CEE Storage Vendors Struggle with Major Economic Challenges in Q1 2014
[Published on 9 July 2014 / Last Updated on 9 July 2014]
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Prague, July 7, 2014 – Poor performance on the CIS and Central European markets dragged the overall Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) external storage market down to $203.65 million in the first quarter of the year, roughly equal to a 3.3% year-on-year drop. At the same time, capacity increased by only around 20% to 163.9 PB. These results make up part of the Q1 2014 Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Disk Storage Systems Quarterly Tracker, recently published by global market research firm IDC.
The CEE region seemed to experience delayed negative effects from the economic stagnation of 2013, and these markets suffered worse than the rest of Europe. Geo-political factors, including the volatile Russian-Ukrainian crisis, further disrupted the market, with the most severe effects felt in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and other CIS countries. In fact, the only counties to achieve double-digit revenue growth were Poland, Romania and Slovenia, which partially mitigated the collapse of all other markets in the region.
In this challenging environment, the majority of CEE storage vendors experienced a weak quarter. Although the market leaders – EMC, HP, and IBM – kept their top three positions, they were not the best performers in terms of growth. EMC was the only one of the three to record year-on-year growth, with a 2.9% increase on the back of its low-end VNXe solutions, while sales of high-end products languished. HP was still very aggressive in the midrange space but lost share in the entry-level segment, causing its overall shipments to contract 3.3% year on year. Unlike in the previous quarter, IBM found success with its legacy high-end systems, securing projects in Russia and Poland, but was undermined by the sharp decline of its enterprise Storwize product line. This downturn started in the middle of 2013, and the vendor's internal and channel restructuring did not bring about the hoped-for improvement. HDS was the performer in the region, posting 33.2% overall year-on-year growth on the back of its unified storage systems business. NetApp followed in terms of growth results, while the rest of the players performed well below the market average.
Top Five CEE External Storage Systems Vendors, YoY Growth Rates, Q1 2014
Besides public projects connected with the egovernment platform and steady investments on behalf of the corporate sector in a few CEE countries, remaining demand in the region stemmed mainly from
SMBs investing in unified solutions, backup, and hybrid storage solutions that combine both HDDs and SSDs, and which are increasingly popular. "With the shift of resources within organizations from IT to business units and the push for competitiveness in a stagnant market environment, the biggest challenge for IT executives was to optimize their storage strategy and deal with the complexity of emerging storage technologies," says Marina Kostova, storage systems analyst with IDC CEMA. "The vendors that successfully addressed this challenge posted demonstrably better results last quarter."
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