Lenovo launches new products targeting SMBs

To increase its sales opportunities in the small to mid-size business (SMB) space, Lenovo Corp. has introduced a new server, ultraportable laptop, mobile workstation and tablet PC, all designed specifically for this market segment.

On the server side, Lenovo is now offering enterprise-class server reliability and performance to SMBs with its new ThinkServer TS200 sever product.

Mika Majapuro, senior worldwide product marketing manager at Lenovo, said when the company first entered into the server market two years ago, the target customers were primarily large enterprises.With the company’s new ThinkServer TS200 server product, Majapuro said Lenovo is creating new opportunities in the SMB and corporate branch space.

“We’re offering manageability, performance and value, at a low starting price below $500,” Majapuro said. “We hope this will open up new opportunities for us and for our MSPs (managed service providers).”

Stefan Bockhop, director of channel sales at Lenovo Canada, said in the Canadian space, Lenovo has traditionally done “well” in the SMB segment, but there’s still room for improvement.

“Traditionally, we do well in the SMB segment below 1,000 seats,” Bockhop said. “We tend to do well on the larger end of the scale between 600 and 1,000 employees though, so we’re not as strong on the small business side.”

Bockhop admits though, that within the past year and a half, the company has been introducing products that reach new “price and performance levels” that Lenovo didn’t previously address.

This can be seen with Lenovo’s new ThinkServer TS200 product, ultraportable laptops, the ThinkPad X201 and X201s, new W701 and W701ds mobile workstations, in addition to the X201 tablet, all designed for SMBs.

Lenovo’s ThinkServer TS200 is built with Intel’s Active Management Technology which makes it easier for SMB customers to remotely manage their IT infrastructures. Some of the key performance features in the server include built-in software RAID (redundant array of independent disks) protection, in addition to memory error correction. The server also comes with Lenovo’s Easy Startup program which makes the setup and configuration process easier, Majapuro added.

The ThinkPad X201 is a small, ultraportable form factor PC which offers 3GHz performance at under three pounds, Majapuro said. With a battery life of up to 11 hours, he said this notebook is ideal for mobile professionals. The X201s model weighs in at less than 2.5 pounds and with a nine-cell battery, can achieve over 12 hours of battery life, Lenovo claims.

The W series of notebooks are for users who require extreme performance for their computing needs, Majapuro said. The 17-inch screen, when used with the optional digitizer and pen, is ideal for workers in vertical industries such as engineering or advertising, he added. Users can use the digitizer pen to more accurately work with things like research or other medical images.

The X201 tablet features dual functionality, to be used as a slate for note-taking, or as a full-size laptop for more intensive computing work, Majapuro said. The tablet also operates on Microsoft’s Windows 7 operation system.

The new Lenovo PCs also feature an enhanced fingerprint reader, where users can swipe their finger to either turn on or wake up a dormant machine.

Bockhop said for partners, these new products present a wealth of new business opportunities.

“All of these products are in our Top Seller category, so we work with our distribution partners to keep them in stock,” Bockhop said. “With these products, partners don’t have to wait for an order to come in for their customers and this way, partners can keep their cash flow moving.”

Lenovo’s ThinkServer TS200, ThinkPad X201, X201s, X201 tablet, W701 and W701ds products will all be available in March through Lenovo and its channel partners. Prices for the products are as follows: TS200v is about $419, X201 at $1,049, X201s at $1,799, X201 tablet at $1,729, W701 at $4,423 and W701ds at $5,563.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
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