INTELLIGENT TRANSFORMATION A Sponsored Supplement To CRN
THE CHANNEL OF THE
FUTURE The Future Of IT Is Service-Led And Solution-Focused PAGE 6
WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER. JOIN US. PAGE 9 EVERYTHING AS A SERVICE BOOSTS CUSTOMER OUTCOMES PAGE 23
AMBITION REWARDED LEAP into your new side hustle The Lenovo Expert Achievers Program (LEAP) helps you reach new heights in your sales potential by earning cash and prizes for qualified training and sales. Trek on over to the Lenovo Partner Hub, complete your registration, and start loading your pre-paid MasterCard® today. It pays to keep your day job.
For details about Lenovo’s channel loyalty program LEAP, visit gochannelfirst.com.
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INTELLIGENT TRANSFORMATION A Sponsored Supplement To CRN
PERSPECTIVES A Letter From Rob Cato And Vlad Rozanovich Page 4
THE FUTURE OF THE CHANNEL The Future Is ServiceLed And Solutions-Focused
THE POWER OF LENOVO 360 Capitalize On Service-Led And Solutions-Based Growth Page 12
People, Programs And Tools To Activate Partners Page 14 Stack Up The Benefits Page 16
SMARTER SERVICES AND SOLUTIONS Lenovo Creates ‘Easy Buttons’ For Data Management Page 20 6 Smart Sales Motions You Need To Know Page 22 Everything As A Service Boosts Customer Outcomes Page 23
GO-TO-MARKET The Power Of The Lenovo Brand
THE FUTURE OF THE CHANNEL We Are Better Together. Join Us.
©2022 by The Channel Company. All Rights Reserved. Lenovo is a trademark or registered trademark of Lenovo. All other trademarks, service marks and company names are properties of their respective owners.
LENOVO CUSTOM ISSUE 3
A LETTER FROM ROB CATO AND VLAD ROZANOVICH At Lenovo, we are so grateful for the ways our partners have stepped up and quicky adapted to serving our mutual customers to deliver the infrastructure, devices, and services needed to support learn-from-home and remote workforces over these last two years. We know remote and hybrid work are here to stay, and now, more than ever, we are committed to bringing customers the integrated solutions and services— from their pocket to their cloud—that they need. ROB CATO
With Lenovo’s continued transformation to a solutions and services company, alongside our R&D investments focused on the “New IT” full stack architecture of client-edge-cloud-network-intelligence, we’ve remained focused to deliver on our 3S strategy (Smart Devices/IoT, Smart Infrastructure, Smart Verticals). All of this, along with our partners’ tremendous support, contributed to Lenovo’s record-breaking performance this past year. In this special issue, you’ll see Lenovo’s plan to offer everything from devices to servers, combined with complementary services, so our partners have new ways to expand their business. We call this framework “Lenovo 360,” designed to put the full power of Lenovo’s people, programs and tools into our partners’ hands. Our concierge service approach unites our Intelligent Devices Group (IDG), Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG), and Solutions and Services Group (SSG) organizations. Lenovo 360 creates a single provider and allows us to better support partners to deliver the business outcomes desired by customers. Together we will work to take advantage of the opportunities offered by this ever-changing market. As we enter a post-pandemic era, our commitment to lead as a channel-first organization is unwavering. We strive to support you with trust and integrity, invest in end-to-end solutions that better serve you and provide greater value to our mutual customers. Exciting opportunities are in front of us. We thank our valued partners for their commitment to powering through the challenges of current times with Lenovo, and we are committed to accelerating your business with smarter technology for all. All our best,
Rob Cato Vice President, North America Channel
Vlad Rozanovich SVP & President, North America
4 INTELLIGENT TRANSFORMATION
THE FUTURE OF THE CHANNEL
We’ve changed so that Lenovo is one organization from a partner and customer viewpoint. VLAD ROZANOVICH
SVP & President, North America
The Future Is Service-Led And SolutionsFocused
he vision of the One Lenovo global channel framework drew me to join Lenovo,” says Vlad Rozanovich, senior vice president & president of North America at Lenovo. A year ago, Rozanovich, a 24-year veteran of AMD, joined Lenovo to head up North America for the newly reorganized global sales organization. Rozanovich’s well-rounded experience and proven leadership is critical as Lenovo accelerates its transformation from a company known for its iconic ThinkPad devices and Motorola phones to a leader in data center infrastructure and everything-asa-service. The company integrated its Intelligent Devices Group, which encompasses PCs, mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, with its Infrastructure Solutions
6 INTELLIGENT TRANSFORMATION
Group, which comprises servers, storage and networking, and established the Solutions and Services Group, which coalesced its services and solutions teams. As Lenovo views a services-led, outcome-focused approach as critical to fuel its next decade of growth, it also created Lenovo 360, a global channel partner framework to make it easier for partners to do business with the company. Uniﬁed Partner Framework Lenovo 360 is designed to provide partners—and ultimately their customers—with easier access to Lenovo’s device, infrastructure, and services and solutions portfolios. Having a unified framework allows partners to capitalize on the services-led and solutions-based opportunity and drive additional revenue streams more efficiently.
“One Lenovo unleashes the entire portfolio of Lenovo to address customers’ needs from PCs and accessories to the data center to solutions and services,” says Rozanovich. “The vision is Lenovo as a single entity that can handle partners’ and customers’ IT needs from pocket to cloud.” Designed in collaboration with Lenovo channel partners, Lenovo 360 brings together the core elements of people, programs and tools to drive mutual success. A unified global structure simplifies go-to-market activities. Channel-ready solutions to address customers’ needs for workforce productivity and collaboration, greater infrastructure flexibility, sustainability improvements and industry-specific solutions help partners accelerate the sales cycle. Lenovo helps partners drive profitable revenue, too. Rebate accelerators like Better Together and TruScale Accelerator offer partners the opportunity to increase earnings up to 30 percent or more on sales across Lenovo’s portfolio of products and solutions, and as-a-service sales. Executing The Vision Of One Lenovo Rozanovich is focused on making the One Lenovo framework a broad success, and like any organizational transformation, the initiative starts with people.
“First and foremost, it’s about building a team that can approach the market with a consolidated product offering, with the thread of services and solutions woven through, so we can deliver close-to-box solutions and service, managed services and complex IT solutions through our partners to our customers,” he says. Before the change, partners had to deal separately with Lenovo’s different business units. Buying desktop PCs, monitors and accessories was handled through one group, while servers, storage, networking and other data center infrastructure was handled by another. Motorola phones were handled separately. “We’ve changed so that Lenovo is one organization from a partner and customer viewpoint,” Rozanovich says. Lenovo’s partners have experienced the value of Lenovo 360. “Lenovo has done a great job of telling partners that, no matter whether you’re selling PCs or infrastructure services, you’re going to win,” says Shelliy Cymbalsky, chief marketing officer of iT1 Source, a full-service IT solutions provider based in Arizona. “Nothing is a siloed opportunity with customers, and Lenovo’s new approach helps us take that strategic approach with them.”
Lenovo By The Numbers Lenovo’s business transformation strategy and continued investments are paying off, as the company continues to drive sustainable and profitable growth. In February 2022, Lenovo announced record results for its third quarter and achieved its first $20 billion quarter. Innovation, coupled with operational excellence, is delivering measurable growth and profitability across its key business groups and geographies. The company reported that net income grew more than 50 percent for the sixth consecutive quarter, with net income growing 62 percent year-on-year to a record $640 million. Lenovo continues to invest in innovation that’s aligned to the company’s transformation into a solutions and services company as part of its commitment to double R&D investment over three years. Overall, Lenovo says it is on track to double net margin by the end of its fiscal year 2023/2024.
LENOVO CUSTOM ISSUE 7
Under Lenovo 360, channel partners have a single point of contact for the entire portfolio, whether they’re purchasing desktops, laptops, servers, storage, adding on warranties or delivering managed services to their customers. Lenovo brings in the specialized sales and technical resources as needed to meet the specific need, whether it’s a small business, enterprise or public sector sale. Brad Svoboda, director of technology alliances at Arrow Electronics, is pleased with the change. “At Arrow, we have always represented Lenovo as a single entity and strived to create a seamless experience for our customers, but it did create extra work for us internally managing separate processes,” he says. “Bringing the two business groups together and the Lenovo 360 motion has been fantastic for growing our business with Lenovo.” That unified approach also makes it easier for partners to go to market with Lenovo solutions. Lenovo is investing in sales, marketing and training enablement tools so partners can spend more time having customer conversations than creating marketing campaigns from scratch. Lenovo’s strategic marketing investments are driving brand awareness and purchase familiarity both on the global stage and in regional markets with innovative partnerships from Formula 1 to local organizations helping underserved communities. Lenovo 360 is designed as a global framework, giving partners visibility and access to Lenovo people, programs and tools across geographies. “We have heard from our channel partners that they wanted our help expanding outside the U.S.,” says Rozanovich. With metrics and status earned on a global basis, it’s easier for a U.S.-based partner to meet the needs of customers that operate in multiple countries. The future is bright for Lenovo as it works closely with its channel partners to deliver the services and solutions that are in high demand as organizations accelerate their use of innovative technology to deliver new experiences to their customers and workforces, streamline operations and shine in an unpredictable world.
8 INTELLIGENT TRANSFORMATION
Going Green Is Good For Everyone E-waste has a huge impact on our global environment, and it’s getting worse every year. Lenovo is doing something about sustainability. By embracing the circular economy, Lenovo and its ecosystem of partners can better leverage existing resources and put them back into the supply chain instead of using them once and throwing them away. The potential impact is enormous, not only for our environment but by reducing costs for businesses and consumers. Lenovo’s asset recovery and device-asa-service offerings are just the beginning. Lenovo aims to have an impact on the greater good. The company recently created the Lenovo 360 Circle, comprised of 17 of its biggest partners and distributors, which are focused on achieving common goals by 2025, including supporting the circular economy, expanding the use of renewable energy, fostering female talents and executives, and supporting more charitable works. “We have started by identifying simple things we can achieve together, like reducing packaging for products and providing a carbon offset when customers buy PCs,” says Pascal Bourguet, global channel chief & COO, International Markets, at Lenovo. “We are at the very beginning of what we can do together to address environmental, sustainability and governance issues.”
THE FUTURE OF THE CHANNEL
Over the last several years, we’ve been listening to our partners and acting on their feedback. We continue to be agile, and evaluate our programs and support each quarter, so that we can flex and pivot.
Vice President, North America Channel
We Are Better Together. Join Us.
hange has made us stronger,” says Rob Cato, vice president, North America Channel, at Lenovo. “The pandemic created a new environment for everyone,” says Cato. “There’s greater demand for technology with all of the solutions and services that wrap around. We believe Lenovo is uniquely positioned to be a leader going forward, with solutions from the pocket to the cloud to solve customers’ needs.” The Lenovo 360 framework is key to accelerating this growth with and through the channel. Strategic Growth Initiatives Lenovo is growing from a position of strength, with channel-ready solutions designed to meet customers’ needs. The company is investing heavily in research and development to maintain its technology leadership
and bring next-generation solutions to market. “Our priority is to protect and grow our core business,” says Cato. “We offer world-class devices, PCs, tablets and smartphones, and we plan to accelerate growth for our data center business. We see a big opportunity to work with our partners to grow.” One keen focus for Lenovo in the coming year is small and medium businesses. A service-led and solutions-focused approach is particularly important to support this customer segment, and Lenovo sees huge upside in working through the channel. This growth is even more pointed in Canada, where the vast majority of businesses are smaller. “More than 78 percent of SMBs rely on managed service providers because they don’t have infrastructure expertise in house,” says Cato. Lenovo also sees growth potential for its OEM business, in which its devices and data center
LENOVO CUSTOM ISSUE 9
infrastructure technologies are embedded into solutions for healthcare, retail, manufacturing and other verticals. Simplifying The Process Lenovo wants to make it easy for channel partners to do business with the company. “We’re focused on everything from having the right tools to providing full-service support for our partners,” says Cato. “We are investing in technical and sales resources and will differentiate ourselves with a concierge approach with partners.” Lenovo 360, at its foundation, is designed to deliver the people, programs and tools that partners need to accelerate success. New partners can benefit from incentives, and for partners that expand their business with Lenovo, additional incentives and rebates kick in. “Lenovo 360 is a layered program approach to building profitability,” he says. “The Lenovo 360 framework allows us to bring unique, channel-ready solutions to the market where partners can layer on additional services to deliver the right business outcomes for customers.” Lenovo partners who have taken a solutions-selling approach, like iT1 Source, are thriving. “When people return to the office, they come with a fresh set of eyes,” says Shelliy Cymbalski, chief marketing officer of iT1 Source, a full-service IT solutions provider based in Arizona. That fresh perspective can kick off a technology refresh as organizations adapt to the reality of hybrid work. “We had a collaboration opportunity with a large client a few months ago, and Lenovo went above and beyond to help us bring the solution to market, even with supply chain constraints,” she says. Solution providers can expect that level of whiteglove attention to continue—and with a clear understanding of the needs of different segments of the channel, including solution providers, telcos, global systems integrators, managed service providers (MSPs) and distributors. “Over the last several years, we’ve been listening
10 INTELLIGENT TRANSFORMATION
to our partners and acting on their feedback,” says Cato. “We continue to be agile, and evaluate our programs and support each quarter so that we can flex and pivot.” Now Is The Time For As-A-Service Lenovo believes the inflection point for everythingas-a-service is now, as the pandemic accelerated the need for business agility. “As a service will continue to grow as customers look to change their balance sheets from Capex to Opex,” says Cato. “The other factor is the pace of technology change, as employees expect to have the latest and greatest technologies, and they don’t want to wait for three years for their technology to depreciate.” Lenovo’s TruScale infrastructure services fit with the renewed focus on environmental sustainability, by supporting customers’ objectives to get the most out of their IT investments while also minimizing the environmental impact. Device- and infrastructure-as-a-service options give organizations that flexibility and sustainability, and Lenovo plans to differentiate its TruScale offering in the market as channel-friendly. “We are channel-first with our TruScale infrastructure services,” says Cato. A Bright Future Ahead “With the pandemic and the supply chain challenges, it’s been a roller-coaster ride,” says Cato. “Our partners have stood by us, even when we couldn’t see them in person, to drive mutual success.” Whether the next opportunity lies in helping customers realize their vision for hybrid work, scalable data center infrastructure, creating a truly flexible hybrid cloud, making the metaverse a reality or mind-bending mobile devices, Lenovo is committed to partnering with the channel. “I’m bullish as we go into this year and we deliver channel-ready solutions,” he says. “There’s an opportunity for customers and partners to experience Lenovo in a different way.”
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THE POWER OF LENOVO 360 Capitalize On Service-Led and Solutions-Based Growth
rganizations face relentless challenges even as the pandemic begins to ebb. Digital transformation milestones have been achieved and surpassed at unprecedented speed. As workforces continue as remote or hybrid, organizations must support personnel wherever they choose to live. IT straddles a hybrid world of on-premises and cloud. Customers have unyielding expectations for digital services and flawless interactions. Amid these dynamics, Lenovo made a move to maximize synergies among its business groups to better serve its customers’ changing needs. Lenovo has said it would look to have its different groups work more consistently together. As such, the company reorganized into three business: Intelligent Devices Group (IDG), Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG) and its Solutions and Services Group (SSG). A global sales organization was created to serve international markets and unleash the power of the Lenovo portfolio worldwide. As a channel-first organization, Lenovo prioritizes helping partners drive more value for their customers while also growing their own businesses. As customer needs evolve in an unpredictable world, Lenovo is taking the lead to help partners grow their businesses by becoming more service-led and solutions-based.
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A Unified Framework “We looked at our channel approach with fresh eyes,” says Pascal Bourguet, global channel chief & COO, International Markets, at Lenovo. “We created the Lenovo 360 global channel framework as businesses continue to evolve to an everything-as-a-service consumption model.” In January 2022, Lenovo introduced Lenovo 360, a unified global framework aimed at transforming the channel partner experience. Designed in close collaboration with partners, Lenovo 360 empowers partners to grow their business through expanded access to Lenovo solutions and services. “We are seeing transformation happen with our global partners,” says Jeff Taylor, Executive Director, Worldwide Channel Marketing and Programs, at Lenovo. “Our customers are changing, which means partners are changing. With Lenovo 360, we can serve our partners who are evolving as they serve our mutual customers.” Through Lenovo 360, partners can harness the power of Lenovo’s full portfolio, from “pocket to cloud,” tapping into the biggest opportunities with market-ready solutions and a service-led approach, all at partners’ own pace. Expand And Diversify “Partners are welcoming the opportunity to engage
Partners are welcoming the opportunity to engage with Lenovo in new ways and to drive more business with us. PASCAL BOURGUET
Global Channel Chief & COO, International Markets
with Lenovo in new ways and to drive more business with us,” says Bourguet. Partners traditionally focused on desktop PCs and mobile devices can more easily expand into data center infrastructure solutions. Partners historically focused on data center can expand their reach into the client side. Partners of all kinds can unlock the massive as-a-service opportunity. The approach is decidedly non-disruptive. Partners can maintain their current go-to-market strategies, while gaining access to opportunities to deliver new solutions and diversify revenue streams. Simplified access to the full power of the Lenovo portfolio makes it easier for partners to do business with Lenovo.
The Power Of Three Lenovo 360 brings together the power of people, programs and tools to help partners expand and extend their businesses. People: Channel account managers (CAMs) are a single point of contact for partners, providing access to deep expertise for co-selling, solution design and support to help partners leverage the full Lenovo portfolio. Programs: A robust incentive program opens the door to incremental financial rewards. Rebate accelerators and initiatives enable partners to boost earnings by up to 30 percent. Tools: New tools help partners do business more easily, including improved pricing and quoting capabilities, solution builders, and marketing and technical enablement. Market-Ready Solutions Deliver More Value A growing set of market-ready solutions within the Lenovo 360 framework helps partners drive more customer value, faster. “The solutions are made to address customer problems with an end-to-end value proposition made of different components of the Lenovo portfolio,” says Bourguet. “Solutions that support new models such as work-from-anywhere and hybrid working models will be available to the channel under one structure now.”
Beyond remote work, market-ready solutions include collaboration and conference rooms, virtual desktop, immersive design and engineering, immersive education, hybrid cloud infrastructure, backup and recovery, asset recovery services and more. Crafted For The Spectrum Of Partners Lenovo’s vision is to expand the Lenovo 360 framework beyond solution providers to address the unique needs of telcos, global systems integrators and managed service providers (MSPs). It is also working with distribution partners to activate new channel partners. “We are channel-first at our core,” says Bourguet. “The way we are considering the different segments of the channel gives credit to how much we nurture and cherish the channel.” Lenovo will adjust and adapt its partner framework for the spectrum of partner needs. “With the largest portfolio in the industry, we’re uniquely positioned to help activate the full potential of 60,000 partners to do more with their customers and grow together with us in the market,” says Bourguet. Bourguet sees much opportunity to grow with MSPs. “We think Lenovo TruScale, our new portfoliospanning everything-as-a-service offering, will be very appealing to this segment.” He also notes that Lenovo continues to listen to and learn from the needs of these new channel partners. “What the partner wants depends on their particular segment,” he says. “We continue to take the feedback from our partners to deliver on their expectations.” “It’s an exciting time to partner with Lenovo,” concludes Lenovo’s Taylor.
Lenovo 360 Global Channel Framework As businesses continue to migrate toward an everything-as-a-service consumption model, Lenovo 360 enables partners to grow their business through expanded access to endto-end solutions and services.
LENOVO CUSTOM ISSUE 13
THE POWER OF LENOVO 360 People, Programs And Tools To Activate Partners
enovo has taken bold action to adapt to the new realities of IT. Organizations have accelerated timetables for digital transformation given an urgent need to deliver more business value and flawless experiences. Staying agile is imperative in an unpredictable world. As customer demand for advanced IT surges, Lenovo is re-imagining its channel approach from the highest levels of corporate strategy to the foundational tactics of partner engagement. “We see the market shifting to become more service- and solutions-based,” says Jeff Taylor, executive director, Global Channel Programs & Marketing, at Lenovo. In response, “we are activating the Lenovo 360 framework,” he continues. “We need to make sure we have the right people, programs and tools as we expand our routes to market.”
Executive Director, Global Channel Programs & Marketing
The Power Of People “People are Lenovo’s biggest strength,” says Fiona O’Brien, vice president, Sales Transformation & Enablement, International Markets, at Lenovo. “The next step is how do we redesign our go-to-market strategy to unlock the power of the Lenovo portfolio and make it easier for our partners to engage with us.”
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It begins with empowering people—both Lenovo employees and the partner ecosystem—to meet customers’ need for complex IT solutions and more flexible consumption models. Under the Lenovo 360 framework, partners will now have a concierge-like experience when dealing with the company. A dedicated partner account manager will oversee the relationship, streamlining access to Lenovo’s sales, technical and other specialized resources across the solution portfolio. “The partner account manager is your door opener, and they will navigate through Lenovo so you have access to the specialists and everything else you need,” says O’Brien. Programs To Accelerate Growth “There’s an opportunity for partners to expand and attract new customers by bringing in other aspects of our portfolio,” says Taylor. “Partners who have sold PCs and client [devices] can move into data center infrastructure sales to create a stickier Lenovo-based relationship.” Whether it’s partners that have traditionally sold PCs or mobile phones reaching for opportunities in the data center or hybrid cloud domain or data center-focused partners expanding their smart collaboration or edge computing practices, partners are rewarded under Lenovo’s Better Together program. Partners who sell across Lenovo’s portfolio have individual targets for endpoint, data center infrastructure and services. Partners who hit two of those
targets receive a 20 percent accelerator stacked on top of existing incentives. If they achieve all three, they will get a 30 percent accelerator. Tools That Simplify Underpinning the shift to services and solutions are additional marketing, sales and training resources. New tools help get the word out to prospective buyers faster and with less effort. “In North America, we’re going to introduce through-channel marketing programs, which is a great initiative for partners who don’t have the size to create marketing campaigns from end to end on their own,” says Taylor. Twotrees Technologies, a solution provider specializing in K-12 education and enterprise, has experienced the value firsthand. “Twotrees has worked FIONA O’BRIEN Vice President, Sales closely with Lenovo over the years, fine-tuning our marketing Transformation & Enablement, campaigns and messages,” says International Susie Smith, general manager, Markets Twotrees. “Lenovo has always been very responsive and flexible and treats us as a partner instead of dictating the campaigns to us like other manufacturers.” The marketing support was especially appreciated during COVID, she notes, when she worked closely with Lenovo to create targeted social media campaigns and engaging videos for virtual reality and hybrid learning solutions. The Lenovo Partner Hub is being enhanced with additional marketing and training resources. Partners can get immediate quotes on as-a-service offerings through the Lenovo Bid Platform. Robust solution builders help partners customize solutions for their customers, while training resources help teams develop new skills and competencies. “The vendors who rise to the top are the ones who support their partners,” says O’Brien. “We want to make it easy for partners to do business with us and provide
the right information at the right time to drive mutual success.” Expanding Routes To Market Lenovo is expanding its own reach to meet the demand for complex IT solutions from MSPs, global systems integrators and telecom service providers. JOSE LUIS FERNANDEZ Selling both mobile devices Vice President, and edge computing solutions, Global Channels, for example, can allow service International Markets providers to monetize their 5G investments faster. By partnering with Lenovo, global consulting firms can deliver better outcomes for joint customers. MSPs are a major area of growth for Lenovo, as traditional resellers add to their services portfolio and born-in-the-cloud MSPs that are extending their reach. “Many resellers are becoming managed service providers because they see the value in including services, rather than reselling technology,” says Jose Luis Fernandez, vice president, Global Channels, International Markets, at Lenovo. “Lenovo can work with resellers to help with how they go to market and their overall needs as they make the transition.” Fernandez emphasizes the importance of fine-tuning the company’s go-to-market strategy for the nuances of different channel segments. Move At Your Own Pace Partners can make the transition to services with no disruption to their current way of doing business. Or they don’t need to change at all. Taylor invites partners to consider the future of complex IT solutions. “We have partners who are very comfortable selling Lenovo PCs or elements of our data center portfolio, and we love them,” he says. “If you are comfortable on your journey, keep going. But if you want to come on this journey with us, there will be more earning opportunities for you.”
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THE POWER OF LENOVO 360 Stack Up The Benefits
e want to provide a great experience for our partners,” says Cassie Jeppson, director, Channel Programs, North America, at Lenovo. “We want to reward partners for their advocacy and engagement across our solutions.” Advocacy and engagement is lucrative, too. Under Lenovo’s Better Together program, partners who sell across Lenovo’s portfolio of solutions or add services accelerate their earnings. For example, partners who have traditionally sold Lenovo’s PC solutions can earn accelerators when they add data center infrastructure solutions or services to the sale. Partners that have carried Lenovo servers, storage and networking in the past can earn incentives and rewards for adding smart collaboration solutions, backup and recovery services or other solutions to the mix. Under the Better Together program, partners have individual targets for endpoint, data center and services. Partners who hit two of those targets receive a 20 percent accelerator, which is then added to existing
16 INTELLIGENT TRANSFORMATION
incentives. If they achieve all three goals, a 30 percent accelerator kicks in. It’s easy—and entirely optional—to leverage the Better Together program. “Partners can have a simple conversation with their partner CASSIE account manager about their JEPPSON business strategy and deterDirector, Channel Programs, North mine if the program is a good America fit based on their engagement,” says Jeppson. Lenovo helps smooth the way for partners who venture into new solution areas or vertical markets. A partner account manager provides a single point of contact, providing easy access to Lenovo’s enablement and deep technical resources. Solution builders on the Lenovo Partner Hub make it easy to customize pre-integrated solutions to specific customer requirements. Partners can tap into training and certification as their new competencies take root and flourish. The journey is tailored to the individual partner. “Onboarding is different for each partner,” says
Jeppson. “We meet partners wherever they are.” It’s A Match B e t te r To g e t h e r i s n ’ t t h e only program that rewards engagement. Ka m a l L a B re c h e, s e n i o r director, Strategic Sales & KAMAL LABRECHE Services, North America Senior Director, Channel, at Lenovo, points to Strategic Sales & the success of programs like Services, North America Channel Mission Acquisition, which targets net-new customers. “The partners and Lenovo identify accounts we’d like to break into,” says LaBreche. “Partners get a rebate to offset acquisition costs. Acquisition is expensive and we can help level the playing field.” Lenovo also provides medallion and tier matching as partners expand into new areas. With medallion match, Lenovo will match a partner’s status in a competitive partner program, which incents new partners to sell Lenovo solutions and services. “Partners have nine months to meet revenue, training and engagement goals,” says LaBreche. The partner works with their account manager to develop a plan to grow the business successfully. Similarly, Lenovo offers tier matching across Lenovo’s Intelligent Devices Group (IDG) and Infrastructure Services Group (ISG). For instance, a Platinum partner for IDG will be matched at the same tier when selling ISG solutions. Expanded Marketing Resources Lenovo has been driving brand awareness through a consistent global message and high-profile partnerships with Formula 1, Ducati Corse and DreamWorks Animation. While those investments provide air cover, Lenovo is also doubling down on marketing tactics. A big initiative for 2022 is an expansion of through-partner marketing activities. At the top of the list are self-service marketing campaigns, which can be executed via a marketing automation platform
designed for partners’ use. “We’re developing a number of tools that will allow partners to quickly and effectively co-brand Lenovocreated collateral,” says LaBreche. The company is building out playbooks, case studies and other content assets to educate potential customers and accelerate the sales cycle. Market development funds are, of course, a staple. “We will continue our commitment to MDF funds,” says LeBreche. “The ease of working with Lenovo marketing and MDF is head and shoulders above any other manufacturer,” says Susie Smith, general manager, Twotrees Technologies, a solution provider specializing in K-12 education and enterprise. “It isn’t just the fact that Lenovo really does listen to the reseller, but the quality of the materials and assets provided are another reason why Twotrees feels we have the biggest impact with Lenovo.” Creating Customer Value Together “The relationships and collaboration with partners are our North Star,” says Jeppson. “If we have the right collaboration and engagement with partners, that’s where the innovation happens.” Partners agree, including Huber & Associates, a Midwest solution provider. “Lenovo’s long-term strength in our eyes has always been their commitment to developing trusted partnerships in the channel that are single-mindedly focused on delivering value to the end user,” says Rich Kliethermes, director, Application Services, at Huber & Associates. “One weakness Lenovo and Lenovo’s channel partners have had to navigate has been the internal walls that exist between various business groups that make up Lenovo,” he continues. “The Lenovo 360 framework resolves this challenge, bringing down the walls that have existed within Lenovo and subsequently freeing Lenovo and channel resources to bringing value to the market. When all partners are at the table, better solutions are created, and we have seen this firsthand.”
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PREPARED FOR THE NEXT REALITY Power your business with the full benefit of Lenovo IT is at the heart of every business—especially yours. Lenovo 360 unleashes our people, programs, and tools to give our Partners smarter solutions to power the future of work. By uniting our Intelligent Device Group (IDG), Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG), and Solutions & Services Group (SSG), we make it easier for you to keep your customers’ business information flowing.
Meet the Lenovo Partner Hub
We’ve created an intuitive tool where you can find everything you need to optimize your marketing and sales. • Role-based support functionality • Sales enablement downloads • Latest product and promotion info • Programs and training
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Workforce Productivity & Collaboration
Infrastructure Flexibility & Agility
Welcome to the New IT
At Lenovo, we believe smarter technology revolutionizes business. And that’s exactly what the New IT does for you: • Outcome-based solutions • Single shipments, scalable, ready to deploy • Endpoint, infrastructure, and support included
Put the power of Lenovo partnership to work for your business at gochannelfirst.com.
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SMARTER SERVICES AND SOLUTIONS Lenovo Creates ‘Easy Buttons’ For Data Management In an era of exponential data growth and accelerated digital transformation, Lenovo sees a huge upside for partners. David Mooney, vice president, Worldwide Storage Sales, Infrastructure Solutions Group, and Michael White, director, Channel Operations, Infrastructure Solutions Group, North America, at Lenovo explain why data management must not only be a core business priority for organizations but is also a fast-growing opportunity for partners.
Q. What are the market dynamics that are driving such an explosion of data and creating so many challenges for organizations to manage their data? David Mooney: The pandemic has changed how people use data. Much of the data is now stored outside of the data center. Remote work means there’s a greater need to manage and protect data. There are a lot more bad actors who are getting access to data and holding it ransom. Data governance is increasingly complex, and organizations need many more layers of data protection. Where the data is stored is changing, too, moving from the data center to the cloud. There’s a much stronger push on “why not” move to cloud or a cloud-style purchase environment. Businesses rely on hybrid cloud and use multiple cloud providers at the same time.
Annual compound data growth for data creation and replication from 2020-2025 Source: IDC
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Michael White: Greater intelligence on the edge is also driving a massive growth of data. 5G, video surveillance, analytics, autonomous driving and IoT are just a few examples. Devices on the edge pull in that data, which needs to be stored in the core or moved to the cloud. AI is everywhere. Just about any company with an engineering team is doing AI, and it’s often done on high-performance workstations and storage. If a channel partner isn’t investigating AI with their customers, they’re missing out on a big opportunity.
Q. Lenovo has been quietly making a name for itself in the enterprise storage business. What should partners know about Lenovo’s growing clout in this segment? White: Lenovo has been in the storage business for some time, but we haven’t been splashy about it or made acquisitions. Lenovo has a long history in the enterprise storage business. We also partner with NetApp for data management software for our ThinkSystem storage systems. Lenovo has a strong portfolio of data management products with highly reliable software stacks. Our solutions are adaptable to a variety of different applications for the edge, core, cloud and multicloud. We also have a deep bench of data management experts who can help our channel partners extend their reach in data management.
Vice President, Worldwide Storage Sales, Infrastructure Solutions Group RIGHT:
Director, Channel Operations, Infrastructure Solutions Group, North America
Q. How will Lenovo 360 allow partners to tap into the growth of the data management market? White: The Lenovo 360 framework is about enabling solutions. We can cross-pollinate between our infrastructure solution partners and PC and smart device solution partners. For example, PCs and smart devices are driving so much data to the core of the enterprise and cloud. Our partners selling laptops, desktops and workstations have seen this, and now with Lenovo 360, it’s easier for them to expand into solving their customers’ data management challenges. Our job is to enable those partners with the people, programs and tools they need to be successful and proﬁtable when selling complex solutions.
Q. CRN recognized the Lenovo ThinkSystem
DM5100F as a winner in the 2021 Product of the Year Awards in the Storage – SMB category. Why is this all-ﬂash array so appealing to partners?
Mooney: If the last few years have shown us anything, it’s that we have to prepare for the unknown and need systems that can adapt. We believe that DM5100F is the most adaptable product in the market. It’s ideal for small and midsize businesses that need a higher level of data management but perhaps couldn’t afford it in the past. The DM5100F can start with a single tray of SAN storage like most and scale up. However, it also adapts to type of data, location of data, and the management features of the data. You can start with a traditional set of features and add functionality without an issue. The DM5100F can start with block, but adapt to accommodate, ﬁle, and object storage. You can start on-prem and move to the cloud or multi-cloud, or start in the cloud and move to on-prem. White: By unifying our channel efforts through Lenovo 360, we can better reward partners selling infrastructure and smart device solutions with robust deal registration, incentives, and tier matching. Now, partners can not only present to their
customers an award-winning solution to meet their data management needs, but they can do so easily using our bid platform, which provides immediate access to pricing and conﬁguration information.
Q. How are you helping partners develop these competencies in these areas? White: We have data management certification programs, but we also want partners to be certified after they see the value in our solutions. We offer training for technical sellers and partners to help them through certiﬁcation. We also have strong technical coverage among our distributors as well as our own dedicated storage architects, so we are fully loaded to answer partners’ storage questions.
Q. Data is increasingly stored in the cloud. How do you see the opportunity for storage as a service? Mooney: We see a huge opportunity in Lenovo TruScale infrastructure services to solve customers’ data management challenges. For example, we created TruScale Inﬁnite Storage as a pay-as-you-go storage as a service, where customers pay per dollar, per gigabit, per month and have a built-in technology refresh. TruScale allows partners to think about data management in a different way for their customers.
Q. How are you making it easier for partners to sell storage? White: Lenovo is coming out with prepackaged and prebuilt bundled data management solutions, so we can remove the friction and make it easier for partners to lead with solutions. Partners can buy the bundles as configured or customize as needed. Data protection and backup is one of our ﬁrst bundles because everyone needs it, but there will be more prepackaged data management solutions. Mooney: We want to provide partners and their customers with multiple “easy buttons.” As we emerge from the pandemic, we want Lenovo to be welcomed by partners and viewed as a preferred data management solution.
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Vice President & General Manager, NA Solutions, Lenovo Canada
6 Smart Sales Motions You Need To Know From ultralight laptops, bulked-up workstations and folding-screen smartphones to mobile gaming and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), Lenovo’s intelligent devices are a favorite among businesses and consumers. In this interview, Colin McIsaac, vice president & general manager, NA Solutions, Lenovo Canada, shares his predictions for six hot growth solutions for channel partners as Lenovo drives device innovation.
Smart Collaboration will be a $7.7 billion total addressable market by 2025 and Lenovo
has tripled its North America business in this space. Smart collaboration solutions build on our PC heritage, and we are investing in our collaboration portfolio. The last two years have set a new standard for collaboration, and people will expect that same quality and engagement, whether they return to the office or work from home.
Augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) is a huge play in manufacturing, healthcare, logistics and utilities, and of course, media and entertainment. We think we’re just scratching the surface of the AR/VR opportunity, and we’ll continue to innovate. AR/ VR is a great opportunity for partners looking to diversify into new market segments.
Edge IoT is another growth area for partners with a focus on retail, smart cities, health-
care, and Industry 4.0. Lenovo has the portfolio to support AI at the edge, rich analytics, data governance, safety and surveillance, and other edge IoT solutions.
Workstations have seen incredible growth in media and entertainment, architecture and engineering, and gaming segments. The Lenovo workstation portfolio is becoming more robust and familiar to buyers. Also, at a time in the market where we’re seeing scarcity, partners want to offer products that drive the highest value, and that includes workstations. I would encourage partners to understand the value proposition of selling higher-value workstations. OEM is also a strong growth area for Lenovo. We’ve seen hundreds of design wins as we
integrate our smartphones, tablets, PCs, workstations or servers into other manufacturers’ solutions, especially in healthcare, manufacturing and retail. For the partner community interested in this motion, it’s an area where we can grow together.
Canada is a big opportunity for channel partners. Nearly 98 percent of businesses in Canada are considered small and medium, and these organizations typically look to solution providers for IT expertise. Grants and funding from the Canadian government are also available to help these businesses accelerate their digital innovation. We see the public sector evolving and adopting more agile procurement methodologies.
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SMARTER SERVICES AND SOLUTIONS Everything As A Service Boosts Customer Outcomes
enovo continues to roll out changes to its portfolio and sales structure to align them more closely with how today’s enterprises consume tech. At its Accelerate conference in May in Las Vegas, the company plans to double down on educating its partners about how to best capitalize on its everything-as-a-service (XaaS) initiative. Dubbed TruScale, Lenovo XaaS was initially a data center infrastructure-as-a-service offering launched in 2019. Last September, Lenovo expanded the concept across its entire portfolio, following up with a high-performance computing option earlier this year. Lenovo TruScale is now being expanded to PCs and other smart devices, enabling all Lenovo offerings to eventually be delivered as managed services in a cloud-like consumption model. The idea is to allow all aspects of IT to take advantage of the cloud model’s pay-as-you-go pricing, component integration, fast deployment and dynamic scalability benefits. “We aim to help customers more quickly and affordably meet very real and immediate business challenges while driving partner growth and profit,” says John Gordon, president JOHN GORDON & general manager, Industry President & General Manager, Industry Solutions, at Lenovo. Solutions
Sign Of The Times TruScale and the Lenovo 360 global partner framework are components of a Lenovo transformation initiative that emphasize solution-selling and customer outcomes over one-off product sales. They also
address businesses’ desire for the “agility, simplicity and cost benefits of cloud computing across their IT environments,” says Dale Aultman, vice president & general manager, Infrastructure Solutions Group TruScale & Managed Services, at DALE AULTMAN Lenovo. Vice President & General Manager, Driving the changes? A series Infrastructure of disruptions kicked off by the Solutions Group TruScale & pandemic that accelerated cloud Managed Services migration efforts worldwide, says Jeff Taylor, executive director, Global Channel Programs & Marketing at Lenovo. From remote work to supply chain issues to labor shortages, continually changing economic conditions are driving IT departments to more often seek turnkey solutions that “match strategic companywide initiatives,” he says. For example, IT teams charged with supporting highly distributed remote workforces or e-learning programs might need a mix of PCs, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), conferencing equipment and endpoint security, Taylor explains. “So we’re creating solutions that map to specific business challenges like these.” The XaaS opportunity is remarkable. Market analysts predict that by 2024, as-a-service models will represent 12 percent of enterprise x86 server spend and more than 50 percent of new enterprise storage spend, growing at 40 percent CAGR. Desktop as a service is predicted to account for 17 percent of commercial PC spending, growing at 50 percent CAGR. John Stamer, vice president of Lenovo’s Global Product Services, Solutions & Services Group, is quick to emphasize that the solutions transcend a collection of individual products.
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Vice President, Global Product Services, Solutions & Services Group
“In the past, we’ve been good at building technology and innovation. But we largely left it up to customers to integrate products into a solution that delivered a particular outcome,” he acknowledges. “Now we’re creating integrated, outcome-oriented solutions that can be quickly deployed without a lot of expertise.”
Everything-As-A-Service Model XaaS enables this simplicity and agility, Stamer says. “The pandemic not only accelerated modern IT, but also made companies realize how much time they were spending on projects and that their current systems and processes weren’t very flexible. They discovered that they weren’t set up for change.” Aultman adds that IT projects turned on a dime when companies were forced to find solutions that could be up and running in weeks. Usually, that meant turning to the cloud. TruScale, together with Lenovo 360, opens up solution selling to the channel but with the ease that cloud concepts provide. “Clients need to be more agile, but they also need to manage their costs,” says Aultman. “As they look to invest in their core business, moving to a technology subscription model allows them to pay as they use, lowering expenses while accelerating IT initiatives and time to value.” She used Lenovo’s device-as-a-service lifecycle managed service as an example. “Users open the box and in 15 minutes they have all the apps they need on their PC, tablet or smartphone,” she says. “That’s the type of experience businesses are looking for throughout their IT environments.” With XaaS, partners can deliver on that expectation. What’s In It For Partners? Gordon says Lenovo has created—and continues
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to invest in—partner programs that “simplify sales, configuration and delivery. We’re opening up solution selling to our partners in a way that hasn’t been available to them before. We’re allowing them to create higher value for customers, earn a higher profit margin and enjoy higher customer retention” with recurring revenues and ongoing new business as customers build on their initial XaaS environments. But Lenovo doesn’t expect its partners to suddenly become solutions experts and integrators. Rather, says Gordon, the company educates partners about how to have a solutions-oriented conversation with a prospect or customer. Technical experts and co-selling professionals are standing by to assist the partner. Investing in the Future Lenovo is also making significant financial commitments to the transformation. It announced in April that it would double its R&D investment over the next three years to support research across the full “pocket-to-cloud” IT architecture. “Our mantra? We want to make selling solutions as simple as selling a PC,” says Gordon.
Everything As A Service Is A Hot Market
the growth for as a service than the overall IT services market
of enterprise server spending by 2024
of enterprise storage spending by 2024
of commercial PC spending by 2024
Sources: Gartner, IDC and Lenovo Market Intelligence
GO-TO-MARKET The Power Of The Lenovo Brand
ith the goal of smarter technology for all, Lenovo is bringing its brand from the global stage to prospective customers’ backyards. “ L e n ovo i s f o c u s e d on driving more brand awareness,” says Gerald Youngblood, chief marketing officer, North America, at Lenovo. “We’ve pivoted our communications to talk about the new paradigm of IT and the changes that have happened in the market. The conversation is more about the outcomes our partners and customers are driving in the market.” Here are six ways Lenovo is leveraging its brand authority to drive mutual go-to-market success. 1. Shine On The Global Stage Lenovo continues to amplify its voice through partnerships with other globally recognized, high-performance brands. As of March 2022, Lenovo is an official partner of Formula 1 motorsports. Lenovo solutions will be used across Formula 1’s operations, including high-performance compute and workstation solutions to create race content and broadcasts. “It is exciting from a brand perspective,” says
Youngblood. “It’s hard to find a sport more premium than Formula 1, and it speaks to our drive to enable the highest performance and greatest experience possible.” Lenovo has been a technology partner of MotoGP since 2018. Ducati Corse uses Lenovo solutions for its advanced analytics and simulators that push motorcycle racing to the limit in this thrilling, high-performance sport. DreamWorks Animation, the force behind The Bad Guys, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and The Boss Baby, expanded its use of Lenovo solutions during the pandemic to meet audiences’ insatiable demand for entertainment. With Lenovo’s GERALD high-performance compute, YOUNGBLOOD DreamWorks has a scalable Chief Marketing data center infrastructure that Officer, North America can keep pace with its artists’ imaginations. 2. Create Positive Change In Local Communities Small-town America may lack the allure of a Formula 1 race in Monaco, but small businesses everywhere
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need to know the transformative power of smarter technology. Through its Evolve Small initiative, Lenovo works with community partners across the U.S. and Canada to provide financial aid, mentorship resources and community support to minority- and women-owned small businesses. Last year, Lenovo also partnered with Deluxe, which produces the Small Business Revolution television series, to provide tech advice to and tell success stories of small businesses in underserved communities in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. 3. The Lenovo 360 Framework The Lenovo 360 framework, which opens up greater access to Lenovo solutions, programs and offerings, helps partners drive more success. “The Lenovo 360 framework reaffirms Lenovo’s commitment to being a channel-first company,” says Jenny Krystofiak, director, Partner Communities & Engagement, North America, at Lenovo. “We offer partners more ways to build and diversify their revenue streams through service-led and solutions-based opportunities.” Better Together accelerators reward partners who sell new Lenovo solutions. For example, partners that primarily sell Lenovo PC solutions are eligible
for accelerators when they sell data center solutions or services, and vice versa. Stackable incentives can add up fast. “Lenovo 360 opens up the aperture for partners to take advantage of the opportunity in front of them, and it makes it the best experience possible,” she continues.
Director, Partner Communities & Engagement, North America
4. Resources That Accelerate Go-To-Market Underpinning Lenovo 360 are talented people, robust programs and effective co-marketing and solution selling tools that drive mutual success. “Partners have a faster time to market because they’re not recreating the wheel and can spend more time having conversations with customers to solve pain points,” says Krystofiak. 5. Communities To Share Best Practices Krystofiak leads the expansion of Lenovo’s communities, where partners can engage with Lenovo and industry experts, tap into market development funds and build relationships. Lenovo partner communities focused on education, healthcare, state and local government and commercial businesses are effective ways to share insights and best practices that can drive more success. 6. Channel-First At The Core The bottom line? “Lenovo wants to be the go-to technology partner for the channel,” says Youngblood. “We’re working really hard to make sure that partners have a straightforward and easy way to take advantage of everything Lenovo can do from the pocket to the cloud.”
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RECOGNITION MATTERS Smart leadership takes smarter technology even further At Lenovo, we’re grateful for the people, programs, and tools that make us great. Thank you, CRN, for recognizing what an impact they have on helping us honor our Channel First commitment every day.
2022 Channel Chiefs Most Influential Channel Chiefs Rob Cato & Pascal Bourguet
2021 Woman of the Channel 15 Women from Lenovo
2021 Top 100 Execs Top 25 Channel Sales Leaders Steve Biondi and Rob Cato
Top 25 Most Influential Executives Yang Yuanqing
2021 WOTC Rising Star Stacey Goodman
Top 25 Technology Disrupters Vladimir Rozanovich
2022 5-Star Partner Program Guide Lenovo Partner Engage Program
Power 100 Wendy Welch Jennifer Whaley
100 People You Don’t But Should Know 2021 Stephen Harwanko
To find out how these amazing people help Lenovo and our Partners level up, visit gochannelfirst.com.
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