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

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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CoolIT Systems, a global leader in advanced cooling technology, and Switch Datacenters, a leading sustainable data center operator and developer, are thrilled to unveil a strategic partnership that will benefit an industry seeking to improve the sustainability of data centers. Following the recent release of the World Economic Forum's Top 10 Emerging Technologies featuring "Sustainable Computing" as the 9th-ranked emerging technology, the collaboration between Switch Datacenters and CoolIT facilitates data center space and the necessary technology to significantly curtail energy and water consumption inherent in modern data centers. With a history spanning more than a decade, Switch Datacenters has consistently demonstrated a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability. Their latest 45MW AMS6 data center near the Schiphol airport area features an HPC/AI-ready design that uses data center heat to warm adjacent greenhouses. Currently under development, their AMS5s is designed to make a significant contribution to the Amsterdam municipal heat grid with green, CO2-neutral heat. For both data centers, there's a marked preference for liquid cooling because it allows heat extraction at temperatures higher than traditional air cooling, offering enhanced economic value. CoolIT Systems is the industry-leading provider of efficient Direct Liquid Cooling (DLC) and Rear Door Heat Exchangers (RDHx) that enable heat reuse and help customers meet key Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) targets. CoolIT DLC technology is featured as a factory-installed, warranty-approved feature from most major servers OEMs. "CoolIT's DLC and RDHx technologies have been instrumental in various data center heat reuse projects for years, with customers reporting at minimum a savings of 10% on energy bills (OPEX), more than 50% on CAPEX spends, and examples of PUE lowered from 1.30 to 1.02," expressed Peggy Burroughs, Director of CoolIT Next. "Our collaborations with most major server OEMs have cultivated an expansive ecosystem for clients aspiring to achieve both business and ESG goals." CoolIT is the right company to help make our vision a reality at an industrial scale. Both CoolIT and Switch Datacenters have shared the same passion for sustainable innovation for years and truly want to elevate the industry's adoption of liquid cooling. We believe liquid cooling will be the game-changer in the next wave of sustainable data center designs, and CoolIT is one of the very few companies that can lead this upcoming demand, thanks to their long history of innovation, reliability, breadth of portfolio, and capabilities to scale with their numerous IT partners worldwide, says Gregor Snip, CEO of Switch Datacenters. Data centers are projected to account for 8% of the global electricity consumption by 20301. Technologies such as Direct Liquid Cooling can significantly reduce data center energy consumption by 25-40% and deliver water savings of 70-97%, depending on local climate and specific implementations2. Switch Datacenters is leading the charge in embracing sustainable alternatives for heating by reusing data center-generated heat. With their latest project, Switch Datacenters AMS6, they will revolutionize the way nearby greenhouses are heated by providing high-temperature heat from their data center. This innovative solution will replace traditional fossil fuel-based heating and contribute to a greener future. By harnessing the power of IT servers to generate green heat for large-scale crop cultivation, Switch Datacenters is driving the transition away from fossil fuels. They strongly advocate for the integration of heat-recapture-enabled data centers in areas with high demand for heat, making it a standard design principle. With the world calling for sustainable IT and data centers, the time is ripe for this much-needed change. With the combined expertise of CoolIT and Switch Datacenters, customers can now harness technologically advanced solutions that not only result in considerable energy and water savings but also contribute significantly to the global drive for reduced environmental impact, aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure (SDG 9), and Climate Action (SDG 13). About CoolIT Systems CoolIT Systems is renowned for its scalable liquid cooling solutions tailored for the world's most challenging computing contexts. In both enterprise data centers and high-performance computing domains, CoolIT collaborates with global OEM server design leaders, formulating efficient and trustworthy liquid cooling solutions. In the desktop enthusiast arena, CoolIT delivers unmatched performance for a diverse range of gaming setups. Their modular Direct Liquid Cooling technology, Rack DLC™, empowers dramatic spikes in rack densities, component efficacy, and power savings. Jointly, CoolIT and its allies are pioneering the large-scale adoption of sophisticated cooling techniques. About Switch Datacenters Switch Datacenters is a Dutch privately-owned data center operator and developer founded in 2010 by Gregor Snip and his brother. Initially established as a private data center for their successful hosting company, the Amsterdam-based company later expanded into a fully-fledged commercial data center operator. It added several highly efficient and environmentally-friendly data center sites to its portfolio, with a current focus on constructing and managing wholesale data centers for large global customers while also providing tailor-made data center services. Switch Datacenters is an ambitious, 100% Dutch player in the Amsterdam data center sector, experiencing rapid growth by continually partnering with leading and globally recognized industry players and customers. The company maintains a steadfast commitment to innovative and sustainable site development. Currently, Switch Datacenters has over 200MW of new sustainable data center capacity in development. This year, it will launch its flagship sustainable data center, AMS4, with major customers having already pre-leased the 15-18MW facility.

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Data Storage

AMI to Drive Intel DCM's Future and Broaden Manageability Solutions for Sustainable Data Centers

Cision Canada | October 17, 2023

AMI, the leader in foundational technology for sustainable, scalable, and secure global computing, is set to drive the future of Intel Data Center Manager (DCM) as it takes over the development, sales, and support of DCM under an agreement with Intel. This strategic transition empowers AMI to lead further the innovation and expansion of the Intel DCM product. With a unique position in the industry, AMI plays a pivotal role in enabling the cloud and data center ecosystem for all compute platforms. Intel DCM empowers data centers with the capability to manage and fine-tune server performance, energy consumption, and cooling efficiency. This operational optimization reduces the total cost of ownership, improves sustainability, and elevates performance benchmarks. We thank Intel for trusting AMI to lead Intel DCM into the future. This solution for efficient data center management will play a crucial role in enhancing the operational eco-efficiency of the data centers. It empowers data center managers with real-time insights into energy usage, thermal status, device health, and asset management, says Sanjoy Maity, CEO at AMI. AMI remains steadfast in aiding data center operators in achieving their manageability and sustainability objectives. About AMI AMI is Firmware Reimagined for modern computing. As a global leader in Dynamic Firmware for security, orchestration, and manageability solutions, AMI enables the world's compute platforms from on-premises to the cloud to the edge. AMI's industry-leading foundational technology and unwavering customer support have generated lasting partnerships and spurred innovation for some of the most prominent brands in the high-tech industry. For more information, visit ami.com.

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Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group

Innovating the future-defined data center, today. From the simplest to the most complex IT environments for all types of workloads, Lenovo servers, storage, networking and solutions help you maximize the potential of your data center....

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