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Lenovo kicks off new Africa strategy at X1 launch

Lenovo kicks off new Africa strategy at X1 launch

Lenovo's business in Africa is turning over a new leaf with the launch of the X1 group of products. The company yesterday unveiled new additions to its X1 series in the form of a ThinkPad X1 tablet and the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, as well as improved versions of its ThinkPad X1 Carbon and the ThinkCentre X1 desktop in Johannesburg.

Graham Braum, General Manager at Lenovo Africa said the launch of the X1 range of products has taken place at the start of a new financial year and underpins the company's renewed determination to make the most of a growing African market.

"If you look at three and a half years ago we were only present in South Africa and we are now present in 37 African countries. We now have an office in Lagos and growing presence in Central African countries. We have staff in Nairobi as well, in addition to a SADC team of about eight people looking after eleven countries in the region."

Braum told ITWeb Africa that the expansion of their business across the continent over the last few years is part of a thirty-six month plan. "We built a plan of what we are going to roll out in more markets, considering that every country has got a different DNA and we have to be relevant to each of them. We've still got a long journey ... and now we have a sixty month plan because Africa is a big continent and in order to address opportunities in every country, we need to have a focused approach. We need to build a supply chain, a reseller network and improve services and technology before we go to market."

Braum says Lenovo Africa will be looking to take on new partners in order to ensure the effective implementation of its strategy. This is in line with the approach adopted by its global office which has partnered with Nutanix to deliver turnkey hyper-converged appliances.

"We are designing appliances to redefine the hyper-converged space, but it is not just global. We take it local and with Nutanix we will go to the local market together, and with SAP Hana we will do the same. With Intel we will also find ways to redefine education in South Africa by talking to the government. Most of Africa is young and they now demand a better experience and we can offer them that with the System X and Motorola acquisitions, as well as through our interaction with telecommunications operators in each country."

Braum told Lenovo's resellers and customers during the launch that they should be on the lookout for changes to what the company is selling, emphasising that this is no longer traditional hardware.

Janice Bassa, Market Development Manager at Intel South Africa says Lenovo's X1 range represents the best of sixth generation computing. "With sixth generation technology from Intel and Lenovo you are able to get slimmer and sleeker devices. With this generation you now see features like real sense, improvements to security and no wires. Your Yoga devices and X1 tablet are all possible because of sixth generation processes by Intel."

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