Lenovo's PC business is investing in rolling out a tailored SMB Channel Bounce Back program to help channel partners and distributors navigate the tough business climate.
New initiatives aim to help stimulate market demand and involve competitively priced bundles and offers, partner enablement, demand generation, webinars and marketing support. Financial support packages are also on the table.
Lenovo A/NZ managing director Matt Codrington told ARN it was pushing the boundaries in serving up compelling offerings with competitive pricing for partners along with payment options. These include deferrals plus step and structured payments to help manage financial commitments.
“They can have the guaranteed assurance and invest with confidence that they’re going to have support from us,” Codrington said.
“We’re putting in easier mechanisms for buybacks and the upgrade path for customers to do that relatively quickly. We’ll also provide services and support for our partners if needed, so they can deliver on customer expectations.
Codrington said the program is designed to help Lenovo and channel partners in achieving targets together, as a common purpose and goal to work towards.
“We’ve seen some impact on our partners from the current situation and there’s a willingness to adopt more flexible working arrangements. We’re trying to harness how to provide better support,” he said.
Distributors will also be guaranteed certain aspects of their payment structure as well for business development or marketing funds. In April, Lenovo streamlined its distribution network in an effort to grow its core PC business while accelerating new businesses including SmartHome, SmartOffice, Commercial IoT and Smart Verticals -- education, health and retail.
Codrington said with specific partners, it was tailoring programs and noted in the past six months, it has expanded its partner base by about 30 per cent.
Globally, Lenovo is also in the process of transforming its own systems internally with Australia, New Zealand and Singapore among some of the first to get a new CRM, pricing system and an online quoting tool for partners, which will be integrated within the next few months.
In the past year, Lenovo has broadened its product portfolio evolving from beyond PCs and workstations to engaging in collaboration through all-in-one conferencing devices such as the ThinkSmart Hub 500, and launching an IoT vertical, which is bringing in solutions like contact tracing.
“These products are very competitive and we’re seeing some strong success,” he said. “This involves a workplace enablement discussion, focusing on the ecosystem that the customer is working with and how they’re collaborating. These tools are opening up more simpler, faster and easier ways to get their organisations together, especially in an environment like this.”
In May Lenovo revealed its group revenue topped US$50 billion for the year, with the PC and smart devices group gaining market share and increasing revenue by 3.6 per cent to US$40 billion.
Lenovo said the sustainable growth was driven by a consistent strategy to focus on and invest in high-growth segments, with Gaming, Workstations, Visuals, Thin and Light, and Chromebooks each outgrowing the market by double-digits in volume.
Updated on 15 July -- Lenovo has since clarified that it will not be offering guaranteed partner rebates, as originally stated, but it does claim it is guaranteeing marketing spend and support funding for headcount for partners.