Integration Systems Teams With MSP On Major Lenovo x86 Deal

Solution provider Integration Systems, Deerfield Beach, Fla., teamed with London-based MSP Fixnetix in the first major deal of x86 servers under Lenovo ownership.

Lenovo reported the deal was worth $3.5 million, although Integration Systems Co-Founder and President Derek Keene said the hardware sold as part of the deal was worth more than triple that amount.

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

The deal with a London-based bank for 700 servers took 14 months to come together, meaning IBM was in the middle of shipping x86 servers to the bank when the business line was formally transferred to Lenovo. Therefore, roughly half of the x3650 servers delivered to Fixnetix carried Lenovo branding, Keene said.

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Since Lenovo retained virtually all of IBM's X series employees, Keene said Integration Systems was able to work with the same people and quickly complete the deal.

"Our experience thus far has been very, very pleasant," Keene said.

Integration Systems has between $35 million and $50 million of managed services deals with investment banks or hedge funds in the pipeline, according to Keene. Lenovo is expected to be the vendor for roughly one-quarter of those deals, he said.

Fixnetix is one of four MSPs Integration Systems works with to better service the financial services vertical.

The amount of business Integration Systems is conducting in tandem with an MSP is expected to rise from 15 percent in 2013 to 40 percent this year to nearly 70 percent in 2015, Keene said.

"The traditional reseller business is sort of sunsetting," he said. "We're changing the way we go to market."

MSPs have become a much bigger part of the financial services landscape over the past decade as big banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America have centralized their IT operations. These behemoth internal IT units, however, usually don't move quickly enough to satisfy the technology needs of the investment banking divisions, Keene said.

Although individual bank departments are typically no longer permitted to making technology-related purchases, he said multiyear service contracts with a knowledgeable and responsive MSP are still permissible.

These developments have led to the proliferation of MSPs with vertical-specific focuses such as health care, law or capital markets. Keene said these firms are typically capable of moving the discussion beyond the IT organization and toward broader business objectives.