Lenovo Moves Into Cloud Services With Stoneware Buy

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-09-18 Print this article Print

Stoneware makes a cloud network hosting environment for enterprises, with most of its customers in the education and government sectors.

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.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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