SAN FRANCISCO — Timing is everything.
As the countdown to the close of Lenovo’s acquisition of IBM’s x86 server business comes to fruition tomorrow, Lenovo’s presence on the exhibition floor of Oracle OpenWorld 2014 here this week is being met with curiosity and excitement. That’s good for existing Lenovo partners, IBM partners that have already made the decision to align with Lenovo and new partners considering adding Lenovo as a vendor partner.
While it’s not the first time that Lenovo has set up shop at the annual Oracle OpenWorld conference, it is the first time the company has been armed with some heavy enterprise-class x86 server product and, equally important, the entire x86 business with annual revenue earnings of just under $5 billion; 7,500 employees, including those responsible for R&D, manufacturing, sales, marketing and services; and the global leadership team of IBM’s x86 server business, including Adalio Sanchez, general manager for IBM x86 and PureSystems Solutions.
According to Lenovo, the acquisition will make the company the third-largest player in the $42.1 billion global x86 server market.
Why the excitement on the Oracle floor?
“Now, as part of Lenovo, we’re free and uncomplicated,” said David Suh, whose title as of Oct. 1 will be director and business line executive for Lenovo System X solutions and who previously spent 14 years with IBM. “We’ll no longer have to deal with any of the many IBM business areas that create points of friction when working with other vendors and partners,” he added.
In the couple of days that Lenovo’s been at Oracle OpenWorld, ISVs and other ecosystem partners have given Lenovo a wonderful reception, according to Suh, including the executive Oracle team, which has been excited at the idea of partnering with Lenovo versus competing with IBM.
Going forward, expect to see Lenovo partner with ISVs as well as other partners in the ecosystem, including technology partners, distributors, system integrators and traditional VARs.
Lenovo drives the majority of its business through channel partners and is even more channel-heavy than IBM. “We’ve had a lot of success proving to business partners that we can go to market together, make a lot of money together… so bringing on a whole new portfolio is going to allow us to expand our solutions,” said Tom Ribble, director of the enterprise product group, marketing and alliances at Lenovo.