There has been a lot of talk about the recent acquisition of IBM’s x86 servers by Lenovo. People always tend to worry at times of change, but in my opinion I can only see benefits for OCF and our customers resulting from this transaction. It will remove some of the uncertainty existing in the marketplace, as it has been known for a sometime that IBM hasn’t wanted to continue with its x86 business. It also places the x86 server business into the hands of a multi-national company that is known for its commitment to business growth.
Let’s not forget that at the end of 2004, Lenovo acquired IBM’s PC division and has successfully developed the business to become the World’s biggest seller of PC’s. It is more than likely that Lenovo will strive to become the World’s number one server provider as well. The fact that Lenovo will now have much more commercial leverage with component suppliers should enable a more compelling price performance proposition and this should benefit our HPC customers in particular, given their need for large numbers of commodity servers in their cluster solutions.
As a specialist HPC and Big Data integrator, and one of IBM’s largest customers for its System x brand in the UK, this transaction brings another world class partner to OCF, further enhancing our capabilities to provide our customers with the best of breed technologies that they require. IBM and Lenovo appear to have sown the seeds for a mutually beneficial partnership-with cross licencing agreements, agreements covering ongoing support and the like-and OCF’s role as the primary integrator will continue to provide the glue to bring the solutions together.
So for our customers, it will be business as usual. Bearing in mind that Lenovo is taking with it around 7,500 staff, we are most likely to be dealing with the same people on a day-to-day basis going forward. We will remain our customers’ primary contact, so there will be little change for our customers. IBM has also committed to support Lenovo and its customers in the foreseeable future. Our primary distributor Azlan is also the largest Lenovo distributor in the UK, so it is well placed to assist us in developing any further relationships that we will require on top of those that we already possess with the persons transferring with the deal.
Lenovo is not just a Chinese manufacturer of computers-it is a global multinational organisation with a history of success in its chosen markets and its capabilities have been enhanced by the addition of 7500 experts from IBM. I am looking forward to growing our business with both IBM and Lenovo. Any customer who wishes to discuss their particular situation can contact me directly and I will ensure that they get the support to alleviate any concerns. Onwards and upwards!