2 min read

Integration is over; time to get aggressive: Lenovo

Channel StrategyLenovo

Las Vegas, NV – Whatever doubts remain over Lenovo’s direction following its two major acquisitions over the past year – IBM’s x86 business followed by Motorola’s mobility division from Google – the company wants to be clear: one strategy has prevailed.

That was the resounding message at Lenovo’s 2015 Accelerate event in Las Vegas this week, as partners from around the world, including 212 from Canada descended upon Sin City to hear just what direction the computer maker would take its business, and with it, the channel.

Frankly, partners need not have feared, insisted Aymar de Lencquesaing, the new president of Lenovo North America.

He said that Lenovo, which will have acquired IBM’s Personal Computing Division exactly 10 years ago on Friday, has the recipe down.

“The teams worked very well with each other,” said Lencquesaing, referring to that of both x86 and Motorola.  He explained that the two acquisitions were complex. In the case of IBM’s x86 business, with staff around the world, the company ran into issues in countries like Tanzania during integration.

Lenovo had to iron out details such as determining what channel and distribution avenues were available to carry both Lenovo-branded and formerly IBM-branded servers to make it all one program.  According to Lencquesaing, Lenovo owed a lot to experience from the original acquisition in 2005.

“We’re quite happy to have done that in the time frame that we did it in,” he told CDN.

According to Stefan Bockhop, director of channel sales at Lenovo Canada, this has meant shifting everything to the open distribution model.

Distributors who were selling select Lenovo or IBM System X products before now have access to the entire line of offerings, while resellers are still able to go with their trusted distie partner.

In other words, “Everybody can now sell everything,” Bockhop said.

With integration done, Lenovo is getting – in the words of Sammy Kinlaw, Lenovo’s new North American channel chief – aggressive.

To do so, it’s turning towards the public sector, namely targeting solutions at healthcare and education, alternate form factors for compute devices, increasing the number of its System X skews as well as stock volume across North America (which Kinlaw said should also benefit Win2K3 migrations), investing more heavily in the hyper-converged space, and upping its new customer bonus program for resellers, which now pays a 15 per cent bonus, up from 9 per cent previously.

“Anything we do, we’re not shy – we’d like to be number one in market share,” said Lencquesaing. “Box is checked for PC, box is not checked yet for servers and phones, we’re number three in those product categories … and we’re going to go up the stack.”