The silver lining for the fourth quarter 2012 financial performance of IBM's Power Systems line is a bit tough to see, but a lining is there if you try hard to peel back the thick 19 percent drop in revenue to see it. And what's to see? Despite the drop in revenue compared to Q4 2011, IBM CFO Mark Loughridge noted in the financial results call with investors last week, "Our new P7+ midrange and high-end Power servers performed well."
"We will continue the refresh of the Power portfolio in the first half of 2013. Our success in competitive take outs continued in the fourth quarter. We had over 350 competitive displacements resulting in over $335 million of business, about half of which came from Oracle/Sun and half from HP. For the year we had nearly 1,200 competitive displacements resulting in over $1 billion of business."
IBM didn't put a revenue figure on PureSystems, but the company noted that it sold more than 2,300 PureSystems in more than 70 countries in 2012.
IBM's mainframe saw a good quarter, growing revenue by 56 percent. Loughridge noted that Linux workloads on System z are growing.
Last of all, I found this statement by Loughridge interesting: "When you look at our offerings in business analytics, cloud, and Smarter Planet, about half of our revenue is software. So as these offerings become larger parts of the IBM business, they’re driving a higher quality revenue stream, improving our mix and our margin."