IBM's blockbuster $2.3 billion sale of its x86 server business to Lenovo will be a "game changer" for partners giving them the firepower to go head-to-head with Dell and Hewlett-Packard in the SMB market and significantly grow their enterprise business, partners tell CRN.
"There is no question Lenovo is going to be able to turn IBM's server business around. IBM struggled to gain traction in the SMB market because it was perceived as an expensive alternative. The Lenovo channel has been aggressive, price conscious and a friend of SMB. Not only will IBM's cachet help us win in SMB, it will allow me to crack my enterprise business open and make more money," said Lou Giovanetti, co-founder of Woburn, Mass.-based CPU Sales and Service, a longtime Lenovo partner that serves SMB and enterprise customers.
Pending regulatory approval, the deal inked Thursday will add 7,500 IBM employees to the China-based PC maker's headcount along with new product skews that include Big Blue's System x, BladeCenter and Flex System blade servers and switches, x86-based Flex integrated systems, NeXtScale and associated software, blade networking and maintenance operations.
For Lenovo's 25,000 North American partners it will significantly increase their upstream reach into the enterprise allowing them to rely less on commodity PC hardware sales and expand their portfolio to include a full range of end-to-end data center solutions, said Jamie Shepard, regional vice president for Dallas-based solution provider Lumenate.
"This acquisition is bigger news than people think. It's not about Lenovo spending over a billion dollars to bang it out with Dell and HP for server sales. It's a game changer for me and my Lenovo customers. Now we can start talking about the data center, services, and more complex solutions that add up to more lucrative deals. For smart Lenovo partners that want to sell more than hardware, this is huge."
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