Multi-national computer technology vendor, Lenovo, has increased its focus on the channel. It’s introduced a new channel program designed to provide its channel partners across the SMB and enterprise space with a unified experience.
This new channel strategy brings together its PC Group and Enterprise Business Group (EBG) channel programs and aims to bring stability and predictability to Lenovo business partners via margins and profits.
The new program will extend the old Lenovo Partner Advantage (LPA) program, bringing the benefits and best-practices of the program from LPA to EBG and PC Group partners as well.
As such, with the new LPA program, the company will be bringing in higher rebates under the new program to reward partners that overachieve in their sales results. Lenovo will be paying rebates from $1 – meaning if a partner doesn’t achieve its target, it will still be able to claim a rebate. Conversely, if a partner overachieves on its quarterly target, it will be eligible for higher rebates than those offered under the previous program.
According to Lenovo A/NZ channel lead, Fred Viet, the program is tiered – into silver, gold, and diamond – based on the level of certification on annual revenue as well as quarterly target. Depending on the achievements of the channel partner, Lenovo will reward these rebates at the end of the quarter.
Also included into the LPA program is a new Funded Head program, which will see Lenovo provide investment for top channel partners (with a headcount of more than 25 people) to hire new staff dedicated to Lenovo within their businesses.
“We’ve allocated a budget for them to be able to deploy about a headcount of 10 for the first six months,” Viet said.
Marketing funding will also be extended to the channel for the servers and storage portfolio on this program. As an added incentive, top performing partners will be treated on a trip to the Great Barrier Reef in August this year.
Viet mentioned the new program will enable Lenovo’s channel partners to grow their business and will provide greater efficiencies and a unified experience to all of its resellers within the A/NZ region.
“Reinvesting our money to find new customers and to be able to spend more time on training and certification is the main purpose of this program. It’s one point of contact and one target, it’s very simple.”
He added the company decided on the move as the competitive IT market has evolved rapidly in the last few years and it is imperative to facilitate resellers in doing business in this changing landscape.
“We have to invest in the channel if we want to grow our business. While some other vendors are splitting out their business divisions, we are bringing ours together to provide an end-to-end solution that spans from smartphones, desktops, and tablets to servers and storage,” he said.
The recently announced Lenovo Service Provider (LSP) Program will also come under the umbrella of the new channel strategy. This partner program for Lenovo’s A/NZ Cloud and MSPs brings service providers advantages in forms of competitive prices, financing plans, and the ability to choose infrastructure that best meets their needs.
“This is an important differentiator for our channel partners and will give them additional opportunities to become managed service providers from being traditional resellers and to increase their revenue stream,” he claimed.
In addition, the company has also increased its channel headcount internally by 20 per cent (about 45 staff) over the past six months to ensure partners are supported in transitioning to the new LPA program.
“Last quarter, we also invested in a new partner portal so our partners can communicate with us and register opportunities they’re working on. Training, product information, guides to work with Lenovo, etc. are all included in it so we need to support that with our internal channel hires,” Viet concluded.