Lenovo Launching Partner Marketing, Support Tools
Lenovo certainly is keeping busy. Only days after describing a forthcoming managed services strategy, Lenovo Channel Chief Stephen DiFranco is poised to unveil a free marketing tool to help resellers promote Lenovo PCs to small and midsize customers. Lenovo will also launch ThinkPlus Priority support for VARs and their customers. Here are some preliminary details.
The VAR Guy expects to speak with DiFranco on February 18. In the meantime, here’s what our resident blogger knows for sure:
- A new Lenovo tool will help VARs avoid the expense of developing marketing campaigns while keeping their visibility high to continue attracting customer investment in IT in these challenging times, according to a Lenovo spokeswoman.
- Lenovo is also introducing a new service plan that resellers can leverage in packaging solutions to their customers. It’s called ThinkPlus Priority Support. Details are expected February 18.
The two above-noted efforts come at a critical time for Lenovo. Some company skeptics think Lenovo is retreating from the US and refocusing on China. But the company’s recent CEO change does not signal Lenovo’s exit from the North American arena. Indeed, the company has been busy bolstering its North America SMB strategy.
Lenovo’s SMB challenges are easily explained but will take time to address. For instance:
- Lenovo didn’t have a server brand of its own until September 2008, prompting some VARs to go elsewhere for total hardware solutions (mobile, desktop and server) rather than selling point products from Lenovo. Having launched Linux and Windows servers in late 2008, Lenovo is seeking to fill that void.
- Lenovo hasn’t had a managed services story. While Dell continues to push deeper in the managed services software market with its Silverback and Everdream acquisitions, Lenovo has done little to describe how its hardware is designed for remote management experts and MSPs. Lenovo sounds like it’s poised to describe an MSP strategy sometime around March 2009.
- Initial reports about Lenovo’s CEO change included media predictions that the company would retreat to China. But new CEO Yang Yuanqing is granting interviews to emphasize Lenovo’s commitment to the US.
Stay tuned for more details, likely February 18, from The VAR Guy.