RealTime IT News

HP Helping Tax Man With Deductions

Hewlett-Packard Thursday said it has signed a blanket contract with partner PlanetGov to help the IRS consolidate its servers and network storage devices.

As part of the deal, Chantilly, Va.-based IRS contractor PlanetGov and HP will replace an undisclosed percentage of the 4,400 IBM and Dell servers and approximately 30 storage area networks (SANs) currently in use at the IRS for the next four years.

The news comes as the Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm is trying to avoid being mired between its two biggest rivals.

"It is popular to say that HP is stuck between IBM and Dell," HP CEO Carly Fiorina said to analysts in New York this week. "It is particularly popular for our competitors, IBM and Dell, to say we are stuck between the two but the facts don't support the thesis."

HP said it will supply some 3,000 if its HP ProLiant servers, including blade servers, and 30 HP StorageWorks storage area networks. The agreement also includes a package of HP's professional consulting services.

"Together, we are providing the IRS with a blueprint for the implementation of emerging technology through the consolidation of servers, while providing maximum storage capabilities and efficient system management tools and practices for network enterprise solutions," PlanetGov CEO Steve Baldwin said in a statement.

This is not the first time HP has secured a coup with the IRS. Last year, HP and PlanetGov secured a three-year, $100 million purchase agreement to supply the IRS with Compaq Evo desktop and notebook PCs. The contract supplanted Dell as a major supplier for the best-known branch of the Department of Treasury. Dell executives blamed a sharp rise in the price of components for not being able to deliver.

HP has also swiped other contracts from Round Rock, Texas-based computer maker. Most notably, HP scored a three-year, multimillion-dollar contract to become the preferred provider for computer hardware for General Mills' Pillsbury division.

Likewise, IBM has lost its share of customers to HP. Earlier this year, HP Thursday said it had beaten out Big Blue and other vendors in a deal to provide MTV Networks with a variety of new servers and storage products. The multi-million-dollar contract included multiple HP UNIX servers and storage products, along with consulting and support from HP Services.