If you’ve been following Lenovo’s $2.1 billion acquisition of IBM’s x86 server business out of one eye the past several months, you may be surprised to learn that it wasn’t a done deal until very recently – Oct. 1, to be exact. Now that the regulators have all signed off and the ink is dry, the herculean effort of moving more than 7,500 IBMers – the entire X86 salesforce, the R&D facilities, and the manufacturing infrastructure – over to Lenovo has begun. And while this acquisition alters the IT industry playing field, existing IBM x86 SMB customers shouldn’t notice much difference.
An Acquisition Déjà Vu
If you’re the proud owner of an IBM System x product, there are a plethora of articles and blog posts that say you have nothing to worry about. Many insist that the transition is expected to be as seamless and transparent to the customer as the IBM ThinkPad acquisition in 2005. According to The Register: “Lenovo purchasing System x isn’t all that different than when they bought up IBM’s PC operations. The two markets have a lot in common.”
The acquisition puts Lenovo on the battlefield with global server powerhouses and channel giants Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Cisco. According to PC World, Lenovo still has much ecosystem development work to do with software companies like Microsoft, Oracle and VMware. One could also argue that those relationships will all be part of the package, as they were with the ThinkPad acquisition.
What’s In, What’s Out
Insofar as the acquired offerings are concerned, nothing has changed since the deal was originally proposed back in January. Boxes that will now bear the Lenovo logo include:
- System x racks and towers
- x86 BladeCenter
- x86 Flex System blade servers and integrated systems
- Associated software, switching, and maintenance operations
Lenovo will get licenses to IBM’s GPFS (General Parallel File System), SmartCloud Entry package, System x management software, and the Platform Computing suite. Lenovo can OEM and resell these products (plus IBM’s Storwize and tape tech) or use them as components in their own solution bundles.
An SMB Dream Come True
This is all great news for SMBs, who can expect to see the price for the Lenovo x86 product line be commensurate with competing products from Dell, HP, Cisco, and other hardware vendors. According to The Register: “When it comes to x86 servers, IBM receives high marks for their x86 technology, performance, and reliability – but lower scores when it came to pricing and ease of doing business.” Those low scores should improve now that Lenovo is in charge.
Lenovo is also known for its commitment to the business partner channel, which has helped them become the world’s number one PC maker. After this week, Lenovo is now the third largest commodity x86 server maker behind HP and Dell. According to CRN: “IBM’s x86 business has always been the IBM red-headed step child compared to its mainframe business and software. At Lenovo it will be a flagship brand… the x86 team has a sense of renewed vigor. The x86 team is really pumped. They are getting a lot of attention and the budget they need to really make a difference in the market.”
To see how your company can take advantage of new Lenovo System X product line, reach out to an expert at Advance Micro Solutions today.