Outlining our partner and customer benefits
Prolion and Lenovo have been enjoying a productive, strong partnership for the last two years. Mark Slagmolen, ProLion Regional Manager for Benelux, France, and Nordics, and Marco Pozzoni, Director of EMEA Storage Sales at Lenovo ISG, explain the success this partnership has cultivated.
Names recognized in the industry
Both ProLion and Lenovo are household names in the channel. The first provides software to make sure data is protected in several respects. Lenovo is known as a trusted global technology company for end users and the business market. The collaboration relates to the latter segment and its storage products.
Lenovo as #1
Marco explains that Lenovo’s portfolio has expanded in recent years and they now have a good position in both the enterprise and the SME segments. “In the last seven years, we’ve moved from 11th to 5th in worldwide market share, according to IDC. In EMEA, we have even been number one for entry storage since the last quarter of 2022.”
Both Marco and Mark make it clear that the distinction between enterprise and entry storage is different than it seems at first glance. “Typical for IT is that features that were previously only available to the top of the market trickle down to the lower segments,” says Marco. Mark adds: “An entry storage solution is therefore not necessarily exclusively intended for an SME entrepreneur.”
ProLion as an extra layer
Lenovo has storage solutions for a large part of the market. This can be an Allflash or a Hybrid solution from the DM series. Connoisseurs of the Lenovo portfolio know that these arrays are equipped with ONTAP software. “ONTAP is the right choice for any data management requirements, from backup, disaster recovery, and high availability,” explains Marco. “But in certain cases, that is not enough to meet market demand when it comes to cybersecurity, because the bar is being raised for ransomware protection, and we needed a more comprehensive solution in this space, fully integrated with ONTAP.”
This optional bundling applies to all countries where Lenovo and ProLion are active. Mark said, “We both lean on the channel. We can now offer our resellers more and the number is increasing, the same at Lenovo. Traditionally, we fished in different ponds. We have no overlap and that creates a situation where cooperation leads to a situation that benefits all three of us.”
Creating a triple-win situation
With that comment, Mark touches on the triple-win for the first time, which comes back a few times later in the conversation. By this, Marco and Mark mean that they as suppliers, as well as resellers and end customers, reap the benefits of this collaboration. It is also important that trust is an important condition for that triple-win situation.
Data can be both the Achilles heel and the crown jewel of any company. Availability must always be there because disruptions can have dramatic consequences. Lenovo noticed this trend years ago and adjusted the portfolio accordingly. “Our market share shows that our approach resonates with customers,” says Marco. “At the same time, we also see that more and more security is needed and customers can rely on ProLion for that. We make it very easy for the resellers because in the online configurator, they can add the desired ProLion applications to the order with just a few clicks. Because ProLion is so integrated into the ordering process, we give the resellers the confidence that they are making a good choice. They no longer have to search or implement themselves.”
A different position for the reseller
Mark adds that the reseller is more than just unburdened by this. “In this way, he can make the best offer to his customer and that customer also knows that it is a well-thought-out solution based on two established suppliers who understand cooperation as more than promoting each other’s products. Every partner who already does business with us knows that we complement, support, and strengthen each other.”
“The combination of time and doing business with the tandem Lenovo – ProLion gives our partners the opportunity to take a smarter position with the customer. They can become a trusted advisor when it comes to all issues related to data. This status not only makes it easier to retain customers and realize upsell, but it also helps to acquire valuable new customers. So, here too, there is a triple-win effect,” Marco explains.