"Better value for money" was reported as the dominant factor influencing buyers across almost all vertical markets in their selection of a primary server vendor - this based on data collected in IDC's 2005 U.S. enterprise server vertical market survey. The decision factor held even greater weight with respondents from the nation's manufacturing, services and healthcare sectors. Another key determinant of almost equal importance was "better systems performance." Systems performance appeared to be a particularly critical consideration for respondents responsible for primary server vendor decisions made within the financial services and distribution industries.

The survey report also discusses respondents' perceptions of the top four server vendors within the U.S. market, including Dell, HP, IBM and Sun. Using a different frame of reference, however, that of vertical markets versus the overall market, the report finds that the portrait of satisfaction for each vendor is quite different. Respondents from manufacturing and resources, distribution services, and healthcare services held HP in high esteem, while those in financial services, infrastructure services, and the public sector all indicated higher than average approval of Sun as their primary server vendor.

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