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January 24, 2023
Lenovo’s Bill Swales
When VMware’s former Americas channel chief Bill Swales resurfaced at Lenovo last fall, he declined to specify his new role. Months after arriving, the veteran channel exec is now sharing how he fits into the Lenovo channel organization.
Lenovo tapped Swales to take over as VP of commercial sales for Lenovo’s North America region, a position that Marshae Mansfield previously held. Lenovo promoted Mansfield to VP of worldwide strategic accounts, though she continues to help Swales get up to speed.
In an interview with Channel Futures, Swales explained that he is supporting Rob Cato, Lenovo North America’s channel chief. “I will work very closely with Bill to get him engaged with our partners as we go after the corporate space,” Cato said. Both executives report to Vladimir Rozanovich, president of Lenovo North America.
Swales is an upbeat sales executive who has held various channel roles. Before VMware, Swales had worked in the channel sales organizations of AMD, Oracle, HPE and Seagate. Swales believes Lenovo has much to gain despite plummeting PC sales industrywide in recent months. Like the entire information technology industry, Lenovo faces a commercial and enterprise customer base now pulling back on IT spending.
Last fall, Rozanovich told Channel Futures how the Lenovo 360 channel program has resulted in PC-focused partners expanding into datacenter infrastructure. The program builds on the new One Lenovo framework that incentivizes partners to provide solutions from the company’s various businesses. Swales said he would help accelerate the One Lenovo strategy.
“That’s one of the charters that Vlad gave me, to be a clear communicator about our One Lenovo strategy in front of our customers,” Swales said. “It’s one voice with a consistent message that we’re not just a device company; we’re a company that can really help customers on their overall digital transformational journey.”
According to Swales, One Lenovo has been in effect long enough that it has reached maturity. “We’ve done an enormous amount of cross-functional enablement and training with all of our selling capacity across the organization, where it’s now one community voice,” he said. “We’re starting to see a lot of our traditional client-based partners who are starting to expand into Lenovo’s infrastructure business, and it’s really exciting.”
In the commercial channel segment he oversees, Swales explained that customers with fewer than 1,000 seats but larger than SMBs. Swales emphasized that 90% of Lenovo’s commercial sales go through channel partners.
In the first few weeks of the new year, Lenovo has already launched dozens of datacenter solutions and client devices. On the client side, Lenovo kicked off the new year at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas by previewing several ThinkPad and Yoga PCs. Among them are the ThinkPad X1 laptop, ThinkBook Plus with a rotating display and a new dual-screen Yoga 9i laptop. Also, at CES, Lenovo launched its new ThinkPhone by Motorola, set for release in the coming months.
Want to know which companies are offering cutting-edge products and services? Here’s our latest roundup.
Lenovo also rolled out 25 new data center infrastructure solutions, riding on the launch of Intel’s 4th Gen Xeon Scalable processors.
In the slideshow above, we describe seven of the newest product lines set to arrive in the channel during the coming months.
Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.
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