The promotion for Canada’s long-time channel chief means that a replacement will be named – but no decision there has yet been reached.
At the seventh annual Lenovo Accelerate event, Lenovo channel chief Sammy Kinlaw made some significant changes to the Data Center Group [DCG] coverage model. One of them will have significant implications for Lenovo Canada and its channel partners.
“It has been ten quarters now since the acquisition of System X, leading to the creation of the DCG,” Kinlaw told ChannelBuzz. “During that time, we have used a generalist coverage model for DCG, but moving forward, we have to focus on specialization.”
That will entail the building out of three specialist teams, with specific focuses on servers, workstations and services. The big news here for Canadians is that Stefan Bockhop, who has been the channel focus point for Canada, is being promoted to run the DCG server channel business for North America.
“With Stefan now responsible for the DCG channel business, we will be naming a new person to fill his old role in Canada, and we are presently interviewing for his replacement,” Kinlaw said.
“I am also building out a workstation specialists team, and hiring a new director of channel sales for that,” Kinlaw said. This will be Jimmy Holbert, who was the Worldwide Mobile Workstation Category Manager at HP. He starts next week.
“Our plan is to take share and grow both revenue and the number of workstation systems sold in double digits over the next four quarters,” Kinlaw said.
The new services team will be led by Stephanie Fagan, and will be focused on increasing the ‘around the box’ services that Lenovo sells.
“Stephanie is tasked with increasing attach ratios and penetration rates and developing a much more lucrative stack at the partner level,” Kinlaw said.
Kinlaw himself is also assuming a new role, in addition to his channel chief responsibility.
“Our President, Emilio Ghilardi, based on our SMB channel success, has asked me to take over the SMB space,” Kinlaw said. Lenovo defines this as the sub 999 seat market.
“This is a natural fit,” Kinlaw added. “The channel community in the U.S. grew its SMB business by 47 per cent year over year. We expect this to continue to grow dramatically, and we think we will continue to dominate and take double digit share year-on-year.”
Kinlaw also announced programmatic changes which parallel the organizational ones.
“We announced we will be paying more on our TopSeller accrual dollars to sell workstations and services,” he said. “The changes to these programs back up our motivation to grow these areas. We are also enhancing spiffs in these areas. We are putting our money where our mouths are.”
Kinlaw noted as well that 1280 partners were in attendance at the seventh annual Lenovo Accelerate.
“The show was completely sold out,” he said. “Clearly our VAR partners are still interested.”
Kinlaw indicated that about three quarters of attendees were from the PC side, with the remaining quarter being data centre people. The average partner in attendance this year was from a mid-sized company.