Lenovo Preps Partners for Higher Ed, Government Sales Push
… higher education and state and local government.
There are a few solutions around services and some of our Smart Office and virtual-reality-type solutions. One of the products that we brought to market last year was our VR Classroom which was designed primarily for the K-12 market, but there’s a lot of synergy between that and the higher-education market as people look to go into different professions. There’s a correlation to being able to provide VR solutions [and] Smart Office solutions.
CF: The company’s One Lenovo theme means that you have a single channel program, despite having a separate Data Center Group.
RC: We’re joined as One Lenovo when it comes to our partner community and we have one partner program — Lenovo Engage. It provides the opportunity for all of our partners to engage with us, but we also look at partners by tier, so we’ve got authorized, silver, gold and platinum partners, and we also have the national solutions providers who are usually our top six or so partners in the North America market.
CF: Are Lenovo partners selling more bits and pieces or solutions?
RC: It’s a solution play, and one of the things we continue to evolve to is providing an end-to-end solution where [partners] can wrap their value-add and services around that solution and target a specific vertical or horizontal market that they’re going after.
For example, the VR Classroom is an out-of-the-box experience that provides the hardware and software that makes this a solution able to go right into the classroom, but it requires the help of a channel partner to provide the right services, such as deploy, manage and service on an ongoing basis, as well as the right bundling of other offerings the customer may be looking for.