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From SAP to Red Hat: Lenovo to leverage partnerships to boost data center numbers

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A week after Lenovo executives pointed to partnerships as a way to drive numbers in its data center business, the company has announced an expanded relationship with SAP.

It’s the latest in a string of partnerships, from Red Hat to Nutanix (Nasdaq: NTNX), all targeted to help Lenovo better compete.

For Lenovo’s North Carolina operation, data centers have been big business since the Chinese company acquired IBM’s Research Triangle Park-based x86 unit. The company continues to base the division in RTP, just a few miles away from its “dual headquarters” in Morrisville. That’s why when sales in that business dropped 20 percent to $1.1 billion in its most recent quarter, it was big news in the Triangle.

In a release following that earnings announcement, the company pointed to partnerships as a way to drive future competitiveness in the division.

Brian Connors, the RTP-based vice president of Next Generation Infrastructures and Business Development at Lenovo, says expanding the SAP (NYSE: SAP) relationship is a big deal for the firm.

“If you look at machine learning and artificial intelligence … you’ll find SAP in the middle of it,” he says, explaining that, in simple terms, the technology at the center of the deal – HANA – is a database that helps customers analyze large amounts of information. “It’s a transformative database that’s being used more and more … it is mission critical.”

And it’s deals like this one that allow Lenovo to both meet high-tech customer needs and drive sales through new channels.

“Partnerships are just critical to fill out the ecosystem and provide our customers with choice,” Connors says.

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