Recognizing the increase in virtualization among its enterprise server customers, Lenovo has now making available VMware (VMW) vSphere with Operations Management (VSOM) on its ThinkServer line.

“We want to get our customers infrastructure-ready for their journey to the cloud,” said Sean Gilbert, senior alliances manager at Lenovo. “We are able to provide full VMware support, Layer 1 through Layer 3. We think that’s a big differentiator for us.”

The move to include VSOM as a value-add to Lenovo’s offerings come at a time when the hardware maker is looking to move beyond just selling hardware and into a solutions sales approach, and appears to be forging relationships with vendors such as VMware to make it happen.

For Lenovo’s channel partners, such a move can help bolster customer conversations around virtualization and the cloud, especially within the SMB ranks and enterprise customers experiencing server sprawl.

“More customers are going virtual or moving to the cloud, and we see SMBs are starting to kick the tires,” Gilbert said. “That is where we see the opportunities.  Actually, there are two types of customers we’re looking at for this offering: midsize companies that have started to do virtualization but are now experiencing server sprawl, and those that are new to cloud and virtualization and have plans to grow. We have the tool to help them do that.”

vSphere with Operations Manager is available now as a bundled offering with the ThinkServer line including models RD430, RD530 and RD630.