**Editor's Note: Click here for our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.**
Next month, Lenovo expects to host a sold out Accelerate Partner Conference in Orlando. About 1,200 partners will attend the April 24-26 event to hear company executives talk about products and programs.
In particular, attendees will learn more about the retooling of the Lenovo Partner Program, which highlights the vendor’s ongoing shift to the data center. Last year, for example, Lenovo rolled out StorSelect next-gen software-defined storage and an enhanced suite of its HX Series of hyperconverged appliances. The company also opened up a SPIFF program to all network partners in a push to sell select PC and data-center products. And, Lenovo also hinted about upcoming changes in its partner program.
And, just this week, Lenovo announced the DX8200D, a turnkey software-defined storage appliance, the latest in its SDS portfolio.
Channel Partners recently talked to Sammy Kinlaw, North American Channel Chief at Lenovo, about what partners can expect at next month’s conference and for their businesses in the upcoming months.
Channel Partners: What are some key things happening at Lenovo that partners need to know about?
Sammy Kinlaw: Most important is the opportunity for partners to take Data Center Group (DCG) sales and technical classes that lead to certifications and to learn more about the April 1 launch of the new Data Center Program and classifications. Also on April 1, our new fiscal year, we unveil our new incentive stack. We’ll also be talking about our new PC products on the Intel Kaby Lake platform, and opportunities in workstations and servers.
CP: Would you elaborate on the data-center program?
SK: Yes, because it’s extremely important in our evolution from our System x acquisition from IBM. We’re in our ninth quarter since acquiring that business. During that timeframe, we’ve made lots of refinements and we’ve certainly refined our strategy, which is to make the most reliable, secure x86 architecture products in the industry. With that we want an ecosystem of partners that surround it — whether we’re talking Red Hat, Nutanix, Pivot3 … our goal is to make and provide the best hardware surrounded or associated with the best leading software-defined vendors.
Now we’ll talk about how that mission works in the partner community. We’ve preannounced this but now it’s coming to fruition … we’re announcing a tiering structure for our partners. The tiering structure is based off of revenue and ...