Lenovo Buys Stoneware: Cloud and BYOD Implications
Lenovo, making news the past two quarters for breathing down HP’s (NYSE: HPQ) neck for worldwide PC supremacy, has made its first ever software acquisition, buying little-known Stoneware, a small cloud computing and classroom management software developer based in Carmel, Indiana.
What does Lenovo want with Stoneware? In a nutshell, Stoneware’s technology will help Lenovo follow the curve of the IT industry, leveraging the cloud to move from a product focus to a user focus; in other words, Stoneware brings Lenovo into the BYOD era with cloud technology so users can connect their PCs and/or notebooks to their tablets to their smartphones in any setting. Stoneware’s Unified Cloud platform enables user access to files, applications and reports from a universal webDesktop (a common interface across desktops, tablets and smartphones running in a web browser).
Lenovo, which seemingly gets channel friendlier day-by-day, will certainly offer to partners Stoneware’s flagship webNetwork and LanSchool products aimed at the public sector and education markets, where the vendor has a solid channel presence, stoking sales the past few quarters with a meaty rebate program.
Lenovo said that its position as a prominent PC and laptop maker will enable it to advance the existing Stoneware products and build new technology beyond government and education markets to consumers. Peter Hortensius, Lenovo senior vice president and product group president, said that the Stoneware acquisition furthers the vendor’s PC Plus initiative, its strategy to branch out beyond PCs to the interplay of multiple devices, the central point of which is enabling client devices such as notebooks, tablets and smartphones to communicate through the cloud.
“Adding Stoneware cloud computing into the Lenovo line up presents a significant opportunity to leverage their success, and enhance our PC+ offerings, all to the benefit of our customers,” he said.
Rick German, Stoneware chief executive, seemed to enjoy the prospect of talking to a worldwide audience, in what, for the small developer, must be rarefied air. “Lenovo is one of the largest and fastest growing technology companies in the world and for Stoneware, a small company with roots in the heartland of the United States, we are delighted to be given the opportunity to deliver real benefit to customers on a global stage,” he said.
Under terms of the purchase, for which Lenovo did not provide financial details and said is immaterial to its earnings, all of Stoneware’s 60 employees will retain their positions and will be integrated into the Lenovo fold in the next few weeks, officials said. The transaction is expected to close by the end of this year.