IBM partners are convinced Lenovo can become a "major force" in the server market following clearance of the last regulatory hurdle in its takeover of Big Blue's x86 business.
On Friday, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) notified the two firms it had given the $2.3bn (£1.37bn) deal the green light after finding no significant national security implications in the divestiture. Chinese authorities gave the transaction their blessing in July.
First announced in January, the deal will hand Lenovo control of IBM's x86 servers, blade networking and maintenance operations. IBM said this will allow it to focus on areas such as big data, cloud and cognitive computing.
Since buying Big Blue's PC business in 2005, Lenovo has grown to become the world's largest PC vendor and partners of both vendors are hopeful the Chinese vendor can pull of the same feat with servers.
Paul Barlow, managing director of Lenovo and IBM partner Servium, said Lenovo's ability to catch x86 market leaders HP and Dell would hinge on how quickly it can integrate product road maps.
"Lenovo has a really good track record of buying something from IBM and turning it into a success and it is clearly going to be a major force in the server market going forward," Barlow (pictured) said.
"We see this as a positive move. IBM no longer saw the x86 market as its core business and the organisation that has bought it really wants to push forward in this market. And customers won't be too upset because they've seen that the transition with Thinkpads worked."
Clearance from US authorities will come as a relief to Lenovo after the deal reportedly hit a snag earlier in the summer over national security concerns. IBM is a major supplier of servers to federal agencies, including military and intelligence. Lenovo said in a statement it expects to close the deal before the end of 2014.
However, Steve Ellis, managing director of IBM partner 365 iT, said partners have taken the delays in their stride.
"These things take time. It was never going to be something that took a month to close out," he said.
"Lenovo has made a success of IBM's PC business and servers will be the jewel in their crown, rather than it being a small part of a very large business."
Ellis added that IBM partners were used to dealing with Lenovo and said he expected to retain the same level of accreditation under the Lenovo partner regime.
Chris Roche, managing director of IBM partner Celerity, said he was looking forward to working with Lenovo.
"I think it will be a breath of fresh air," Roche said. "There will be a new set of eyes on the product. The volume market [is] Lenovo's space and is not where IBM is looking to play. I would suspect Lenovo will be more focused on it."
Contingency plans follow Carillion's demise earlier this year
Oliver Tuszik says partners can boost subscription sales by taking a customer experience-led approach
Firm says enterprise business has performed 'weaker than originally expected'
Top executives from nine VARs, including Computacenter, Bell Integration, XMA, ANS and Epaton, weigh in on which server, storage and networking technologies will be red hot next year