Lenovo and Dicker Data have split up after an 18-month partnership.
Although stressing it was a mutual decision, Lenovo managing director, Alan Munro, said the PC vendor was working on a higher-touch channel structure to help improve relationships with more strategic partnerships. He claimed cutting back to two distributors would enable Lenovo to more efficiently focus its resources.
“It was a mutual decision. From a strategic point of view, we felt the partnership opportunities with Ingram and Synnex and the investments they were making with us would help our plans to deepen relationships with strategic partners going forward,” he said. “It meant that for us, it was better to have two distribution partners than three.”
Dicker Data managing director, David Dicker, told ARN the two companies' strategies had diverged. Dicker's ability to sell more of HP's integrated hardware portfolio was another catalyst behind its decision to part company with Lenovo, he said. Lenovo represented less than 5 per cent of the distributor's total revenue.
The end of the relationship comes after several months of review. Moving forward, Dicker said its broader focus was to build upon its key HP relationship. The distributor recently upped its investment into resources and skills around HP's server stack and was seeing strong returns, he added.
Dicker was brought on-board 18 months ago to carry Lenovo’s range of PC, notebook and workstation products. Previously, Ingram and Synnex didn’t have access to workstations, but could sell the PC and Lenovo's forthcoming server portfolio.
Twelve months ago, Lenovo was working with four distributors in Australia – Ingram Micro, Synnex, Dicker Data and Cellnet. The number was reduced to three after ASX-listed Cellnet announced its intention to fully quit the IT distribution business in June last year.
Munro said the decision was prompted by a global repositioning around channel and a desire to strengthen tier-one, tier-one and distribution partnerships. While Lenovo’s existing regional and global relationships with Ingram and Synnex were a key consideration, the local team had not been expected to cut distributors, he insisted.
As previously reported in <i>ARN</i>, Lenovo is increasing investment into its channel business and recently recruited 12 partner support staff in Australia. Previously, support was provided out of its Malaysian office. It also appointed Callum Eade as channel director in October last year.
“We have doubled our resources in the channel,” Munro said. “Our strategy is to go deep with key partners, rather than spread the peanut butter too thin, so to speak”.