Q&A with Div Manickam, Director of WW Services Marketing and Portfolio Management (Data Center Group) at Lenovo

Media 7 | March 24, 2021

Div Manickam, Director of WW Services Marketing and Portfolio Management (Data Center Group) at Lenovo, has led B2B SaaS initiatives in startups and Fortune 500 technology companies for 10+ years. With disciplined product marketing across the buyer journey and cross-functional relationships, she empowers mindful teams and fosters a vulnerable culture where everyone's voice is heard. 

She enjoys sharing her experiences on authentic leadership and evolution of product marketing in Forbes Communications Council and Product Marketing Alliance. Just as committed and passionate, she enjoys traveling, is a foodie at heart, and a proud Google Local Guide exploring the world. And one day, she aspires to share her passion and story on TEDx.

Winning together starts with the perfect pitch from a product, its sales, and marketing. When done right, we can see the synergy flow in the right direction.



MEDIA 7: Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself? What led you to your position as the Director of Service Marketing and Portfolio Management at Lenovo?
DIV MANICKAM:
Here is a picture-perfect introduction.



I am extremely passionate to empower a mindful team and foster a vulnerable culture where everyone feels their voice is heard and can truly be themselves in a safe environment. I have led product marketing efforts in startups and Fortune 500 technology companies. I hold a Masters in Cyber Security, Bachelors in Information Technology from India, and an MBA in Marketing from California State University East Bay.

I have been recognized as a 2019 40 under 40 CSUEB recipient for contributions toward her workplace and community, as well as one of the top 50 Product Marketing Influencers in 2019 by Product Marketing Alliance for redefining standards, helping shape the evolution of PMM, and elevating awareness among the C-suite.


Collaborating with sales leaders and champions is the key to make sure they are part of the narrative. The perfect pitch needs to bring the right feedback to make sure the narrative resonates with customers and partners. 



M7: How do you ensure that your sales team delivers a perfect pitch for the services offered by Lenovo?
DM:
Collaborating with sales leaders and champions is the key to make sure they are part of the narrative. Winning together starts with the perfect pitch from a product, its sales, and marketing. When done right, we can see the synergy flow in the right direction. And the perfect pitch also needs to bring the right feedback to make sure the narrative resonates with customers and partners.

M7: How do you identify investment risks for effective portfolio management? How do these risks affect your investing strategy?
DM:
Portfolio Management is an art and science. Not every feature and product are important for every customer. So, it’s important to prioritize and focus on the right investments. With the right investment risks, we balance the portfolio management of service offerings to meet the maximum customers’ needs and build a competitive edge. We have the offering launch process to make sure the right stakeholders are involved and approved.

M7: What do you think is essential to stay competitive in a market that is going through constant digitalization?
DM:
We try to not think about competition, but look at what the market needs and how we can serve the market better and move it forward to the next transformation. This is key to bring the balance as we can be quickly focused on competition but it’s important to look ahead and not just try to catch up to the competition.
Digitalization is a start for every transformation and only brings the world together in ways we cannot imagine. We should foster growth and innovation through the right mindset and business models for the future. What worked in the past is not going to take us to the future.


Prioritizing investment and budget has always been a challenge and even more so right now when all budgets are cut to zero. We need the resources to focus on the initiatives that will bring confidence to the teams that we are supporting them in times of need.



M7: What do you believe are the top three product marketing challenges in the post COVID-19 era?
DM:
Prioritizing investment and budget has always been a challenge and even more so right now when all budgets are cut to zero. We need the resources to focus on the initiatives that will bring confidence to the teams that we are supporting them in times of need. So, building the momentum and not trying to do more with less. This has to stop and as leaders, we have to be the voice to help our teams.

M7: You are extremely active on social media and frequently write articles for Forbes. What is your secret to maintaining a healthy balance between your work and such productive commitments?
DM:
I recently stopped posting on social media (Jan 2021) as it was taxing and counterproductive – I felt like I was contributing to the noise. So, I streamlined my efforts and I will continue to write my experiences on Medium – divmanickam.medium.com as it helps to share my learnings with the world. Finding the balance was critical for my personal wellbeing and reading has been the bibliotherapy this year that helped me with stress and anxiety.

M7: What is your advice to young women considering a career in marketing and technology?
DM:
I was fortunate to find the mix of technology and marketing to flex both my technical and creative skills. I encourage everyone passionate about portfolio marketing to reach out and find their dream job. I have been lucky to mentor some amazing women who are teaching me every day something new as part of the Career GROW and personal OKRs career conversation.

ABOUT LENOVO

Lenovo is a US$50 billion Fortune Global 500 company, with 57,000 employees and operating in 180 markets around the world. Focused on a bold vision to deliver smarter technology for all, we are developing world-changing technologies that create a more inclusive, trustworthy and sustainable digital society. By designing, engineering and building the world’s most complete portfolio of smart devices and infrastructure, we are also leading an Intelligent Transformation – to create better experiences and opportunities for millions of customers around the world.

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IDC | July 01, 2022

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Inspur | July 04, 2022

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In terms of heat dissipation, Inspur Information takes the lead in deploying eight 500W high-end NVIDIA Tensor Core A100 GPUs in a 4U space, and supports air cooling and liquid cooling. Meanwhile, Inspur AI servers continue to optimize pre-training data processing performance, and adopt combined optimization strategies such as hyperparameter and NCCL parameter, as well as the many enhancements provided by the NVIDIA AI software stack, to maximize AI model training performance. Greatly improving Transformer training performance Pre-trained massive models based on the Transformer neural network architecture have led to the development of a new generation of AI algorithms. The BERT model in the MLPerf benchmarks is based on the Transformer architecture. Transformer’s concise and stackable architecture makes the training of massive models with huge parameters possible. 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HYPER-CONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE

Metallic Data Management as a Service on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Will Accelerate Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Adoption

Commvault | July 01, 2022

Metallic DMaaS on Oracle Cloud is now a part of Commvault's strategic relationship with Oracle, a leader in intelligent data services across on-premises, cloud, and SaaS settings. Metallic's market-leading services will be made available on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and will be accessible in all commercial OCI regions worldwide as part of Commvault's multi-cloud strategy. For business customers wishing to hasten their OCI transition, Metallic and OCI will offer improved price-performance, built-in enhanced security, and streamlined recovery and management. In addition, Oracle users may now safeguard crucial data assets in the cloud or on-premises by utilizing OCI Storage for superior air-gapped ransomware protection while preserving flexibility across customer-controlled storage or a SaaS-delivered data protection service inclusive of managed cloud storage. Metallic DMaaS supports the protection of data against corruption, unauthorized access, and other threats across critical business sectors, such as insurance, financial services, manufacturing, and defense, in the fight against ransomware and cyberattacks. Customers can quickly backup their digital footprint in any consumption model, including cloud-native and on-premises workloads, including databases, virtual machines, Kubernetes, file and object storage, and workloads running on databases and virtual machines. "The combination of Metallic DMaaS and OCI is a big win for customers looking for data mobility, agility, and security as they link on-premises Oracle solutions to OCI and evolve their data management capabilities." Vinny Choinski, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group Metallic's data protection now covers OCI VMs, Oracle Databases, and Oracle Container Engine, thanks to the addition of support for safeguarding OCI workloads and writing to OCI Storage. Additionally, Oracle Linux is accessible to over 400,000 Oracle enterprise customers and the more than 100,000 clients wishing to use Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to protect their mission-critical data but who have previously relied on Commvault technology. As a part of the Oracle PartnerNetwork, Commvault will promote and sell Metallic DMaaS alongside Oracle in a partnership that will hasten Metallic's attempts to become worldwide. Available in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace is Metallic DMaaS. "We're excited to partner with Commvault and enable our customers to restore and recover their most mission-critical cloud data. Data protection and compliance requirements are necessities in today's business environment, which is why we're confident that OCI's built-in, always-on security features combined with Metallic DMaaS will provide additional peace of mind for our joint customers," said Clay Magouyrk, executive vice president, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

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DATA STORAGE

Spending on Compute and Storage Infrastructure Grew Strongly Across Cloud and Non-Cloud IT Environments in the First Quarter of 2022, According to IDC

IDC | July 01, 2022

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Infrastructure Tracker: Buyer and Cloud Deployment, spending on compute and storage infrastructure products for cloud deployments, including dedicated and shared environments, increased 17.2% year over year in the first quarter of 2022 (1Q22) to $18.3 billion. This growth continues a series of strong year-over-year increases in spending on infrastructure products by both service providers and enterprises despite tight supply of some system components and disruptions in transportation networks. Investments in non-cloud infrastructure increased 9.8% year over year in 1Q22 to $14.8 billion, continuing a streak of growth for this segment into its fifth quarter. Spending on shared cloud infrastructure reached $12.5 billion in the quarter, increasing 15.7% compared to a year ago. IDC expects to see continuously strong demand for shared cloud infrastructure with spending expected to surpass non-cloud infrastructure spending in 2022 for the first time. Spending on dedicated cloud infrastructure increased 20.5% year over year in 1Q22 to $5.9 billion. Of the total dedicated cloud infrastructure, 47.8% was deployed on customer premises. For the full year 2022, IDC is forecasting cloud infrastructure spending to grow 22% compared to 2021 to $90.2 billion – the highest annual growth rate since 2018 – while non-cloud infrastructure is expected to grow 1.8% to $60.7 billion. The increased forecast for both segments is partially driven by inflationary pressure and expectations of higher systems prices during 2022 as well as improvements in the supply chain in the second half of the year. Shared cloud infrastructure is expected to grow by 24.3% year over year to $63.9 billion for the full year. Spending on dedicated cloud infrastructure is expected to grow 16.8% to $26.3 billion for the full year. As part of the Tracker, IDC follows various categories of service providers and how much compute and storage infrastructure these service providers purchase, including both cloud and non-cloud infrastructure. The service provider category includes cloud service providers, digital service providers, communications service providers, and managed service providers. In 1Q22, service providers as a group spent $18.3 billion on compute and storage infrastructure, up 14.5% from 1Q21. This spending accounted for 55.3% of total compute and storage infrastructure spending. Spending by non-service providers increased 12.9% year over year, the highest growth in fourteen quarters. IDC expects compute and storage spending by service providers to reach $89.1 billion in 2022, growing 18.7% year over year. At the regional level, year-over-year spending on cloud infrastructure in 1Q22 increased in most regions. Once again Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan and China) (APeJC) grew the most at 50.1% year over year. Japan, Middle East and Africa, China, and the United States all saw double-digit growth in spending. Western Europe grew 6.4% and growth in Canada slowed to 1.2%. Central & Eastern Europe, affected by the war between Russia and Ukraine, declined 10.3%, while Latin America declined 11.3%. For 2022, cloud infrastructure spending for most regions is expected to grow, with four regions, APeJC, China, the U.S., and Western Europe, expecting to post annual growth in the 20-25% range. Impact of the war will continue to hurt spending in Central and Eastern Europe, which is now expected to decline 54.6% in 2022. Long term, IDC expects spending on compute and storage cloud infrastructure to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.5% over the 2021-2026 forecast period, reaching $145.2 billion in 2026 and accounting for 69.7% of total compute and storage infrastructure spend. Shared cloud infrastructure will account for 72.6% of the total cloud amount, growing at a 15.4% CAGR. Spending on dedicated cloud infrastructure will grow at a CAGR of 12.1%. Spending on non-cloud infrastructure will grow at 1.2% CAGR, reaching $63.1 billion in 2026. Spending by service providers on compute and storage infrastructure is expected to grow at a 13.4% CAGR, reaching $140.8 billion in 2026. A graphic illustrating IDC's 2021-2026 forecast for worldwide enterprise infrastructure spending by deployment type (Shared Cloud, Dedicated Cloud, and Non-Cloud) is available by viewing this press release on IDC.com. IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Infrastructure Tracker: Buyer and Cloud Deployment is designed to provide clients with a better understanding of what portion of the compute and storage hardware markets are being deployed in cloud environments. The Tracker breaks out each vendors' revenue into shared and dedicated cloud environments for historical data and provides a five-year forecast. This Tracker is part of the Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Infrastructure Tracker, which provides a holistic total addressable market view of the four key enabling infrastructure technologies for the datacenter (servers, external enterprise storage systems, and purpose-built appliances: HCI and PBBA). Taxonomy Notes IDC defines cloud services more formally through a checklist of key attributes that an offering must manifest to end users of the service. Shared cloud services are shared among unrelated enterprises and consumers; open to a largely unrestricted universe of potential users; and designed for a market, not a single enterprise. The shared cloud market includes a variety of services designed to extend or, in some cases, replace IT infrastructure deployed in corporate datacenters; these services in total are called public cloud services. The shared cloud market also includes digital services such as media/content distribution, sharing and search, social media, and e-commerce. Dedicated cloud services are shared within a single enterprise or an extended enterprise with restrictions on access and level of resource dedication and defined/controlled by the enterprise (and beyond the control available in public cloud offerings); can be onsite or offsite; and can be managed by a third-party or in-house staff. In dedicated cloud that is managed by in-house staff, "vendors (cloud service providers)" are equivalent to the IT departments/shared service departments within enterprises/groups. In this utilization model, where standardized services are jointly used within the enterprise/group, business departments, offices, and employees are the "service users." About IDC Trackers IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly Excel deliverables and on-line query tools. About IDC International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,300 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology, IT benchmarking and sourcing, and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading tech media, data, and marketing services company.

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