report by Tristan Penver
The sale of IBM’s x86 server business to Lenovo last year was not small-fry.
Including System x, BladeCenter and Flex System blade servers and switches, x86-based Flex integrated systems, NeXtScale and iDataPlex servers and associated software, blade networking and maintenance operations, the purchase price of approximately US$2.3 billion tells a story.
With such a big acquisition, it’s safe to say the migration process has been the subject of much conjecture, speculation and confusion. In this regard, Lenovo are conducting a System x roadshow to layout the future of System x as well as to define the System x product landscape, and Paul Dillon, Lenovo Enterprise Business Group (EBG) Manager for South Africa & SADC, was on hand at Cape Town’s Townhouse Hotel in mid-February to expand on these themes.
Paul opened with giving a bit of background about Lenovo, comparing the size of the company with peers such as KIA, Walt Disney, FedEx and Lufthansa, and informing the audience that Lenovo is the global leader in PCs, 2nd in PC/tablets, 3rd in connected smart devices and now 3rd in servers as well.
The company is split into four main divisions – PC, Mobile, Enterprise and Ecosystem/Cloud, whilst Lenovo’s App Store and SHAREit app have become incredibly popular in just a short space of time, and Paul was at pains to stress that IBM sold its System x business to Lenovo in its entirety. That means the leadership team, the research and development, the back-end support – everything! Lenovo’s team, commercial enterprise and operations will remain the same, but a new focus has been developed around increasing the company’s ambition, speed of response to the channel and its portfolio breadth.
The company views the channel as extremely important – Paul stressed that 100% of business would be directed through it, and that there would be increased collaboration, accessibility and visibility throughout. Lenovo will also increasingly focus on selling customer value, as opposed to purely products, ultimately resulting in increased customer satisfaction. As he reiterated, solution selling needs to result in a solution to the customer’s problem!
Paul also mentioned that one of Lenovo’s strengths was that it had very strong partnerships with many of the IT industry’s top global companies. Oracle, EMC, IBM, QLogic, Emulex, LSI Corp, Red Hat, Intel, SAP, VMware and Microsoft are all companies with which Lenovo has the potential to collaborate with in order to provide customer IT solutions, and a complete VSPEX solution offering with EMC was cited as just one such collaborative example.
It’s clear that Lenovo has ambitious plans for these acquisition products, and that a clear strategy has been put in place. The next few months should prove interesting as we see how these plans unfurl.