Managed Services Chatter Emerges at Lenovo Partner Summit

Roughly 500 channel partners are attending Lenovo Accelerate: Channel Partner Forum here in Las Vegas. Most of the  dialog involves Lenovo's channel partner program. But there are plenty of managed services discussions here, too. In particular keep a close eye on Absolute Software and Computrace, Intel, LANDesk and Lenovo's own ThinkVantage software. Here's why.

Predictably, LANDesk is pitching VARs and aspiring MSPs on LANDesk Management Suite for IT asset management. In a breakout session hosted by Lenovo, the PC giant explained how ThinkVantage software integrated with LANDesk supports a range of potential managed services -- including Windows 7 migrations that require 20 minutes or less. There's also some background chatter about the LANDesk Cloud Services Appliance -- which traditional VARs are evaluating as a potential path to managed services, via the cloud.

This is a particularly important time in LANDesk's history. The company was acquired in August 2010 by a private equity firm. And by December 2010, LANDesk was talking about MSP-centric engagements with consulting firms like WiPro. Generally speaking, I believe LANDesk has stronger momentum with corporate IT managers, but I'm trying to learn how much uptake LANDesk has had in the managed services market.

Meanwhile, Computrace is here promoting anti-theft and mobile management technology. Using Computrace, Lenovo partners can manage, track, and -- in the event of theft -- recover customer computers, Computrace claims. Also of note: Computrace's parent -- Absolute Software -- has started to safeguard additional mobile platforms like Google Android and Apple iOS (iPad and iPhone). Once again: Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a hot theme.

Finally, Intel is here promoting vPro to VARs and MSPs. Eric Townsend,  director of MSP and SMB marketing at Intel, and I are sharing an event triple play: We've seen each other at the Kaseya Connect, HTG and Lenovo events over the past three weeks. I expect to grab some sit-down time here with Townsend on Tuesday.

Overall, I suspect most Lenovo partner summit attendees are yet to ride the managed services wave. But there is a managed services current here.

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