How Lenovo Plans to Crack the Server Market

Known for its ThinkPad laptops, Lenovo is trying to find its way into the data center, despite the dominance of the Big 3: IBM, HP and Dell

Lenovo, known for laptops like the ThinkPad line, is expanding into the enterprise through server and storage products. Lenovo's first servers shipped in 2008 for small and midsize businesses, and an Enterprise Products Group was formed this year to attract larger customers.

  • Company: LenovoGroup Ltd.
  • Headquarters: Beijing
  • Employees: 33,000
  • 2013 Revenue: $33.87 billion
  • CEO: Yang Yuanqing
  • What They Do: Lenovo, which acquired IBM's PC division in 2005, claims to be the world's largest PC vendor. It also makes smartphones, tablets and TVs. Now Lenovo is expanding into the corporate IT market with server and storage products.

Lenovo's enterprise path is similar to that of Dell, whose partnership with storage vendor EMC was key to expanding its enterprise offerings. Lenovo and EMC established a storage joint venture called LenovoEMC last year. Meanwhile, Lenovo's servers are being used for cloud deployments and database applications. The servers are available as bare-bones systems or can be customized with virtualization tools and management software.

Lenovo is targeting companies that don't want to get stuck in a "particular vendor's solution stack," says Darrel Ward, vice president of product marketing at the company's Enterprise Product Group.

Servers a New Twist for Lenovo

Lenovo has a strong track record in the PC arena, but it's a new entrant in the server market, so customers have to be cautious, says Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

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