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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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Is there a strategy to drive better alignment between Lenovo’s Data Center Group and its Intelligent Devices Group?

We use the same systems and the same operating processes. We do tailor each of our portfolios to each of our channel programs, of course, but when it comes to talking to a customer about anything where it’s people-topeople, people-to-machine or machine-to-machine—there is always an opportunity for us to go in as a joint unit. One opportunity that springs to mind is the concept of video surveillance, which is becoming very, very important in the conversations that we’re having, such as universities using security feeds to try to tie attendance at football games to GPAs and retention of students. There’s a notion in higher education that if a student is more engaged in the social life of a university, then they tend to have better performance at the university, and if they have better performance, then they tend to complete their degrees. So if you think about video surveillance systems, it’s a significant opportunity for infrastructure that has to be flexible. It’s also a tremendous opportunity for edge computing because the processing of the video feeds [is] best done as close to where the cameras are as possible. Lastly, there’s an analytics component. Any analyst will tell you that, at some point, a human has to look at it on a screen. So that opportunity exists.

What is another sort of use case that ties Lenovo’s Data Center Group and Intelligent Devices Group more closely?

Virtual desktop infrastructure is an absolute melding of the two sides of client devices with software-defined infrastructure to provide a level of security and maintainability for the best desktop experience within businesses. That solves a key set of problems because there’s a tremendous amount of costs associated with maintaining desktops now. That concept is absolutely where we meet both in front of the channel as well in front of customers.

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