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Lenovo SMB Director Jay McBain Pursues New Opportunity

The VAR Guy

December 20, 2010

Jay McBain, director of SMB within Lenovo’s channel, has left the PC maker — though McBain has yet to publicly disclose where he’s heading next. In the meantime, McBain leaves Lenovo in good hands as the PC maker increasingly focuses on MSP-centric business opportunities. Here’s the update.

In a personal blog post published December 19, McBain discloses that he’s leaving Lenovo (and its precursor, IBM’s PC division) after “16 years, 5 locations, and about 12 different jobs.” Where is McBain heading next? His blog post doesn’t offer a specific answer — but there are plenty of clues. Within the blog post, he notes:

“A couple of major trends have surfaced in the past few years that will drive the next generation of computing and make this pervasive world a reality:

1. Fast and ubiquitous connectivity
2. Cloud computing (known in the past as network-centric, edge of network, etc)”

Hmmm… Could McBain be heading for the cloud? The VAR Guy could speculate… but he’s gagging on an order or two to remain mum.

Recent Perspectives

In the meantime, McBain is best-known for his work in the managed services industry, and for his focus on pervasive computing. Translation: McBain promotes the idea that everything will become an IP endpoint. And all of those endpoints will need to be managed.

McBain in 2009 attended numerous MSP-centric conferences hosted by Autotask, ConnectWise, N-able and more. Instead of grabbing a microphone, McBain took notes — lots of note — as he helped Lenovo to formulate a managed services strategy. The results appear promising: Lenovo in 2010 launched the first so-called MSP-centric server, and Lenovo also is working with Intel on the so-called Intel Hybrid Cloud server.

McBain explained Lenovo’s MSP strategy in this FastChat Video from April 2010:

Admittedly, multiple Lenovo team members focus on managed services — so McBain’s departure isn’t a serious blow to such a large company.

Bigger Picture, Bigger Rolodex

Still, McBain doesn’t just run in MSP circles. He’s also tight with some of the hardware industry’s best-known channel chiefs and channel influencers. Folks like Dell Channel Chief Greg Davis, Hewlett-Packard Channel Chief Stephen DiFranco (formerly of Lenovo) and Andrew Sage, Cisco’s VP of Worldwide Small Business, come to mind.

Wherever McBain winds up it’s clear he’ll arrive with a pretty massive Rolodex and a clear understanding of managed services. Lenovo, meanwhile, will march forward with a growing commitment to managed services. The VAR Guy has reached out to Lenovo for additional perspectives.

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