You’d think for a company achieving the No. 1 position in the PC space, a record $34 billion in revenue and its highest market share ever at 16.6 percent—all in its first quarter of fiscal year 2014, Lenovo would want to take some time to let it soak in. But it’s the last thing the hardware vendor wants to do.
“This may only be the one time that we have opportunity behind us and ahead, and it’s not time to rest on our laurels,” said Chris Frey, Lenovo’s vice president of North America Commercial Channels. “We’re going to enjoy the ride and make sure it doesn’t end.”
Indeed, Lenovo does have a lot to celebrate, coming off its 17th consecutive quarter of outperforming the PC industry. And since the company adopted its PC Plus persona last year, it now ranks No. 3 in the smart connected devices space (PC, smartphone and tablet products). That’s not a bad feat, considering Lenovo doesn’t even offer a smartphone in the United States.
“The interesting part about the PC Plus arena, with the smart connected devices, servers and storage business – in the last quarter the company sold more phones and tablets than we did PCs. But that’s also the same quarter we became No. 1 in PC business,” Frey noted. “Our focus is about growing our core PC business, addressing the change in the market and the world of devices in the changing market, and building out solutions to match client growth. If do all three, our expectation is we become No. 1 in all categories.”
Lenovo’s partners, Frey said, only stand to achieve greater heights with Lenovo’s successes in all three markets.
“When you look at our business model, our strategy is to go through the channel and have relationships. We have increased the amount of channel coverage inside and outside the company for the last four years,” he noted. “We are training, touching, talking to more business partners than ever have before to drive relationships, drive profitability and earn trust. We have gone to the next level, that is starting to resonate and we are starting to see the effects of that.”
An understatement, possibly: Lenovo’s channel partners drove 85 percent of its business, and the company saw 30 percent growth in its channel partner program. What’s more, Frey noted, Lenovo saw the highest number of partners that have sold its products on a consistent basis. “We set a record revenue clip level that went though the channel of $1 billion, which is a year and a half ahead of when we said we would reach $1 billion through the channel,” he said.
Impressive numbers overall. It’s obvious Lenovo’s doing something right, with both its technology and its channel partners. Record sales and record channel partner numbers are nothing to sneeze at. Yet, as Frey pointed out, rest is not on the agenda for the company.
At least take a minute to raise a glass in a celebratory toast. Lenovo has definitely earned that.