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Lenovo's Matthew Zielinski: Intelligent Devices Group Is ‘Absolutely On Fire’

Matthew Zielinski, president of Lenovo’s North America Intelligent Devices Group, spoke with CRN about the ‘beast mode’ share gains the group has made and how there is no end in sight to continued growth.

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What’s the outlook on supply shortages for partners?

There’s no doubt we left demand on the table in the first calendar quarter [because of the Intel processor shortage]. I am becoming increasingly optimistic as the year goes on. I don’t think we are in business as usual until maybe late calendar Q3, early calendar Q4, to be totally honest. But what I can also say is we’re seeing some glimmers of hope. And, to be honest, I wouldn’t have said that to you [in early March]. ... For the first time, I can say we see improvements. It’s nowhere near as fast as we would like it to be. But I also feel that we’re in a good position to plan through these sorts of things, and make alternative plans where we have to. It’s getting better. We do have a really good strategy around AMD and also MediaTek to service demand as well. To qualify it and quantify it, I think we have it managed for the year. … But regardless of what happens, I think we’ve got a really good plan in place to hit the share objectives that we do.

What other investments are ahead for the channel?

We’re investing really heavily in what we call our big bets for the year—which is public sector, state and local government, and higher education—where we’re frankly south of 10 percent market share with a ton of headroom. And [we’re also investing in] our corporate acquisition business, which is that engine for everything from larger SMBs to small corporate. If you look at state and local government, higher education and our acquisition teams, we’re tripling, quadrupling and even [multiplying by five] from a headcount standpoint to really put resources in place to grow that demand. That’s a really good thing for our channel partners. The other thing we’re doing with the partners is this partner transformation effort, which is a multiyear journey around the full-on partner experience—think portal, think enhancing the touchpoints with digital capabilities, intelligent automation, things that we can do around pricing. That’s another area of improvement that we’re just getting started on—that overall interaction and experience with the infrastructure for the channel.

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