5 Boldest Statements From Lenovo Data Center Group President Kirk Skaugen At Accelerate 2019

Lenovo's Data Center Group head tells partners that the company is aiming to become the ‘largest hyper-scale infrastructure provider in the world’ over the next several years.


Lenovo Data Center Group President Kirk Skaugen is setting high expectations for how the data center challenger will be able to perform in coming years—with the help of solution providers.

At the Lenovo Accelerate 2019 partner conference—which was combined with Lenovo's Transform 3.0 innovation event—Skaugen said he had a "big, bold statement" for partners.

[Related: Lenovo Partners Reaping Benefits Of New Channel Charge]

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"We honestly believe that Lenovo can become, over the next several years, the largest hyper-scale infrastructure provider in the world," Skaugen said during his Accelerate 2019 keynote in Orlando, Fla., Monday.

The comments came as Lenovo’s Data Center Group (DCG) sales in both servers and storage have been growing at a blistering pace. The company generated $1.46 billion in server revenue in the fourth quarter of 2018, representing 34 percent sales growth year over year to achieve 6.2 percent share of the worldwide market, according to research firm IDC.

What follows are Skaugen's five boldest statements about Lenovo’s DCG business at Accelerate 2019.

Server And Storage

Crediting "all that work we did together as partners over the last two years," Skaugen said that "we believe we're going to outperform the market at 100 percent of the market growth in the traditional server space in every segment we participate."

On storage, "we're going to take that NetApp storage alliance [and] we're going to disrupt the status quo," Skaugen said. "We're going to grow very, very fast in that space."


Lenovo has grown its software-defined business at triple digits for six consecutive quarters, Skaugen said. "Whether it's Nutanix, [VMware] vSAN, Microsoft—we've delivered two times the market rate," he said. "And this year we think we can do it again, while also building out an organic offering with our ThinkAgile CP products."

Edge And IoT

Following up on Lenovo's major server and largest storage launches over the past two years, "this year we're going to launch the largest edge server and embedded portfolio in our history," Skaugen said.

He pointed to the new ThinkSystem SE350 as one of the key products being launched.

"This is actually an edge server that can be earthquake-compliant, AC/DC-powered. It can be stacked on a shelf, it can be mounted on a wall. It has six antennas, [it's] 5G-connected, 4G-connected, Wi-Fi-connected," he said.

The SE350 also features movement-detection capabilities "so if someone tries to take this off your factory wall, it'll actually take the hardware keys off the drive and basically self-destruct the system," he said.

Telecom And Networking

"It's a little crazy, but we're going to announce the largest telco and networking portfolio in our history this year," Skaugen said. "We have a full set of open networking solutions. I promised this to you as both an organic and a joint venture, and those are coming, I can tell you, this year in both the open networking space and the telecom space."

In addition, "we're now in the open radio access networking space. We built a new NFV division. So you're going to see an entire range of telecom and networking solutions from us," he said.

As-A-Service And Channel-First

Meanwhile, Lenovo is "moving to a new as-a-service offering," Skaugen said. "We think Lenovo TruScale with dynamic metering is an undisputed leader as the as-a-service offering in the industry. It actually measures the power of your server, and you only pay for what you use. It's not a glorified lease model—it actually allows you to increase and decrease your billing on a bi-monthly basis based on the power you consume."

At Accelerate 2019, partners will also hear about an initiative called "channel-first" within Lenovo, Skaugen said.

"If we're going to be your most trusted data center partner, as a partner you need to know that we're committed to the channel,” he said. “So you're going to hear about a channel-first initiative that clearly outlines the framework for how we're going to engage in the channel—channel-first, every time."