM, question four

Industry gurus Randy Kerns and Peter Gerr shed light on IBM's strengths and weaknesses

What has IBM done this year to make itself a stronger storage company?

Randy Kerns: They have met their commitments for product enhancements. Meeting commitments is difficult sometimes and companies don't get credit for the effort that takes. Missing them can be severely damaging and lead to subsequent delays that continue to cause impacts. Being slow to market (with the SAN file system) was certainly an issue, but once they made it to market, then you look at the successive improvements and the commitments to that product. If you only remember it was late, you'll miss what value it brings. It turns out, being late didn't hurt -- customers are going to be very slow to adopt.

Peter Gerr: I think that IBM has finally turned the corner with SVC and SAN File System, where over the past two to three years, they've been pushing that boulder up hill. The next two to three years will really change the landscape of the storage network, with more services and intelligence migrating into the fabric, and so SVC and the SAN File System will be playing an important role.

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