Sell 25 Lenovo ThinkPads, Get Free Server
How do you leverage one product to promote another product? At Apple, the strategy typically involves giving a free iPod to students that purchase MacBooks. At Lenovo, the strategy is slightly different and fully business driven — and it involves VARs, ThinkPads and ThinkServers. Here’s the scoop.
North American Lenovo VARs that sell 25 ThinkPads to a specific customer will receive a rebate to give that customer a free ThinkServer, according to Wes Towns, director of North American Channel Programs at Lenovo.
To be clear: The offer is limited to one server per VAR. So if you sell 250 ThinkPads, your customer still only receives one server.
The free server offer, which runs July 1 through Sept. 30, is an intriguing way for Lenovo to seed the market for its servers.
Lenovo announced its server launch in September 2008, and began shipping servers in late 2008. Around the same time, Lenovo announced a server guarantee with Synnex. More recently, the company has introduced small business servers that emphasize virtualization support — allowing VARs and customers to mix and match operating systems and virtualization technology from Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat and VMware.
But how are the servers selling? The VAR Guy is under a gag order, but he can say this: Sales are rising in the double-digits, in terms of percentage growth.
Summer of (Harware) Love
The free ThinkServer offer, tied to 25 ThinkPad sales, is the second major Lenovo summer promotion The VAR Guy has spotted. Lenovo also is giving away one G530 notebook per week as part of a “Sizzling Summer Sweepstakes.”
Separately, Lenovo has launched a strategy to help VARs profit from the economic stimulus package. The VAR Guy will be back with details on that program tomorrow.