More and more companies are turning onto the cloud infrastructure and services thoroughfare, and that now includes mobile device makers.
China's Lenovo, the world's No. 2 personal-computer maker and seller behind Hewlett-Packard, isn't known for software development, but it made a significant move in that direction Sept. 18 when it announced the acquisition of Carmel, Ind.-based Stoneware. Financial details of the transaction were not released.
Stoneware, the first software-only company Lenovo has bought, makes a cloud network hosting environment for enterprises, primarily in the education and government sectors. The company said that its customers serve "millions of users" using its key software platform, webNetwork.
WebNetwork is a unified cloud platform that brings together private data center, public cloud and local device resources through a common webDesktop. Ostensibly, the software is intuitive to use and thus easy to operate by a large number of employees.
By owning a cloud-service software provider, Lenovo will be able to embed webDesktop into all of its laptop and tablet PCs and provide valued-added or option-for-purchase services such as storage, file sharing, work collaboration and other software through its own cloud. Lenovo calls this initiative PC Plus.
Lenovo wants to market these services in the education and government spaces, where Stoneware already has racked up most of its sales.
"Adding Stoneware cloud computing into the Lenovo lineup presents a significant opportunity to leverage their success and enhance our PC+ offerings, all to the benefit of our customers," said Peter Hortensius, senior vice president and president of Lenovo's product group.
All 67 employees from Stoneware's offices in Indiana and Utah will join the computing giant over the next few weeks. The deal is expected to be final by the end of the calendar year.
Earlier in September, Lenovo bought Brazilian electronics firm CCE for $148 million to stimulate sales following a recent growth slump.