IT may be under new ownership, but the faces behind IBM’s PC division in New Zealand will remain the same once Chinese computer maker Lenovo takes over the reigns.
The new Lenovo, incorporating IBM’s PC division, is set to launch next month and in the interim IBM has given partners a hint of what the future group will look like.
At its Partner Summits in Auckland and Wellington earlier this month, IBM announced that the entire local PC division will be retained under Lenovo, with both the Auckland and Wellington teams moving across to the new group.
Karen Vincent, who currently heads up the PCD in New Zealand, will become Lenovo country manager, while Alan Munro will continue to lead the group across Australia and New Zealand.
Phil Cameron, IBM PCD channels manager for Australia and New Zealand, says there will be no initial changes to channel structures and programmes under Lenovo, while partners will continue to deal with the same people.
“There will be no change in what the channel sees from us,” he says.
Cameron says IBM’s US$1.75 billion sale of its PC division to Lenovo last December represents a perfect fit between the two organisations.
IBM’s strength lay in the mid-market, enterprise and notebook markets and Lenovo’s in the consumer and SMB spheres, he says.
“It is a merger of synergies between two companies, rather than an overlap,” he says.
Therefore partners in New Zealand have responded “overwhel-mingly” positively to the deal, adds Cameron.
Tracey Condie, sales and marketing manager of IBM PC and server distributor IT Wholesale, believes the merger is positive for IBM in New Zealand and globally.
She says ITW is eager to have access to Lenovo’s lower end products.
“We have good relationships in the retail sector and can leverage those products with the resellers we already have,” she says.
“We are also excited about the growth from the PC division in New Zealand. Our business from IBM has grown from strength to strength.”
But Condie expects Lenovo to eventually make changes to the PCD.
“Initially it makes sense to maintain the status quo as the merger takes place, but eventually new processes will be introduced. We will keep a close eye on Lenovo’s channel strategy.”
Although not all details of the new group have been released, Condie believes IBM New Zealand has kept partners as informed as possible.
“They have been very upfront and forthcoming,” she says, adding IBM’s message locally has been consistent with that communicated at its recent global PartnerWorld conference in the US.