Ashish Sikka, Director – SMB, Lenovo India, shares the company’s channel strategies for 2019
Key highlights 2018 and opportunities for 2019
The market has grown in 2018 with many factors like GST and the dynamic trends and preferences. In 2019 we are expecting more growth in MB and LE. Due to higher government focus on MSME, it will lead to higher growth in SMB. The future looks very bright, at least for the next five years. The speed of the transformation in channel varies but the transformation is visible and happening. I believe that we will move more towards being a true business advisor instead of a just being the technology advisor.
For the channel, the voluminous market is expanding opportunity for vendor management. While seemingly obvious, a vendor manager acts as liaison between end customers and cloud-based vendors/service providers. The indirect channel is accustomed to this role, but today the task holds new meaning as customers navigate potential travails of the cloud world. For anyone operating in the channel it is essential to be looking at the horizon to ensure you remain relevant to your customers.
Top tech trends for channel community
The market is disrupted by many emerging technologies but a few to look out for are :
- Higher SSD adaption than tradition storage for faster data transfer: An SSD (solid-state drive) is a type of nonvolatile storage media that stores persistent data on solid-state flash memory. Two key components make up an SSD: a flash controller and NAND flash memory chips. The architectural configuration of the SSD controller is optimised to deliver high read and write performance for both sequential and random data requests. SSDs are sometimes referred to as flash drives or solid-state disks.
- Thin and light preference by more end users: T&L will be our major focus in India and most of our investment will be circled around the same. The entire retail front will be decked with Ultra-Slim products and customers will be able to experience the products in full glory. Also, a large sum of marketing investment (digital/TV) will be focused on T&L.
- Customer exploring device as a service to reduce CapEX and its management complexity: The device-as-a-service (DaaS) model in particular is finding a receptive audience among companies looking for a new way to manage device allocation and support.
DaaS combines state-of-the-art devices (such as mobile, PC and powerful workstations) with value-added expertise in an all-inclusive managed solution under a single contract. By providing customers with a single point of contact, DaaS significantly reduces the complexity and costs, both hidden and visible, of device procurement and deployment.
Channel directions for partners
For Lenovo, the direction is to focus on solution selling approach with increase in coverage. The key components bundled with a solution sale generally consist of hardware, software, networking and storage technologies – along with associated services. Those services can include upfront business and technical advisory services, technology implementation services, and post-implementation managed services and hosting. The role of advisory services in helping customers identify the business problem has created strong parallels between solution selling and consultative sales.