Arrow Tapped For Lenovo Product Distribution

A variety of Lenovo storage and server products have come to Arrow Electronics following the China-owned vendor's Oct. 1 acquisition of IBM's x86 server business.

Partners of Arrow now have access to Lenovo's native lower-end, rapidly deployed ThinkServer rack server, tower servers and enterprise storage business, as well as the higher-end, more complex System X product line acquired from IBM.

This is the first product relationship between Lenovo and the Englewood, Colo.-based distributor.

[Related: Lenovo President: X86 To Be Fully Integrated Into Business]

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"Lenovo was making more inroads into the server space, so it was a product we had a desire to have in our overall portfolio," said Mark Taylor, Arrow's vice president of North American servers, systems and software.

About 7,000 solution providers used Arrow to procure System X products when they were under the IBM banner, Taylor said. Arrow has been a Big Blue partner for nearly two decades and will continue to carry IBM products that are not part of the Lenovo acquisition such as power and storage systems, Flex servers and IBM training.

Arrow sees the deal primarily as a way to expand relationships with existing solution provider partners to include System X -- the initial area of focus -- and the ThinkServer. Taylor said 1U or 2U ThinkServer products should appeal to the SMB market across all verticals.

The Lenovo acquisition will bring some fresh eyes to the sales processes and influence the go-to-market strategy, Taylor said, but he noted the channel program for existing X86 customers should remain virtually unchanged.

"It's really about the continuity of existing relationships and forging new relationships as market opportunities develop," Taylor said.

He expects the push to open up new space in the ThinkPad and laptop spaces to result in additional opportunities in the server marketplace.

With the System X acquisition, Taylor said Lenovo's server portfolio accessible through Arrow covers the entire spectrum of market, including offerings that can be rapidly deployed and delivered. Arrow also carries a full line and higher- and lower-end server products from HP.

"We have two great companies in our Intel server portfolio that cover all aspects of the market," he said.

Other networking and low-end storage products acquired by Lenovo are also available through Arrow, Taylor said.

ThinkASG, of Irvine, Calif., uses Arrow primarily for power, server and System X products, according to David Kosobucki, who handles inside sales for System X. He expects the ability of System X to get products to market to improve under Lenovo's stewardship.

For the next year, Kosobucki said ThinkASG plans to stick with the x3100, x3200 and x3250 to meet its lower-end server needs rather than expanding into the ThinkServer product line.

"There really won't be any difference for us," Kosobucki said.