Lenovo Partners Buzzing About Possible IBM x86 Server Buy

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Solution providers at the Lenovo Accelerate 2013 partner conference this week said they welcome the prospect of the company adding IBM's x86 server business.

Lenovo is in active negotiations to acquire IBM's x86 server business, CRN reported last week. Lenovo plans to acquire IBM's low-end System x rack mount and tower systems, while IBM will keep its PureFlex and BladeCenter servers, CRN reported.

At Lenovo Accelerate in Las Vegas, partners were buzzing about the prospect of having more IBM products added to Lenovo's mix.

[Related: Sources: IBM-Lenovo Server Talks 'Moving Quickly']

"It's an exciting opportunity," said Sachin Parikh, vice president of business development at SNP Technologies, Hamden, Conn. "Lenovo's ThinkServers are good but they're more geared toward the SMB market. If they can get IBM's x86 servers, then they'll have an answer for the enterprise market."

Iris Sepulveda, sales and marketing manager at PR Computer in Puerto Rico, said she believes the potential addition of IBM's System X server hardware line would give Lenovo an edge against HP and Dell.

"Lenovo's got a strong partner base both here and in Latin America, and if they add IBM servers then they'll be a lot more competitive against HP," Sepulveda said. "I think the deal is going to happen, and I'm excited about it. Lenovo did a great job with IBM's PC business and I think they'll do the same with servers."

IBM sold its PC business to Lenovo in 2005 for approximately $11.5 billion. Since that time, Lenovo has risen to become the fastest-growing major PC manufacturer in the world and inching closer to overtaking Hewlett-Packard as the biggest PC company.

Lenovo executives would not comment on any potential deal with IBM, but they did say growing the company's presence in the server market would continue to be a priority. At last year's Accelerate partner conference, Lenovo introduced an SMB partner rewards programs for ThinkServer sales.

Chris Frey, vice president of North American commercial channels at Lenovo, said the company has seen its server channel sales grow 70 percent in the past 12 months.

"I said last year at [Accelerate 2012] that we need to earn the right in the low-end server market before we can move up to the high end," Frey said. "And I think we earned that right in the last year, so we're looking to move upstream."


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