Lenovo does software?

NASHVILLE, TENN. – Lenovo is offering software. That’s not a typo.

Lenovo is looking to sign up channel partners for its Unified Workspace solution, once known as Stoneware webNetwork. Stoneware was acquired by Lenovo back in 2012 and renamed. The product creates a unified workspace with browser-based access to files, apps, and data from any device with a single password.

Salvatore Patalano, the chief revenue officer of Stoneware, a Lenovo company admitted to the hundreds of partners at the Ingram One show that Lenovo is late to the software game.

“I realize the majority of the marketplace does not know Lenovo – even if we are the No. 1 PC vendor in the world – offers software solutions,” Patalano said.

2016 will be Lenovo software’s inaugural year and the company’s has an initial goal to sign up 25 channel partners. And, for those interested in kicking the tires Patalano is offering 52 points of margin on the high end.

He said the company is fine if some of the margin “bleeds to the street.”

Lenovo is also offering co-marketing dollars from day one of sign up to the tune of $6,000 upfront.

“Software is a high margin business, while selling hardware is like a knife fight in a phone booth,” Patalano said.

Lenovo’s Stoneware operation has just signed an exclusive arrangement with Ingram Micro and will enter the channel on a 2-tier plan. Lenovo is also grandfathering in any Gold partners into its channel program.

The margin opportunity with Lenovo software looks like this:

  • A Platinum Partner gets 10 per cent in base margin;
  • 12 per cent in deal registration;
  • An extra 10 per cent of margin if you are an industry focused partner;
  • Attach another Lenovo product to the sale and you get five more points;
  • Offering professional services gets you an additional 10 points; and
  • Hit the rebate target of $500,000 in sales and that gets you five per cent more.
  • That’s a total of 52 points of margin.

A Gold Partner gets the same base, industry focus, and attach margin.

  • Professional services is seven points;
  • Deal registration is 10 instead of 12 per cent; and
  • The revenue target is at $250,000 which gets a three per cent rebate.

That’s a total of 45 points of margin.

The last tier is Silver and that level gets you the same base margin as Gold and Platinum.

  • Deal Registration is at two per cent;
  • Industry Focus is at five per cent; and
  • The attach margin is at two per cent.

That’s a total of 23 points of margin.

The company has three software solutions: their flagship Lenovo Unified Workspace, LandSchool Classroom Management and a new product for virtual training to be released during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) called AirClass.

AirClass will use business intelligence to identify if a student really understands the training or courseware. With AirClass, a teacher can tune in live and witness if a student is bored, scared, angry or engaged.

“AirClass is a cloud-based product that can see if the training is working in real time,” he said.

Lenovo software competes with Citrix and VMware, but Patalano also said there could be a complimentary role for Unified Workplace on those two platforms.

Before being acquired by Lenovo, Stoneware reached the three million seat installed milestone.

“How did we get there? The user experience,” Patalano said.

The opportunity is a greenfield as Stoneware only has one per cent of market penetration.

Patalano added that any organization is a target, but said the upper end of SMB to the lower end of the enterprise is the sweet spot.

Another area of focus is an organization with a highly mobile workforce.

The price per seat for Unified Workspace is at $50 and $100 for a concurrent user.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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