Lenovo Primes Channel with Q3 Product Refresh, Rebates
Lenovo is moving up, and fast. Actually, you could say the vendor had a pretty good second quarter and already is racing headlong into Q3. And you’d be right.
Not only do IDC’s latest figures peg Lenovo right on HP’s heels for Q2 worldwide PC shipment leadership, sporting a 3 percent gain from this time last year, but Lenovo has lined up a raft of new desktops and notebooks slated to debut later this quarter to prime its channel partners for hefty Q3 and Q4 sales.
As duly noted by The VAR Guy, Lenovo is on course to run down HP as the world’s largest PC supplier, executing on its strategy to snag SMB, corporate and public sector sales with attractive desktops, notebooks, servers and workstations, all backed by aggressive pricing and enticing channel partner rebates.
This month, Lenovo will start filling orders for four new notebooks and four new desktops, phasing out older products in July and August and replenishing supply with the new ones by September.
“We have new products on every product family coming out this quarter,” said Mike White, director, 4P Integration at Lenovo. “We turn over the entire product line once every four or five years.”
Lenovo’s ThinkCentre Tiny desktops and Tiny thin clients, which just began shipping to the channel, are expected to generate significant SMB sales in the upcoming quarter, he said.
And, armed with aggressive rebates ranging from $100 to $250 on its high-end workstations and servers, lowered price points on desktops and notebooks as it closes out older products and expanded channel coverage, Lenovo seems poised for a significant run-up as the year goes on.
The vendor also is prepping for Microsoft’s Windows 8, not just with new systems timed with the OS launch but also with a Microsoft-operated upgrade program under which customers purchasing Lenovo Windows 7-equipped PCs will be able to download Windows 8 for a nominal $15 charge when the new OS is released.
On the enablement side, the vendor is promoting its content syndication program, a Lenovo-maintained vehicle for channel partners to display product information on their website at no cost, said Kevin Walker, channel marketing manager. In addition, the vendor has made available to channel partners a ThinkServer configurator, which enables customers to pick a server and configure it to suit, he said.
Much of Lenovo’s channel incentive programs have remained the same from earlier in the year, said Wayne Linford, Lenovo channel programs manager, but a few items are new. For instance, the vendor has installed lower volume clip levels for customers buying in volume, with end user discounts ranging from 4 percent to 8 percent for servers and workstations to 3 percent to 6 percent for notebooks and desktops.
And, it has implemented channel bonuses for new commercial customer sales at 4 percent for desktops and notebooks, and 8 percent for Think options, services, servers and workstations, with no minimum clip level. With the rebates, partners can earn up to $40,000 in extra margin per customer, Linford said. A similar rebate is in place for new public sector sales, at 6 percent for desktops and notebooks, and 8 percent on Think options, services, servers and workstations, with a maximum payout of $60,000 per customer.
The bottom line is Lenovo is supplying significant margin assistance for channel partners digging up new commercial and public sector customers.
Finally, on demo units, partners can now receive up to 35 percent off of list price for up to six desktop and notebook units depending on their purchase volume for the prior quarter, and up to 50 percent on up to two servers and workstations.