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Lenovo aims to be predictable in the SMB market

Hardware vendor partners with Intel and Microsoft on new product offerings

Las Vegas –More than 120 Canadian-based channel partners attending the Accelerate 2012 Partner Conference heard Lenovo’s message that it’s fully committed to the reseller channel and to growing its small, medium business (SMB) base.

“We have three core messages,” stated David Schmoock, senior vice president and general manager of Lenovo North America, “We want a deeper focus on SMBs, we want to expand our market share in servers and workstations, and we want to emphasize channel first.”

Recognizing and committing to the SMB market, channel executives know that they cannot achieve these goals without the help of their partners. The focus to help partners is to offer, according to Schmoock and Channel Chief Chris Frey, “Simple, clear, and predictable programs.”

Revamping its TopSeller program, this year, they are focusing on money. SMB Partner Advantage is the new SPIF program which will pay salespeople in dollars, as opposed to redeemable points. This is in addition to the benefits offered in their TopSeller program. The bonus includes six to eight per cent in the workstation and server market.

Three brand building “secrets” were shared by David Roman, Lenovo’s chief marketing officer. The first step is “to balance your timing, the short and long term views.” He then went on to emphasize the importance of simplification. “Your message must resonate with your audience,” once you identify your target market. And then, and this was a preview of what is coming later this year, “the wow factor.”

Partnerships with both Intel and Microsoft give a preview of some of the “wow” products coming down the pipe for later this year. Lenovo’s products will address a variety of SMB demands, needs, and wants. The brand-building efforts will also help increase its brand awareness in the marketplace, which will help partners as they go-to-market with the products. The company said it’s currently fine-tuning an aggressive advertising campaign for a future launch intended to help boost Lenovo’s presence and brand awareness.

To help address the PC services needs of the SMB market, Lenovo services include warranty and maintenance upgrades, asset tagging, imaging, asset recovery service, PC protection, and backup. Frey and his team are going to work with its distribution channel to help the channel deliver these services to their end users.

Lenovo’s goal is to have 80 per cent of sales opportunities go through the channel. In Canada, an estimated 97 per cent of businesses fall into the realm of the SMB market.

Distribution partners include D&H, Supercom Canada, Tech Data, and Synnex.