Lenovo 360 is a new global channel partner framework that unlocks even more value for Lenovo’s reseller partners.
As the market moves to a services-based ecosystem, the new framework provides partners with easier access to the entire Lenovo portfolio across devices, infrastructure, and services and solutions.
At its heart, Lenovo 360 merges the partner programmes of the different Lenovo divisions: Intelligent Devices Group (IDG), the core PC and IoT business; Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG); and the Solutions and Services Group (SSG), focused on verticals and services.
Thibault Dousson, country GM at Lenovo Africa, explains that, by aligning partners’ needs to easily expand their sales footprint, the programme gives them the tools that allow them to sell products and services from all of Lenovo’s portfolios.
“Lenovo 360 is a foundation for a global programme that offers unique benefits to specialised partners. It has a basis in growth, customer acquisition, and solution competencies that triggers an expansive set of benefits to our partners.
“The programme will provide the tools and processes to make engagement, pricing, quoting, partner protection, and support efficient and reliable. It will simplify how we engage and drive speed to price and time to revenue.
“So our partners now have access to everything: from devices to data centre solutions,” he explains. “I describe this strategy as pocket-to-cloud, with customers consuming technology and using data to create value across the whole ecosystem.”
Importantly, all Lenovo 360 partners can now offer the Lenovo services available from SSG. “This means they can combine even more offerings for their customers,” says Dousson. “For instance, they can offer device as a service, finance and reverse logistics – basically, whatever services they want to put in place, they can access them.”
From Lenovo’s point of view, the Lenovo 360 programme demonstrates its commitment to the channel. “We will never sell direct, but Lenovo 360 means that we are using the partner ecosystem more effectively. And, for our partners, it opens new opportunities and sources of revenue.”
Dousson says the Lenovo 360 framework rests on three pillars: people, programmes and tools.
The people are the members of the combined channel team, now stronger and better-resourced than ever. “The power of our people, especially when combined with the knowledge of the channel, is best-in-class,” he says.
“Lenovo 360 will provide the technical and market expertise to support our indirect sales teams to provide our mutual customers with best-in-class solutions. Adding the ISG channel team to the IDG people means we will have much greater coverage. Having more people to assist within the channel team means partners can reach more customers than they did before.”
As part of Lenovo 360, additional investments will be made over time in headcount of technical specialists and product experts across regional channel teams to provide greater partner support, Dousson adds. “For instance, if a PC reseller needs help with the server side of a deal, we can bring in a specialist to help them design a solution. We are not asking people to become device or server specialists if they weren’t before.
“So the programme gives us more coverage, allows reseller partners more scope, and gives them the ability to build solutions and add services.”
Lenovo has already begun to align its global channel teams across the business units into a single organisation across structures that can provide partners with faster and easier access to the portfolio. Already, 14 markets have been activated, with all global markets to be fully operational by the end of the fourth quarter of the 2021/22 financial year.
Once resellers have signed up for Lenovo 360, they get the combined benefits of all the individual business unit programmes.
“So if you used to get a rebate on the IDG channel programme, you can now get it on ISG sales as well. This way, the more our partners sell, they more they get in rebates,” Dousson explains. “Because the programme now allows them to sell across the board, they not only have access to additional revenue, but more benefits as well.
“The theme of Lenovo 360 is ‘Better Together’; Platinum Plus and Gold partners will now have three targets focused on IDG, ISG and SSG, so they have three opportunities to achieve targets. And the more broadly they sell across the portfolio, the more targets they’ll achieve.”
Not only do reseller partners get access to additional products, services and benefits, but Lenovo 360 gives them all the tools they require to make the programme work for them.
“Through the Lenovo Partner Portal, they get access to tools for pricing, protection and marketing – quite a bit more than they would get on the individual business unit channel programmes,” Dousson says. “And Lenovo is continually adding to the tools available.”
He says that the Lenovo Bid Platform and Lenovo Partner Hub will evolve over the coming months to support cross portfolio quoting and pricing.
“In addition, we will be introducing simple Solutions Builders, or Configurators, for each new, channel-ready solution we bring to market. This helps partners to specify the best possible solution for their customers, whether it is devices, servers or services.”
Find out more on the Lenovo Partner Portal