System x x86 servers from Lenovo achieve top customer satisfaction scores. January 2015 TBR T EC H N O LO G Y B U S I N ES S R ES EAR C H, I N C.

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1 System x x86 servers from Lenovo achieve top customer satisfaction scores January 2015 TBR T EC H N O LO G Y B U S I N ES S R ES EAR C H, I N C.

2 System x customer satisfaction scores surpass those of Dell and HP Enterprises are deploying x86 servers in increasingly demanding use cases such as virtualization for private and hybrid cloud computing architectures. Additionally, x86 servers play an important role for many enterprises in supporting mission- and business-critical data for analytics, leading to frequent user interaction and requiring x86 servers deliver satisfactory performance and availability to support user productivity. With these growing demands on x86 servers, customers require a server vendor to excel in many areas, including sales processes, product quality, and service and support. Customer satisfaction scores show customers view the System x portfolio as one they can rely on to provide high-quality x86 servers backed with helpful and responsive sales, services and support. System x retained these satisfaction ratings even after the announcement of its acquisition by Lenovo from IBM. The acquisition closed in October In TBR s 3Q14 Corporate IT Buying Behavior & Customer Satisfaction Study: x86-based Servers (CSAT x86-based Servers Study), System x customers reported the highest level of satisfaction with their x86 servers compared to Dell and HP customers. Of the 22 customer satisfaction attributes measured in TBR s 3Q14 study, System x was the outright leader in rolling six-month mean satisfaction scores for 17 attributes and tied for the No. 1 position for the remaining five attributes. These strong results reflect the satisfaction customers have with their System x servers and the sales and services they receive. Critical attributes highlight the importance of strong customer satisfaction results As enterprise customers increasingly seek business outcomes such as reduced costs and faster decision making, IT departments are virtualizing IT infrastructures across x86 servers to support business intelligence and analytics applications, software distribution, application hosting and other important workloads. Consequently, customers are relying on x86 server vendors to help them receive the most value from their x86 server investments. TBR surveys x86 server customers to determine the most critical sales, product, and services and support attributes they demand from their x86 server vendors. In TBR s 3Q14 study, customers rated hardware quality and ongoing reliability; performance; virtualization, efficiency, scalability; and total cost of ownership as the most critical attributes to consider when purchasing x86 servers. Customers reported they place the highest value on server solutions that excel in these critical attributes, while also placing high value on the services and support attributes associated with the servers. Hardware quality and ongoing reliability Enterprises deploy servers in increasingly diverse environments, tasking servers with a growing number of business-critical applications and demanding workloads. Consequently, in TBR s 3Q14 CSAT x86-based Servers Study, customers reported initial hardware quality and ongoing hardware reliability are the most important attributes in their server purchasing decisions. High-quality hardware is a critical attribute, and vendors that excel in this area can differentiate from competitors that offer hardware that is viewed as lower quality and less reliable. Performance Although all x86 servers are built on a similar processor foundation, server vendors tailor their x86 solutions to optimize the performance of their respective x86 portfolios. These enhancements may be designed to improve performance for a variety of customer requirements. For example, server vendors may optimize their x86 server models for compute- or memory-intensive workloads, data-driven applications and transaction processing use cases. Virtualization, efficiency, scalability Enterprises use virtualization to reduce IT operating expenses to improve server efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Additionally, IT departments seek x86 server hardware that can be scaled effectively. Many x86 server vendors also provide automation features with their x86 servers to help customers get the most out of their x86 server 2 System x Server White Paper January Technology Business Research Inc.

3 purchases. Processing efficiency and scalability are important for managing the costs associated with the demanding workloads placed on servers as enterprises virtualize IT infrastructures. Service and support Enterprise IT departments choose vendors that serve as support partners to augment in-house support organizations. High-quality services and support ensure enterprises are able to deploy x86 servers effectively and efficiently and maximize server uptime. In TBR s 3Q14 CSAT x86-based Servers Study, customers indicated they choose vendors that provide highly available services and support backed by strong expertise to assist in-house support resources. Total cost of ownership (TCO) In TBR s 3Q14 CSAT x86-based Servers Study, customers cited TCO as one of the most important factors in x86 server purchase decisions. Enterprises determine long-term value by evaluating the longevity of the server hardware and the strength of the services provided to support the servers uptime. Historically, purchase price was one of the primary deciding factors for potential x86 server customers; however, enterprises are increasingly analyzing TCO to gain a more accurate view of long-term business impact. Customers recognize the added value servers provide as they are tasked with increasingly demanding workloads such as analytics, which TBR believes is causing TCO to outweigh initial price in purchasing decisions. System x excels in customer satisfaction for all critical server attributes Through investments in new server technology and commitment to high-quality services and support, System x servers deliver leading satisfaction by helping customers meet business objectives and optimize IT resources. System x earned the No. 1 overall satisfaction rating in TBR s 3Q14 CSAT x86-based Servers Study. These servers deliver a strong value proposition of high-quality, highly reliable solutions with strong compute capabilities and the ability to be easily scaled as enterprises place additional workloads on x86 servers. Furthermore, TBR s study revealed IBM s service and support programs for x86 servers are meeting or exceeding customer expectations. System x servers will continue to receive service and support from IBM for the foreseeable future. Initial hardware quality and ongoing reliability The System x team develops its solutions to fulfill customer expectations for high-quality hardware. In TBR s study, customers reported high satisfaction with System x initial hardware quality, resulting in System x tying HP for the No. 1 position in rolling six-month satisfaction scores for the quality of server hardware. [The System x team is] responsive and understands our business needs, security concerns, time constraints and problem-solving needs. System x servers also scored well in ongoing hardware reliability, which is critically important to x86 server customers. System x was the leader for rolling six-month ongoing hardware reliability satisfaction in TBR s 3Q14 CSAT x86-based Servers Study. Performance System x servers achieved the highest customer satisfaction scores for performance in 3Q14. Server performance satisfaction scores were up from the previous and year-ago quarters, resulting in a fifth-consecutive No. 1 finish in the critically important attribute. System x server performance scores were higher than Dell s and HP s x86 server performance scores among both rack and blade server customers. Virtualization, efficiency, scalability In 3Q14 System x earned the top position in virtualization, efficiency, scalability satisfaction. Enterprises use System x virtualization tools and functionality for workload optimization to support specific business objectives such as greater IT efficiency. System x servers are designed to offer flexible configurations with high-speed I/O, 3 System x Server White Paper January Technology Business Research Inc.

4 enhanced memory and processing capabilities optimized to take advantage of the cost reductions and operational efficiencies offered by virtualization. The transition of the System x portfolio from IBM to Lenovo was completed in October. IBM s System x team also transitioned to Lenovo, bringing years of innovation experience and ensuring the portfolio continues to deliver high quality, reliability, performance and scalability capabilities to System x customers. Service and support Customers surveyed in TBR s 3Q14 CSAT x86-based Servers Study were asked to provide feedback on nine attributes related to the service and support of their x86 servers. In 3Q14 System x earned the highest satisfaction scores or tied for the No. 1 position across all nine service and support attributes. System x achieved sole possession of the highest satisfaction scores for phone support technical expertise, on-site response time, on-site technical expertise, online technical support, ongoing services and maintenance, replacement parts availability, and social media support. IBM trains its services teams to help enterprises minimize server downtime, manage application deployments cost-effectively and troubleshoot issues quickly. Our experience in regard to ongoing maintenance, selfsupport features and replacement parts availability [has] been better than we ever anticipated. It is very proficient, and [its] professional employees do an excellent job. Purchasing System x servers enables enterprises to focus on supporting business-critical applications, services and processes, while IBM Global Services employees support or entirely manage the server infrastructure. System x also leverages affiliated partner resources to deploy hardware solutions and software services. The System x team serves as a proactive partner throughout the entire server life cycle for businesses upgrading server environments or updating infrastructures. While the divestiture of IBM s x86 business to Lenovo was completed in October, IBM will continue to provide support for System x servers for at least the next five years. According to the vendors plans, service and support will be provided by IBM and managed by Lenovo. TBR believes the vendors will leverage their experience from the similar arrangement they developed following the sale of IBM s PC division to Lenovo in 2005, enabling the two vendors to transition the x86 server portfolio to Lenovo seamlessly while maintaining the leading service and support quality that customers expect. TCO Customers surveyed in TBR s 3Q14 CSAT x86-based Servers Study ranked System x first in rolling six-month TCO mean satisfaction in 3Q14. The vendor leverages high-quality hardware, support services and environmental efficiency to reduce TCO, drive long-term value and improve satisfaction for System x customers. The price that we paid [for the] blade servers has been very competitive and hard for other manufacturers to beat. Enterprises demand server hardware that is easy to use in day-to-day operations and can be scaled cost-effectively to maximize server uptime. System x servers hardware quality and reliability, simple management and variety of upgrade options enable the System x team to accelerate customers ROI and reduce TCO. Conclusion System x servers have been developed to help customers meet and exceed the important demands they place on x86 servers. Based on consistent customer feedback in the CSAT x86-based Servers Study, System x satisfies customer demand for hardware quality; reliability; performance; virtualization, efficiency, scalability; and TCO 4 System x Server White Paper January Technology Business Research Inc.

5 effectively. The no. 1 overall ranking for System x in TBR s 3Q14 CSAT x86-based Servers Study demonstrates the high-quality services and support of System x solutions are meeting the evolving demands of today s enterprises. TBR believes IBM s high scores for services and support will ensure Lenovo System x customer satisfaction following the transition of the System x portfolio to Lenovo. About TBR s Quarterly Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Studies Technology Business Research Inc. (TBR) measures the expectations, satisfaction and loyalty of enterprise customers in its quarterly CSAT studies. TBR surveys more than 1,200 individuals responsible for the purchasing of x86 servers and PCs at North America-based enterprises with more than 500 employees on a quarterly basis. TBR ranks major vendors in each form factor area through a series of indices including sales satisfaction, product satisfaction, service satisfaction and loyalty. About TBR Technology Business Research Inc. is a leading independent technology market research and consulting firm specializing in the business and financial analyses of hardware, software, professional services, telecom and enterprise network vendors, and operators. Serving a global clientele, TBR provides timely and actionable market research and business intelligence in formats that are tailored to clients needs. Our analysts are available to further address client-specific issues or information needs on an inquiry or proprietary consulting basis. For more information TBR has been empowering corporate decision makers since For more information, visit Technology Business Research Inc. This report is based on information made available to the public by the vendor and other public sources. No representation is made that this information is accurate or complete. Technology Business Research will not be held liable or responsible for any decisions that are made based on this information. The information contained in this report and all other TBR products is not and should not be construed to be investment advice. TBR does not make any recommendations or provide any advice regarding the value, purchase, sale or retention of securities. This report is copyright-protected and supplied for the sole use of the recipient. Contact Technology Business Research, Inc. for permission to reproduce. 5 System x Server White Paper January Technology Business Research Inc.

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