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By | Paul Kunert 6th January 2015 14:26

Lenovo: We now OWN IBM's shrinking Euro server biz. It's OURS!

Happy New Year HP et al, the Chinese are coming for ... you!

Lenovo has finally got its hands on IBM’s volume server business in Europe months after the transaction closed in the rest of the world, and the comparatively hard work now begins in earnest.

The transfer of the System X division to the new Chinese owners happened for most last October but was delayed in the fragmented European space to “minimise impact” on calendar Q4 trade.

In a statement sent to El Chan, Lenovo confirmed it held back the purchase in the region “due to the large number of countries and processes involved” and that the deal had cleared on 1 January.

“Our priorities are to deliver a seamless transition for customers and parters, while we accelerate our server business,” said Lenovo UK and Ireland boss man Marc Godin.

“We have big plans for the enterprise market and aim to repeat the success we’ve had in PCs,” he added.

It took Lenovo eight years to steal the PC crown from HP, but that involved revisiting its channel strategy on multiple occasions and getting the supply chain to a point of reliability.

Giorgio Nebuloni, IDC server research guru, told us Lenovo has got “very aggressive market aims in terms of market share” but said he could not be more specific on the numbers front.

“[Lenovo] might put pressure on margins and deals,” he said.

IBM had failed to report meaningful x86 server sales growth from the end of Q4 2011 to the point of the System X sale, declining in nearly every quarter since.

Lenovo will broaden the route to market, the IDC man estimates, but even with this, taking the server market by storm “won’t be easy” because the market has shifted from pure volumes to one where customers want channel partners to provide a “solution”.

“All the growth areas are in environments where you can’t simply sell a box to a distributor,” said Nebuloni, “big data, analytics, software-defined networking in the data centre, the cloud. Lenovo needs to help partners more, and absorb this from a cultural perspective." ®

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