Lenovo is helping channel partners through the COVID-19 crisis.

Lynn Haber

April 1, 2020

3 Min Read
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Lenovo on Wednesday announced support for channel partners with a new Partner Stimulus Package in response to the pandemic impacting their businesses.

There are four elements to the new package, developed with Lenovo’s technology partners Microsoft and Intel, and finance partner DLL.


Lenovo’s Rob Cato

“Many of the partners that I’ve spoken to in the last several weeks have expressed the challenging time, that quite frankly, all of us are experiencing right now,” Rob Cato, vice president, North America channels at Lenovo, told Channel Futures. “As they think through the next several months, one of the biggest concerns that we heard is cash flow. Partners are concerned about managing cash flow to support customers and their own businesses over the next 90-plus days.”

Lenovo typically announces partner-program changes or updates at the start of its fiscal year, which is April 1. This year, however, the company decided to come up with a short-term solution to address partners’ concerns during the crisis. The Lenovo Partner Stimulus Package is in place for 90 days.

What the Program Includes

  • The company is removing target-based incentive programs. Typically, each quarter Lenovo provides partners in its gold, platinum and National Solution Provider categories a target incentive that triggers a payment. Now the vendor will move to a flat-rate incentive that’s more predictable in terms of earning. Each product will get a different rate.

Additionally, Lenovo typically pays every 90 days but will now move to 30-day payments.

  • In partnership with DLL, Lenovo is extending the terms, for 30 days, for any qualified partner that is, or would like to be, part of the Lenovo Partner Financing Program. Today, most partners in the program are on 60-day pay terms, so the new terms will make that 90 days.

“This change extends the ability for them [partners] to meet some of their customer’s needs,” said Cato.

Lenovo will continue SPIFFs or partner sales reps. The company was able to do this in partnership with Microsoft and Intel.

  • The vendor will introduce a “Work from Home” bundle around a device-as-a-service (DaaS) solution. The bundle includes a Lenovo Nano desktop, monitor, Absolute security software and Premier support. This bundle is available now, but a DaaS solution will be available in one month.

“A lot of the demand that we’re seeing is for a work-from-home solution, so we’ve built a couple of them based on our Nano desktop,” said Cato. “The DaaS offer will allow customers to buy on a monthly basis versus as having to lay out the cash up front.”

The North America channel chief said that Lenovo also is relaxing the partner program tier-attainment guidelines. Tier attainment typically is based on shipped data. Lenovo now will consider both shipped and ordered data to reflect supply-chain challenges. This is a tiering exception and will not apply to fiscal year fourth-quarter target goals.

“The Lenovo Stimulus Package is our way of helping partners as much as possible because we are a channel-first company,” said Cato.

Lenovo is pushing for record shipments to get product into the hands of partners to deliver to customers.

“No one has a crystal ball, but as we get through the next quarter, which is April-June, the Lenovo Stimulus Package will be in place and we’ll evaluate how effective it was and the feedback we’re hearing from partners,” he said. “At that point we’ll decide if we’ll continue it.”

Lenovo has been working to support the communities it operates in. It has given back $8.6 million to schools, hospitals and community partners globally. This includes a $2 million contribution from Lenovo North America.

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About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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