Nutanix, the hard-charging hyper-converged infrastructure company, has announced a strategic partnership with PC and server maker Lenovo.
The partnership involves Lenovo and Nutanix jointly developing a new family of Lenovo appliances that will use Nutanix software, which will be sold by a dedicated global sales team, Lenovo channel partners worldwide, and Lenovo’s enterprise sales team.
The two companies have also signaled intentions to make “substantial investments in platform engineering and development, as well as aggressive go-to-market initiatives” according to the press release I received.
In a statement by Lenovo chairman and CEO, Yang Yuanqing, the company also appears to be making a not-so-subtle dig at server makers Dell and HP, saying “Lenovo can bring a new perspective to the global enterprise space. We do not have to protect old ways of thinking or entrenched ideas. Instead, we can build our business on innovation, and partner freely with the most innovative, leading companies in this space to create new solutions.”
Bold words indeed.
This is a smart move for both companies. Lenovo will now have a strongly credible hyper-converged offering with tight ties into its hardware. Existing partnerships with Maxta, StorMagic, and SimpliVity will come under strain as Nutanix is clearly the preferred partner from this point on. This plugs a hole in Lenovo’s portfolio, though StorMagic is still well positioned for the ROBO market, and Maxta may work as a software offering bundled into a hardware deal, SimpliVity may struggle to get the attention of the Lenovo sales teams.
Nutanix is the really big winner here. They get access to another global route to market, similar to the relationship with Dell. Lenovo gives them an alternative should they start to receive less favourable treatment from Dell once Dell starts to absorb EMC offerings, particularly VSAN. It’s also a major route to emerging markets, particularly China, which is great for a company that needs lots of growth in a run to an IPO.
Dheeraj Pandey and his team are demonstrating good strategic nous and an ability to partner well.
This article first appeared in Forbes.com here.