Key channel plays for 2015?
High speed mobile internet coupled with Windows 8 touch devices have inspired companies to create or procure productivity apps which enable mobile workers to operate more efficiently from anywhere they choose. This presents an excellent opportunity for resellers that are able to bundle up mobility hardware with software to make it more appealing to business customers.
The best approach would be to target a specific vertical through industry-specific apps, which some of our resellers are already doing.
There are also opportunities for resellers that previously would have just offered end-user solutions, to work with customers to help them improve their back-end IT and provide value-added services. This gives resellers the chance to branch out from their core competencies and broaden their skills set and offerings.
Key technology trends for 2015?
Mobility will continue to dominate the technology space in 2015 across the consumer and enterprise space, driven by faster mobile data speeds, the growth of Windows 8 on touch devices, and the rise of activity-based working (ABW).
Key message to the channel?
One of the key things the channel should focus on is how it interacts with customers and how to help customers address their business needs. It’s about offering a holistic solution and mobility presents a business development opportunity for resellers that are willing to think outside the box and provide customers with a cohesive hardware, software, and service solution. The mobility trend isn’t going away and the channel needs to adapt to stay ahead of the game.
Key warning to the channel?
The technology market has evolved rapidly and while traditional resellers that relied on selling products were successful in the past, customers now demand much more from their technology providers. Resellers can protect their profit by becoming trusted advisors to their customers through value-added services to support the products they sell.
Channel players should partner with a vendor that won’t bid against them for their most profitable services business.
Key strategy for Lenovo this year?
The IT industry is a competitive environment which presents channel partners with many challenges. We are always looking for ways to help our partners gain an upper hand in the market, which is why we are excited to integrate new offerings through our recent acquisition of the IBM X86 server business.
As of January 1, we have integrated our business products, including servers, laptops, desktops, tablets, and storage devices, under a single channel program. This is will bring positive changes to our channel community as partners will now have one point of contact for a full range of end-to-end solutions, allowing them to provide a more holistic offering to their customers.
Every quarter, through our Platinum Executive Program, channel partners have to go through a new technology certification program. We want to ensure that our channel community is armed with the knowledge and tools they need to be a trusted advisor to their customers.