Lenovo 360 will launch globally next month, providing a unified partner program for its PC and data center businesses. In the making for some time, the company on Monday outlined more specific components of the Lenovo 360 Framework.
The framework builds on One Lenovo, the company’s newly combined channel organization, which brought together its Intelligent Devices Group (IDG) and Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG). Lenovo aims to incentivize partners to bundle solutions from both groups and provide them as a service.
Jeff Taylor, Lenovo’s worldwide channel marketing leader, said the framework will incentivize thousands of partners sell new types of solutions. When it goes live on Jan. 10, Lenovo will have eight solutions consisting of products across IDG and ISG. The solutions will include workforce productivity and collaboration, industry-specific bundles and those that address infrastructure simplification.
Lenovo’s Jeff Taylor
Besides combining the IDG and ISG channel teams, the Lenovo 360 framework includes new training, certification and marketing playbooks.
“By bringing them together, we open up this new world for our partners to go deeper with us,” Taylor told Channel Futures. “It makes the engagement more simple. And at the same time, it allows us to bring specialists into the discussions for co selling opportunities.”
‘Better Together’ Accelerators
Lenovo said it plans to reward partners who leverage their relationships with customers by stepping into new areas of business. For example, partners who primarily sell Lenovo PCs today who see an opportunity with data center solutions, they will be eligible for accelerators.
Partners who sell across Lenovo’s portfolios will have targets, one for endpoint solutions and another for data center infrastructure and for services. Those who hit two of those will receive a 20% accelerator on top of any existing incentives, according to Taylor. Lenovo calls these accelerators “better together.”
“If they achieve all three, they’ll get a 30% accelerator,” he said. “It’s an incredibly big investment. Now they can go to the same channel organization and get access to those resources and not have to navigate two different organizational models. It’s really about bringing the subject matter experts to our partners in a much more seamless and organized way.”
The company will offer other accelerators, including one for those who offer the recently launched Lenovo TruScale data center as-a-service portfolio. A third accelerator will reward those who deliver complete solutions.
“These are also stackable; they’re not mutually exclusive,” Taylor noted. “These are potentially quite lucrative.”
Taylor emphasized that the framework seeks to get partners focused in one area to step up their engagement in others. One partner that has worked with Lenovo on the new framework is iT1 Source, a Tempe, Arizona-based solution provider. Shelliy Cymbalski, iT1 Source’s CMO, said the Lenovo 360 program increases the incentive to promote more Lenovo ISG offerings.
Now that Lenovo’s field sales and channel reps are knowledgeable about IDG and ISG solutions, it’s easier to work with the vendor, Cymbalski told Channel Futures.
“When you introduce your Lenovo field person to a customer, it’s easier when that Lenovo field person can talk across the whole portfolio, she said. “And for us, that means the customer can jump from one side to the other at the bigger opportunity. “We can bring up the PC life cycle side, we can bring up the data center side, so there’s better potential for growth.”