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Lenovo Channel Chief: Watch Out For FUD

New Lenovo worldwide channel chief Mark Enzweiler Wednesday urged several hundred IBM partners to be proactive in battling the confusion spread by PC competitors such as Dell.

Dell.

"We cannot affort do have confusion creep in on this thing," Enzweiler said in his first public address to several hundred partners at IBM's PartnerWorld show in Las Vegas. "What is important here is we need to come together and be proactive. The time to act is now."

"We have a competitor who would love to stir up a lot of confusion," he said. "All it means is more work and elongated sales cycle, something we don't need."

Lenovo is an opportunity to lead the PC industry with "aggressive" channel programs, and the relationship between solution providers and Lenovo must be "mutually beneficial," Enzweiler said.

"This cannot be a one-way street. Let's look at these things and be open with each other."

"There are a lot of things that give us an opportunity to lead," he said. "We know it is going to be tough. We know we have to fight back but things are lined up very nicely for us."

In his first interview since taking the job, Enzweiler told CRN that he plans to build a channel program based on strong personal relationships with solution provider partners.

"My commitment is we'll make this a very personal relationship," he told CRN. "We'll spend the time with partners. The best ideas aren't developed among a bunch of IBMers in a conference room. It's out talking to the customers and talking to the channel." Enzweiler, who worked with former IBM channel chief Dave Boucher in the mid-1980s, said he's excited about returning to the channel business.

"I'm like a kid at Christmas," said Enzweiler, who served as general manager of IBM's global chemical and petroleum industry vertical before taking the new post.

Enzweiler said he did a lot of due diligence before joining the Lenovo team. "This is the right thing at the right time," he said. "I think there is a great play here."

Jeff Hansen, senior vice president of merchandising for Zones, an IBM solution provider in Auburn, Wash., applauded Enzweiler's appointment.

"I have known Mark since he took over for Dave Boucher, handling distribution [at the IBM PC company]. He is an excellent, seasoned, savvy, executive with global experience," Hansen said. "He knows resellers and the channel and is very channel-friendly."

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