PC builder Lenovo is making a play for heavier duty infrastructure kit as it tries to make its presence felt beyond commoditised desktops and mobile systems.
The Enterprise Product Group (EPG) has launched stateside ahead of a Euro blitz in 2013 - it will house server, storage, networking, software and cloud services to be fired at SMEs, large corporates and system integrators.
The unit will also work on server tech with EMC as part of a global OEM deal signed back in August - Lenovo will create embedded servers for EMC storage, will resell EMC kit and jointly develop storage boxes.
Roy Guillen is heading up the biz as veep and GM for EPG, he previously ran Dell's data centre solutions operation.
Senior veep for EPG Peter Hortensius, said in a canned statement it plans to "aggressively expand the breadth of our product portfolio" in both the mature and emerging IT markets
"The new EPG will include development, operations, and marketing teams whose job is to manage and grow our portfolio of products, identify new alliances and partnerships and accelerate Lenovo's credibility as a supplier of enterprise solutions," he said.
Plans for a rollout of EPG in the UK and Germany are set to be put into action next year, Lenovo told The Channel.
Neil Berville, executive director for EMEA channels told us that server sales to date were primarily with SMBs, adding: "The go-to market would continue via the channel".
Lenovo held 1 per cent server market share across Europe in Q2 equating to just a few thousand units, IDC shipments numbers reveal.
"They are not a major player in Europe so far," said Giorgio Nebuloni, IDC research manager for servers, noting: "It only sells only Rack and Tower x86 machines, not blades".
He said Lenovo needed to "beef up" the portfolio, build an enterprise support channel and a workforce that are able to have relevant conversations with large customers outside of the PC space.
"That will take a while," said Nebuloni.
But time is one thing Lenovo does have - it has taken the best part of eight years to mount of very credible challenge to HP on a global scale and management may view servers as a similarly long term game.
"The EMC partnership will help, but building expertise will take a while," said Nebuloni. ®