IDC says IBM is in third place in the storage software market. IBM says IDC says it is the storage software market leader. What is going on?

The recently released IDC Worldwide Quarterly Storage Software Tracker, Q3 2007, report identified EMC as the storage software revenue and market share leader for the Q307 (third quarter, 2007) period thus:

1. EMC revenue - $711 million - market share - 25.6 percent
2. Symantec revenue - $471 million - market share - 17 percent
3. IBM revenue - $345 million - market share - 12.4 percent
4. NetApp revenue - $302 million - market share - 10.9 percent.

(For confirmation of these IDC numbers see here.)

The revenue share growth figures for the Q306 - Q307 period were:-

EMC - 1.7 percent
Symantec - 12.5 percent
IBM - 16.5 percent
NetApp - 31.10 percent.

IBM issued a press release on December 10th which stated: "Report: IBM Continues as Storage Software Market Leader for Q3 2007." In the body of the release we find this:

"As measured by the Q3'07 IDC Worldwide Quarterly Storage Software Tracker, IBM grew storage software revenues 16.5 percent year-over-year, reflecting in 12.4 percent of the total storage software market. Of the top three storage software market share leaders in Q3'07, IBM had the greatest revenue growth, according to the report. "

It is true that 'of the top three storage software market share leaders in Q3'07, IBM had the greatest revenue growth,' but NetApp in the number four revenue and market share position grew its revenue by nearly twice the IBM percentage.

Based on the IDC figures IBM grew its Q3 06 revenue of $296 million by $48.84 million. NetApp grew its Q3 06 revenue of $231 million by $71.841 million.

EMC grew its revenue in absolute terms more than IBM did. Although its growth in revenue was just 1.7 percent this means an actual revenue growth of $118.83 million, more than twice IBM's figure.

According to the IDC report, overall, NetApp was the storage software revenue growth leader. IBM was number 3 in absolute Q3 07 storage software revenue, number 3 in market share and number four in revenue growth year-on-year, but it is right to say that 'of the top three storage software market share leaders in Q3'07, IBM had the greatest revenue growth.'