Lenovo Lays Out Its Mobile, Cloud Ambitions
Lenovo is betting that channel partners are going to want to align with a vendor that provides a portfolio of products and services that range from smartphones to the cloud.
At the recent Lenovo Accelerate 2013 Channel Partner Forum, the company indicated that it would be bringing the smartphones it sells in China to the U.S. market, and that channel partners would soon see a rich set of cloud services offerings based on the Stoneware cloud computing platform that Lenovo acquired last year.
According to Kevin Nelson, executive director of Lenovo's Enterprise Systems Group, the company is starting to make the case for a strategy that encompasses smartphones, tablets, notebooks and PCs. "We want people to start thinking of Lenovo in terms of four screens of computing," he said.
At the same time, Lenovo has been aggressively moving into the server sector. Nelson said Lenovo now has the fastest-growing server business in North America, and also has gained a significant share of the high-end workstation market.
The expectation is that Lenovo will shortly unify all those capabilities under a cloud computing banner that will make it possible for users to seamlessly share data across a variety of Lenovo products. These items will include a rapidly growing portfolio of storage products for small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs). Lenovo is bringing these products to market in conjunction with EMC.
"We're targeting the SMB space with EMC—$25,000 and below for a storage system," Nelson said.
Nelson added that as the smartphone and tablet PC markets become less influenced by consumers, solution providers will see customers taking more rational approaches to IT—strategies that will be based more on the capabilities and experience a vendor can provide in markets ranging from mobile to cloud.
As what Lenovo described as a "PC-Plus Era" of computing continues to emerge, Nelson said that solution providers investing in Lenovo will have the most to gain as the company moves to dramatically expand its total available market well beyond the traditional PC.
Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.