IBM: PC division sale won't affect product delivery

Representatives from IBM's PC division (PCD) said last week that the sale of the PCD to Lenovo Group will not have any impact on product or delivery to customers.

IBM director Personal Computing for U.K., Ireland, Netherlands and SA, Gareth Hansford, says that the transition from IBM to Lenovo will take place on a country by country basis starting in Q2 this year, and should be completed by mid-year.

"The teams that work in IBM PCD today will be the same once the transition to Lenovo has taken place," he says. "The structure will stay the same, and customers and partners will be dealing with the same people. We are transferring all contracts, and the management tools and processes across to Lenovo, so customers will not be required to sign new contracts," he adds.

Lenovo will also be manufacturing the same machines, to the same standards, as those that IBM has traditionally produced, he says.

Locally, adds Hansford, the business has been realigned in a bid to provide clarity to the local channel as to where IBM plays directly, and what business goes through partners. The local team, headed by Rashid Wally, has also been expanded, and Hansford says customers should immediately see increased reseller coverage.

"The opportunity for IBM PCD, now that it is part of Lenovo, is to have a far broader reach than it would have had as IBM's PC division. As Lenovo, the company will combine IBM's enterprise skills and products and Lenovo's skills in the commercial, retail, home and very small business arenas," he comments.

In terms of the deal, IBM gets an 18.9 percent stake in the new entity, and Lenovo has the right to use the IBM brand for the next five years. The new Lenovo teams will also be able to work out of their current IBM offices 'for as long as they need to', says Hansford.

The IBM/Lenovo deal has come under fire since it was announced. As reported last week in Computing SA, analyst group Merrill Lynch has published a survey stating that CIOs are wary of the new entity. In addition, reports of the deal published by the International Data Group (IDG) indicate that there are national security concerns around the deal in the U.S., and that a full enquiry into Lenovo is going to be conducted by the U.S. government.