Lenovo Pushes Single Channel Program for Servers, PCs
In the channel, Frey's challenge is to integrate the new products into the existing network, so that all partners can sell all Lenovo products. The company doesn't want siloed channels where some partners sell some products and other partners sell different ones. Officials want end users to be able to go to their channel partners and buy whatever they need. It's a strategy called One Lenovo, One Channel, and its aim is to create a single distribution model for all of its products. It kicked off the day the IBM deal closed. "We want partners to look at us as a company that can build tablets and PCs and data center [products] and [solutions for] the cloud," Frey said, adding that he wants all partners to be able to sell everything Lenovo offers. End users "can come to one company and talk to one company about meeting their computing needs. "Our intent is to have one set of programs."The response from the channel has been good, Frey said. Partners "are excited to be selling a bigger portfolio," he said. Now Lenovo officials have to help train those partners—most of whom now have focused primarily on PCs—to move up the stack and deeper into the data center. The company is busy educating the channel about the new products, and then training them to talk to resellers and end users. Officials also are working with more than 1,000 new channel partners brought on board by the acquisitions, and getting them up to speed with what Lenovo offers. "We want to train them so they can recommend us," Frey said.
That includes offering partners a single experience with Lenovo, and being able to offer their customers a single experience, he said. Channel representatives selling PCs and x86 servers will work together when calling on customers, and there will be a single compensation program for reps who sell PCs or System x servers, he said. The goal is to have this single, integrated distribution model in place and running well within the next few months.