IBM PartnerWorld

Insights from IBM Partner World Part 2: IBM and Lenovo x86 Update

This is a continuation of part one in the series of articles regarding my participation at the 2014 IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference. Please check back for part three.

The focus of this installment is the acquisition of IBM’s x86 server business by Lenovo. Through participation in a breakout session (the most attended session at the conference), meetings with IBM executives, and helpful resources we have obtained, I have compiled some updates and analysis which I hope both helps you and reassures you as to the future of IBM/Lenovo technology in the x86 IT solutions space.

IT solutions from IBM and Lenovo x86Lenovo Stepping Up

One of the biggest announcements from IBM in their 100+ year history is the transition of their x86 server business to Lenovo, so I wanted to dedicate most of the second part of my report to this important topic.

IBM’s announcement might have some of you wondering: Is IBM beginning to exit the hardware infrastructure space? Will Lenovo maintain the same high level of research, development, and support? And the list of questions and concerns goes on.

We at Datatrend view the announcement as great news for our customers as well as our partners (ISVs, MSPs, and other solution providers who enable their solutions on IBM technology). The alliance between IBM and Lenovo will bring together the best of both worlds – excellence in innovation coupled with excellence in supply chain management.

Why do I say this? I was impressed by how IBM and Lenovo addressed the situation at the conference, and it began with an afternoon session on day two of the conference led by Adalio Sanchez of IBM and Christian Teismann of Lenovo.

The Most Attended Session at PWLC

The event organizers had to move the location of the IBM-Lenovo breakout session to a larger room due to the interest in the topic. The session began with Adalio Sanchez (GM System x/Flex, IBM) describing how the transition to Lenovo represents a very synergistic combination: leading innovation + world-class support + supply chain excellence/scalability.

Adalio went on to describe how customers and partners will see System x be more nimble as a brand, which will result in an optimized supply chain, enabling IBM/Lenovo business partners to serve their customers and alliance partners even better.

Unbeknownst to some, Lenovo has been a licensee of a number of System x designs since 2008, when the two companies first formed a server partnership. Moreover, Lenovo continues to leverage IBM for support in the PC space today even nine years after the sale of IBM’s PC division to Lenovo. So the x86 server transition can be viewed as an extension of what has been done in the past.

Adalio then introduced Christian Teismann (GM Global Customer Commercial Business, Lenovo) who shared some great information about Lenovo IT solutions both now and in the future. Some highlights:

  • Insights from IBM Partner World Part 2Similar to the rapid shift from the data center to the Cloud, there is a rapid shift from PCs to tablets and smartphones.
  • Lenovo’s investment in innovation (it’s not just IBM who has a corner on innovation excellence).
  • Lenovo’s excellence in execution yields the top spot in Gartner magic quadrant.
  • After the transition, Lenovo will have three main divisions – PCs, Phones/Tablets, Enterprise Business Group (servers/storage/networking).

Gartner magic quadrantHere are some additional tidbits you might find helpful:

  • IBM and Lenovo use similar manufacturing locations, plus Lenovo has a major PC manufacturing plant in Raleigh, NC right next to where the large IBM System x complex is located.
  • The same service and support people will move over to Lenovo, yielding peace of mind for customers and ISV/MSP partners.

In the near future, we plan to set up a “communications central” where we will provide updates as the transition becomes a reality, ensuring that our customers and partners will be well informed and well served/supported regarding IBM and Lenovo x86 IT solutions. Rest assured that we will keep you updated every step of the way. So please keep an eye out for the announcement of Datatrend’s online hub for relevant news and updates on the IBM-Lenovo transition.

Did You Know? …

  • IBM System x has 60% market share in the SAP HANA space
  • Lenovo has over 40% market share (#1) in PCs in enterprise accounts (overall PC market share is 19%)
  • Lenovo has shipped more tablets and smart phones than PCs
  • 50% of all PCs (all manufacturers) are made in China, and 88% of all motherboards are manufactured in China

Stop-hungerStop Hunger Now: The Results

It was a privilege to participate in the community involvement activity, helping pack meals for the hungry around the world. As I mentioned previously, the goal during PWLC was to pack 10,000 meals over two days. The response was tremendous. The final tally is that 22,134 meals were packed for Stop Hunger Now. This amount will feed 700 children for a month! It was truly heartwarming to see so many people take time out of their busy conference schedules to support such a worthy cause.

Please check back for part three in this series on the 2014 PWLC conference. In the meantime, I encourage you to contribute to the discussion about Insights from IBM Partner World Part 2 – by posting your comments and/or questions below, plus you can follow me on Twitter.