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By | Paul Kunert 11th April 2014 12:01

HP: Lenovo's buy of IBM x86 biz is bad, bad, bad...

For customers and channel partners

The volume of noise from anxious biz customers and some channel types over Lenovo's buy of IBM's x86 server biz is deafening the ears of those gentle folk at HP.

At least that is what Bill Veghte, global boss of HP's enterprise biz, told us, and given rivals' efforts to highlight HP's slips in recent years who can blame him for doing the same.

"Customers and partners are concerned. They are concerned about what the future will be for them – not only in the product but also in support and services," claimed the exec veep and GM of the Enterprise Group.

HP has an internal migration programme to support customers with IBM servers as they decide to make the switch, he pointed out.

But providing maintenance support is something that HP and other vendors already offer on third-party kit as standard.

Veghte said customers tend to buy servers with storage and reckoned there will be a "gap" in Lenovo's portfolio.

Under Lenovo's plan it will start to OEM and resell IBM's storage portfolio including Storwize disk and tape products, General Parallel File System Software and SmartCloud Entry.

It took Lenovo around eight years from buying IBM's PC business to snatching the PC crown from HP, and in snaffling Big Blue's x86 division it will leap into second spot in the global sales stakes.

"The reality is that they [Lenovo] have the experiences from PCs so that is a benefit, but the downside is that its just a different market, and where IBM plays in server markets is upmarket so its not a natural intersect," he told us.

Some would say there was already uncertainty because customers and channel partners were well aware that IBM wanted out of the volume server market- they nearly sold the business in 2013.

Gianluca Degliesposti, exec director of EMEA for Lenovo's server and storage business, said HP was trying to magnify the uncertainty to attract partners and customers.

"Lenovo gave System x a better future, there is even more certainty," he told The Channel.

Partners contacted by us felt there is some short term uncertainty as the deal awaits regulatory approval but with a new owner that wants to be in the Intel server market, "there is more long term certainty". ®

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