HPE is never a good idea to buy from. They are an acquisitions and mergers shop only. With the exception of servers which for the most part are just PCs with a half-assed and unloved remote KVM... which is borderline unusable... an ILO system which is as reliable as a politician... etc they don't produce anything themselves. They simply find a company with a lot of sales or specific inroads into the government and buy the company and run it into the ground. They get most of their sales from things like Aruba for example. The market has two players in enterprise wireless communication, companies chose Aruba and invested heavily. They don't want to replace their entire wireless network to switch to Cisco, so they just keep buying Aruba. Of course, HPE killed off most of Aruba's best products... dumped all their aging and shitty Procurve A and S stuff on them and lost most of their developers by killing all the fun in the organization and outsourced most of the rest to India. Investing in HPE is generally never a good idea except for the stock prices.
IBM... well ... let's talk Softlayer.
1) Most of what they do isn't even cloud. They simply let you rent servers or VMs. This is great for the loser companies out there who actually think they can save money by going cloud... and think IaaS is cloud. It's not. It's basically colocating servers. You still have to do almost all the management. You don't get anything useful from them. You still need to run updates, run your own security, etc...
2) PaaS... their PaaS platform doesn't even seem to have a NewSQL platform. Where Microsoft has Azure Tables and Google has Spanner and Amazon has Aurora. IBM is peddling DB2 in what only appears to be a containerized version where you still need to build and maintain a DB2 environment. The other platforms are simple, you just say "I want a database" and you have an always available database. With IBM, you have to build and manage a database platform. Even Microsoft, who has SQL server knew that you couldn't make something like DB2 cloud scale.
They don't really offer a platform either. What they offer seems more like a bunch of containers. Of course you can do kubernetes... yippie!!! but it's not a platform. You still need to build and maintain your own infrastructure.
3) No IBM technologies other than DB2. Where's the CICS? Where's the WebObjects? Where's the RPG? Where are all the things which make IBM worth using in the first place. IBM has more than 50 years in the PaaS business. They have more than 50 years in the FaaS/Serverless business. And they don't even have a single worthwhile IBM technology to build on.
In the past 10 years, Microsoft transformed themselves from a product company to a platform company and are now shipping Azure Stack which is a mainframe in a box. You can install and operate Azure Stack as a fault tolerant mainframe. They are committing to platforms and APIs. With Azure Functions, Microsoft is shipping their own CICS system with all the underlying technology to make it happen. They have developed the best development tools ever seen in a mainframe environment to work with them as well.
And IBM is delivering what appears to be little more than Ubuntu or OpenShift with Kubernetes.
The biggest problem with companies in general is that everyone seems to implement features based on what they read in the news. Or they hire a manager of a product from another company. What's worse is that SoftLayer looks like they learned what cloud means from VMworld... TOTAL FAIL!!!!
They need to take a team of developers and have them make a demo product on Azure, Google Cloud and AWS and learn what cloud is. No frigging containers. No frigging virtual machines. Build the real deal. That means use the platform. Then they need to talk to the guys at IBM who have 50 years experience in PaaS and learn how to make something special.
When they do that, they need to throw a billion dollars at it and make it happen.