Lenovo UK boss looks for cross fertilisation across PC and server channels

The UK MD of Lenovo is hoping that those that have sold its PCs will add its servers into the mix

The UK boss at Lenovo is looking to the channel to help it grow its server business with more of those currently selling PCs adding the technology to the options they can deliver to customers.

It has been seven months since the former IBM x86 server business was incorporated into the UK and Ireland operation and the integration process continues with the focus falling on the partners.

Speaking to sister title Computer Weekly, David McQuarrie, general manager, Lenovo northern Europe, (pictured) who has been in his post since the start of the year, after the man who had been running the UK for the previous three years Marc Godin moved to take on a European role, provided an update on the current state of the vendor.

Lenovo operates in four broad markets - PCs, tablets, which it views as a seperate area, servers and mobile phones - and has the ambition of being the leader in each of those segments. It has achieved that in the PC arena and is now hoping to replicate that experience.

It has a strong channel built up around the PC products and has also been developing its distribution network to support more of a push around servers and storage and is also looking to take share in the tablet and phone space.

McQuarrie believed that there was decent growth still out in the PC market and although the UK had delivered a solid performance there were still more opportunities out there for the vendor and its partners to take advantage of.

"The growth we've seen in the UK has been significant, but I want that growth to accelerate, despite the fact that the industry is seeing some weakness," he said.

He added that there were already indications that Windows 10 would be attracting corporate customers from its launch at the end of the month.

"I am seeing a much large percentage proactively interested or open to a conversation about Windows 10," he said about commercial customers "Windows 10 has the potential and it is up to us, our partners and Microsoft to engage with customers and tell them why and how they should [move to Windows 10]."

McQuarrie said that it also felt that it could pose more of a challenge to Apple and Samsung in the tablet market and had ambitions to be the number one brand in that category as it had invested in designing devices that would appeal to Windows and Android users.

The ambitions on the server side for the rest of the year, which is starting to ramp up following the integration of what was the IBM x86 business, is the stablise and grow the business and have a market focused approach.

He said that much of the same channel the sold its PCs would also be selling servers and it needed to work with those partners to take advantage of the wider product range.

"There is a massive server and storage marketplace that we are not taking best advantage of, considering we have all the channels in place for it. All of the customers who are going to be buying server and storage from somebody are also buying PCs. Muchy of the channel for that product is the same channel we have long established relationships with," he said.

He said that it wanted to replicate the success it had seen with resellers and distributors around PCs with the server range and respond to the demand, particularly from SMEs, to buy all of their hardware from a single supplier.

"We are moving towards being a consolidated technology provider while others are moving away. There are opportunities for value, scale and synergies between our product categories whether it be phones, servers, PCs or tablets," he said.

Taking a swipe at some of the rivals in the market he stated the position Lenovo has in terms of additional services and said it was not looking for a direct relationship with the buyer.

"We do not aspire to deliver all the solutions directly and we have a clear strategy of partnering with an MSP, ISV or a distributor and we don't compete with our partners," he added.

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