The Data Centre Group(DCG) of Lenovo India has streamlined and strengthen its partners’ engagement by introducing a global partner portal- Lenovo Partner Hub portal. This portal is aimed at providing one place for everything for Lenovo’s partners need to do business with PCSD and DCG segments of Lenovo. A key feature of the platform is Lenovo Bid Portal (LBP) for internal sales and external partners. In an exclusive interview with CRN India, Ashwini Bhatnagar, Director of Channel, Alliance & SMB – AP, Lenovo DCG shares the value proposition of this portal to partners in terms of productivity and revenue growth
How has the channel industry been impacted by COVID-19?
In the IT channel industry, the pandemic has disrupted sales cycles, affected vendor relationships and rendered cash flows unpredictable. Additionally, supporting customer requests remotely has proven to be a huge challenge. As per a global channel survey, the channel industry is seeing a change in mindset as partners move out of their comfort zones and expertise level.
The report cites several examples of how the industry is changing:
19% of channel partners with no expertise in mobility solutions are being asked by their mainstream customers to deploy remote workplace and security solutions.
34% of partners are being asked to re-configure on-prem networks for increased workflows and deploy new remote-work-enabled technologies and conduct security risk assessments in locations outside of the corporate location.
28% of channel partners, with no experience in HCI, are being asked to deploy, manage and support HCI (Hyper-converged Infrastructure) solutions for business agility and centralized remote management.
Lenovo Data Center Group has always believed in a “Channel First” strategy and our channel partners are the epicentre of Lenovo’s go-to-market strategy. We aim to continue providing maximum support to improve the performance of our channel partners and create a seamless relationship with them.
Tell us about the Lenovo Partner Hub portal. What is the value proposition to partners in terms of productivity and revenue growth?
Lenovo Partner Hub is our new global partner portal that provides a unified, personalized, and consistent experience to our partners. The Hub provides partners with a single access point to relevant tools and resources, as well as intelligent and personalised information that is most relevant to their role, geographical market, and past engagement.
In terms of specifications, the Hub offers our partners a snapshot of sales performance and KPI tracking on their homepage, provides a comprehensive product catalog to help partners develop their expertise on Lenovo products, solutions, and services, provides access to the latest market trends and industry insights, and includes a marketing asset library. In a nutshell, the Hub provides one place for everything our partners need to do business with PCs and smart devices (PCSD) and DCG segments of Lenovo.
The Lenovo Partner Hub empowers our business partners with an improved experience, enhanced efficiency, and increased velocity of sales – tailored to speed up their businesses dramatically. With benefits such as instant price for small and medium-sized businesses and midmarket deals, faster turnaround on rebate payments, reduction in claim turnaround and increase in claim automation, we are enabling our partners to elevate productivity and speed up sales to accelerate revenue growth and profitability.
What does ‘Smart Normal’ mean for channel partners?
Similar to what it implies for any other business, ‘Smart Normal’ for the channel industry is the ability to accelerate business continuity by transforming and conducting business in a seamless, secure and agile manner. Lenovo Partner Hub is the best example of what Smart Normal means for channel partners, enabling them to adapt to changing circumstances and grow their business faster and more consistently.
A key feature of the platform is Lenovo Bid Portal (LBP). It is the unified bid tool across PCSD and DCG for internal sales and external partners. Through this, our partners can raise a deal registration or new customer opportunity and then leverage the Lenovo Bid Portal to submit a bid opportunity directly to Lenovo and get pricing back from Lenovo in a matter of minutes. The speed to price across both our PCSD business and DCG business is something we see evolving as a critical feature in the times to come.
The Hub provides deep insights and easy access into partner sales performance, a pricing science solution that provides partners the right price the first time, and smart find for peripherals and services driven by logic and automation. These aspects of the Hub reinforce our vision of Smarter Technology for All, providing our partners with leading edge solutions that make it easier and faster for them to win with us.
How are you building partners’ capabilities around emerging technologies and accelerating business continuity in the new normal?
The Lenovo Partners Hub is being launched as part of Lenovo’s multi-year digital partner transformation initiative, serving as a testament to our long-term commitment to the success of our partners. This is truly a milestone in our digital transformation journey. For our channel community, we are driving Intelligent Transformation through three distinct but related pillars:
Smart Internet of Things (SIoT): Creating the widest array of smart devices and at scale.
Smart Infrastructure: Providing the foundation for computing, storage and networking power to support intelligence. We started with traditional data centers, software-defined, hyperscale, and high-performance computing. With new technological changes, we are moving to newer, service-led offerings.
Smart Verticals: SIoT devices combined with the Smart Infrastructure help understand data and enable us to provide new insights that enhance our customers’ decision-making processes, across a range of verticals including smart retail, smart manufacturing, smart healthcare, and more.
We are continuously striving to provide our partners with tools to build their competitive advantage in meeting changing industry trends.