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Lenovo Partner Conference: Accelerate to Orlando

Lenovo is hosting its annual partner conference this week in Orlando, where the theme “Accelerate” doesn’t really apply to the hordes of tourists crowding the elevators. It’s an interesting theme, however, considering the momentum Lenovo has experienced over the past year with its channel sales. So what can we expect from the PC, server, mobile and cloud vendor?

Charlene O'Hanlon

May 12, 2014

2 Min Read
Jay Parker president Lenovo North American Operations
Jay Parker, president, Lenovo North American Operations

Lenovo is hosting its annual partner conference this week in Orlando, where the theme “Accelerate” doesn’t really apply to the hordes of tourists crowding the elevators. It’s an interesting theme, however, considering the momentum Lenovo has experienced over the past year with its channel sales. So what can partners expect from the PC, server, mobile and cloud vendor?

Last year’s event focused mainly on Lenovo’s push into the server market—a move that clearly has worked well for the company—as well as its efforts in the cloud space. While company execs readily note cloud is a greater ambition for the company in emerging markets, there’s no denying Lenovo has made great strides in its server lineup. And, with the company poised to take over IBM’s x86 server business (pending regulatory approval, of course), the company believes the channel opportunities are limitless.

“We are continuing to double down our efforts on ThinkServer and introduce more models that are storage and data center-ready,” said Kevin Nelson, executive director, Enterprise Systems Group at Lenovo. “We’re adding onto our basic product line and now as models are up for a refresh we’re looking for opportunities to differentiate in the market. We will continue to do that. We will continue to refresh.

“Last year we talked about partners understanding the ‘Think value proposition’—when we put [the] ‘Think’ [moniker] on any product the bar we have to scale is higher than anything else in company because can’t dilute attributes of the Think brand. Now our customers are saying, ‘This feels like a Think experience,’” he added.

That customer experience is a major focus for Lenovo this year, as the company seeks to be more than the alternative to HP technology (not that that’s a bad thing).

“The biggest challenge for any company is for the infrastructure and the customer experience to keep up with growth,” said Jay Parker, president, Lenovo North American Operations. “We don’t want to outgrow ourselves. It has become a big priority for us to differentiate ourselves. Third-party data sources say we are tied or in the lead in that category; our goal is to separate ourselves.”

Parker noted that means investing in services and technologies that offer top-notch customer care, including insourcing call centers, personalizing the dispute process and “everything in between. We want to prove we can be head and shoulders above the competition.”

Along with that, Parker said, comes an equally heavy focus on the partner experience.

“We don’t view partners and customers as mutually exclusive, but the customer experience is No. 1. Generally speaking, if the customer is happy, we’re happy and the partner is happy.”

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