Darlene Blake

Lenovo Team Manager

Darlene Blake, Lenovo Team Manager, SHI Darlene Blake is the Lenovo Team Manager within SHI’s Hardware and Advanced Solutions department. She manages SHI’s relationship with Lenovo and acts as the liaison between the two companies. Darlene works with SHI sales specialists to provide technical support around client and server solutions, make recommendations based on organizations’ unique needs, and conduct trainings on Lenovo products and programs.

Darlene leads and coaches a team of 10 to drive SHI’s Lenovo sales strategy and ensure the company hits its Lenovo growth targets. She oversees all client, server, services, and peripheral sales for the Lenovo business segment.

Darlene joined SHI in 1997 and, in addition to Lenovo, has worked on SHI’s IBM sales team. Darlene was named the Lenovo Advocate of the Year twice. She can be reached at Darlene_Blake@shi.com.

You asked, we answered: Explaining 6 questions about warranties

warrantyWarranties get a bad rap. The common – and often incorrect – refrains we hear are that warranties are too expensive, too weak, and just ineffective. Warranties, relegated to a subsection of a larger contract, are glossed over in many transactions.

But warranties are more than fine print. Organizations buying hardware – everything from laptops to networking components to servers – should pay close attention to standard and expanded warranty options. Are they always necessary? Maybe not. But warranties are akin to hardware insurance, protecting investments for organizations of all sizes.

Still, many IT professionals are unsure of what their warranties entail. We’ve assembled six questions we’re often asked about warranties below to strip the terminology down to the basics so you can easily decide what you need and what you don’t. (more…)

How the IBM-Lenovo deal affects you

IBM x86 serverLenovo’s recent acquisition of IBM’s x86 server business, completed on Oct. 1, makes it one of the largest suppliers of x86 servers in the world. As far back as January, when news of a deal first emerged, organizations of all sizes have been anticipating the change while also wondering what implications the deal would have on their IT purchasing.

How will this deal impact product support? How will the x86 acquisition affect the cost of these systems? How will procurement change?

For months, our customers have asked these questions and more about what this purchase means for them. Now that the ink on the contracts is dry, here’s how the Lenovo-IBM deal will impact organizations of all sizes.

It’s business as usual for you. The IBM and Lenovo sales programs will remain in place for now, and Lenovo will transition IBM’s x86 server segment into its core business over the next six months. The only change for current customers is what they call it. Moving forward, Lenovo will refer to the x86 server line as System X. Other than nomenclature, organizations will experience no differences when working with SHI for their x86 server needs.

The deal will streamline x86 procurement. Lenovo has more distribution channels for hardware than IBM, making it easier for companies to acquire new equipment. Organizations that need to expand their server capabilities can do so more quickly.

Organizations have more options. The x86 server is popular in large organizations, and by adding the x86 to its portfolio, Lenovo will emerge as a serious contender in the enterprise space, going head to head against HP, Cisco, and Dell. And Lenovo’s addition of the x86 server business also means customers will finally get the blade server options some have been clamoring for, without having to strike a separate deal with another manufacturer or abandon Lenovo completely for a vendor with a more comprehensive portfolio. Overall, Lenovo customers will have more options when purchasing server hardware.

Lenovo now offers pocket to cloud solutions. Lenovo is known for its PC business, but recent acquisitions have expanded its scope in the tech marketplace. Lenovo entered the smartphone business when it announced plans to acquire Motorola, a deal that should be finalized by the end of 2014, and the x86 acquisition adds enterprise-class server options, giving customers a single source option for their entire ecosystem.

Businesses big and small can now benefit. Traditionally, Lenovo’s portfolio served small and medium-sized businesses, while IBM focused on enterprise clients. Because Lenovo’s x86 server acquisition broadens its product line, companies of all sizes can partner with Lenovo to acquire complete hardware solutions.

Over the past six months, many customers told us they were hesitant about buying additional server capability because of uncertainties surrounding this acquisition. If you were holding back on purchasing new servers, there’s no reason to fear — with the bulk of changes coming to the supply and partnership channels, you won’t miss a beat over the next six months. For customers, the deal amounts to faster procurement channels and additional Lenovo hardware options to complete their IT ecosystems.

If you have any other questions about the Lenovo x86 acquisition, contact your SHI account team today.

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