Lenovo is doubling down on storage through a significant hiring spree after forming a new strategic partnership with NetApp aimed to turn up the heat against the likes of Dell EMC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
“From a go-to-market strategy, Lenovo is hiring a whole team of individuals that are specialists specifically on the NetApp-based products,” said Roderick Lappin, senior vice president of global sales and marketing for Lenovo’s Data Center Group, in an interview with CRN during Lenovo’s Transform 2.0 event. “We’re looking for lots of specialists in storage.”
Lappin said Hong Kong-based Lenovo is currently hiring storage specialists — both on the sales and tech sides — in a move to help channel partners capture net new opportunities in the SMB and midmarket space with co-developed joint solutions. It’s not immediately known how many employees would be hired; Lenovo currently has 54,000 workers in total.
“NetApp has traditionally been very strong in federal and large corporate, and we have a real opportunity in our Lenovo new products that we developed with NetApp to specifically go into more of that small, medium business, midmarket space,” said Lappin. “So you’re going to see a go-to-market change with Lenovo.”
Lenovo and NetApp are co-developing products that combine NetApp’s all-flash data management solutions with Lenovo’s ThinkSystem server infrastructure. The new products leverage core software from NetApp and are manufactured by Lenovo. Additionally, the two vendors will create a new joint venture company in China that will deliver solutions tailored to meet China’s specialized requirements.
At Lenovo Transform 2.0 last week in New York, the first solutions from the partnership were released: the Lenovo ThinkSystem DE All-Flash Array Series and the ThinkSystem DM Hybrid Flash Series.
The ThinkSystem DM series are hybrid storage arrays that provide a unified solution to manage all block-and-file workloads on one array. The ThinkSystem DE series consists of the ThinkSystem DE6000F and DE4000F all-flash arrays with features such as redundant components with automated failover and advanced monitoring and diagnostics with proactive repair.
“We have the DE products which are going to launch very very soon for us to ship globally – that product set we’re going to absolutely specialize into the channel and ensure that we leverage our channel partners as much as we can to grow this business successfully together,” said Lappin.