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Lenovo's Kevin Hooper: Our Vision Is To Be The ‘Most Trusted Data Center Partner In The Industry’

Kevin Hooper, president of North America for Lenovo’s Data Center Group, spoke with CRN about driving deeper into enterprise and SMB accounts with his plan to attack the data center market alongside a reinvigorated channel strategy.

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As Kevin Hooper steps into his new role as president of North America for Lenovo’s Data Center Group, he understands that to achieve his goal of making Lenovo the market leader the company must expand its reach with partners. Hooper brings to Lenovo decades of executive and top-level channel experience working for IBM, NEC and Hewlett-Packard. The channel stalwart, who joined the company in February, talks about driving deeper into enterprise and SMB accounts with his plan to attack the data center market alongside a reinvigorated channel strategy.

CRN: What is your channel strategy and vision to win more accounts and drive sales for Lenovo channel partners?

Kevin Hooper: Lenovo needs to show up in more places with more customers. We cover a significant number of solutions, but I’m particularly interested in artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, IoT, VDI [virtual desktop infrastructure] and DevOps. These are the types of conversations that my customers’ CIOs are having with anyone that can provide some value to help them solve their business problems. I have a very specific message: Lenovo’s been a good partner, but we’ve been a targeted partner around a specific set of accounts. I’m looking to expand that out by unstacking my resources, having significantly more conversations with channel partners around accounts, and how we can jointly bring value from their services portfolio augmented with our services portfolio and all of our solutions to specific customers.

I want to show up with more customers and with more channel partners and help to grow Lenovo’s presence in the market. We have this vision to become the most trusted data center partner that’s out there. We are in 25 of the biggest universities in North America right now, but as I asked my team, ‘There are over 4,000 universities in North America, why aren’t we in the rest?’

 
 
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