Lenovo Preparing Partner Portal and Managed Services Moves
Lenovo skeptics think the company is heading back to China. In reality, there’s growing evidence the ThinkPad maker is planning new North American initiatives — including a new partner portal as well as a major managed services push, The VAR Guy has learned.
Details about the managed services initiative could arrive as soon as March, but early details have already leaked out on The VAR Guy’s sister site, MSPmentor.net. In short, watch for Lenovo to increasingly position its ThinkManagement console and vPro-enabled systems for managed service providers.
There’s also chatter about Lenovo launching or revising a portal for North American partners. Some more details may surface around the April timeframe.
Lenovo VP Stephen DiFranco discussed the potential MSP and portal moves as part of a larger SMB push. During the Feb. 9 phone chat, DiFranco strongly rejected speculation that Lenovo is somehow retreating to China amid a CEO change. Instead, DiFranco asserts, Lenovo will export many of its most successful business practices from China to North America.
Filling In the Holes
At first glance, Lenovo’s business is under intense pressure. And a CEO change sounds dramatic. But think about this: Lenovo spent recent years serving the IT channel without two critical business components:
- A server strategy
- A managed services strategy
Imagine being a solutions provider bidding on a customer network, but you (A) had to complicate your bid by including multiple hardware vendors and (B) had to seek out a third party managed services tool.
Lenovo addressed the server issue in September 2008. And in the next few months, it’s clear the company will have a managed services strategy in place.