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Not Another Slide Show: Lenovo Accelerate 2016 Recap

At a time when so many hardware companies are trying to reposition around software and cloud services, Lenovo is bucking the trend. A case in point: Throughout the Lenovo Accelerate 2016 partner conference this week in Orlando, the company proudly proclaimed its hardware focus — from mobile to PCs to the data center.

But can Lenovo really make a good living in the hardware universe? That’s where four strategic alliances and channel partners enter the conversation. The company has aligned closely with Nutanix, Juniper Networks, SAP and Red Hat to pursue hyperconverged data center opportunities.

Yes, leaders like Emilio Ghilardi, president of Lenovo North America, mentioned software defined data center (SDDC) opportunities. But the bigger discussion involved Lenovo’s hardware — and the opportunity for partners to piece together solutions, and then wrap services around those solutions.

But wait: Isn’t that Cisco’s channel message from around 1999? Actually, Lenovo begs to differ. The company insists that Lenovo’s R&D — and its in-house manufacturing — continue to deliver the best products on the market. One keynote session celebrated the ThinkPad brand. Another mentioned the X1 tablet — which is designed for partners to service. Yet another session asserted that Lenovo’s servers are the most reliable and most preferred offerings on the market.

Challenges & Opportunities

Still, Lenovo faces plenty of market headwinds. The company’s Motorola business faces weakness in the smartphone market. Lenovo’s PC business must overcome that industry’s continued downturn. And the company’s server and data center offerings must contend against entrenched giants like Cisco, Dell, EMC, Hewlett Packard enterprise and Oracle.

And yet, Lenovo’s partners added $500 million to the company’s North America channel revenues last year. And this year, Lenovo wants North American partners to add another $600 million to the company’s revenues. How? We captured the following images from the Lenovo Accelerate keynotes. Just don’t call it a slide show… Click on photo 1 to get started

Here endeth the story and photo gallery.

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