In its latest volley in a tug-of-war between two tech giants, IBM said Monday that it will offer services free of charge to migrate HP server customers to its System z mainframes.
The effort, announced just as HP CEO Mark Hurd was to kick off his analyst meeting, is called Migration Factory. If HP is targeting IBM's services business Big Blue apparently figures it'll target Hurd's server unit. IBM already has a program to migrate customers of HP, Sun and other platforms, but has expanded it to System z mainframes. The strategy: Force HP to compete more on price in its core hardware business and upend the company's Itanium server lineup.
Aside from the sport of the HP-IBM duel, technology buyers could benefit. At the least, it looks like you'll be able to pit HP and IBM against each other in numerous deployments.
Also see: HP vs. IBM: The looming IT services war
The Migration Factory plan features free assessments for server consolidation and SAP migrations, middleware integration services, upgrade plans and technical assistance. IBM reckons it will spend $200 million on the Migration Factory program in 2008.