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Lenovo's Kirk Skaugen: 'Our Channel Momentum Is Stronger Than Ever'

"We're going to be the most channel-friendly storage company on the planet," said Kirk Skaugen, President of Lenovo's Data Center Group an in interview with CRN.

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What does NetApp bring to Lenovo's channel and do you expect to win over any Dell EMC or HPE partners?

Lenovo has traditionally seen twice of our share going to the channel compared to most of our competitors. So twice as channel friendly. What drove a lot of this [NetApp] partnership is actually channel pull. Some of our competitors are taking more business direct. Some of our competitors are exiting markets in the world; whereas Lenovo is committed to the channel and participating in more than 160 countries in the world. I can tell you there's channel partners from South Africa, India, China, Latin America who have been with our competitors for decades that are saying, 'This is the time to move to Lenovo because they now have a portfolio.' If you think about the channel, we were only covering 15 percent of the storage market. This partnership now allows us immediately to get in the midrange and cover more than 90 percent of the market that Dell EMC or HPE can cover. It's an amazing time for our existing NetApp and Lenovo partners, but it's also an outstanding time to bring on new partners that maybe feel disenfranchised right now.

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