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Lenovo Transforms Deal Registration For Partners Under New ‘Channel First’ Strategy

Lenovo has a vision to become the most trusted data center company in the market, and its partners will play a vital role in making that a reality. Stefan Bockhop, channel chief for its North America Data Center Group discussed the details of Channel First in an interview with CRNtv.

Lenovo has a vision to become the most trusted data center provider in the market, and its partners will play a vital role in making that a reality.

Already, the Hong Kong-based company is seeing massive growth with its data center offerings: sales for its Data Center Group (DCG) soared to more than $6 billion in fiscal year 2019, which ended March 31. That’s nearly a 40 percent increase from one year earlier. A new “Channel First” strategy will put partners at the center of these deals going forward. Stefan Bockhop, Lenovo’s executive director and North America channel chief, Lenovo Data Center Group, discussed the details of the new approach in an interview with CRNtv.

Tell us what Channel First brings to the market.

Bockhop: When you state publicly to the marketplace that you’re the most trust data center group in the world you have to have make sure you back that up. That’s what channel first brings to our partners: a set of rules on how we deal registration, how we engage, making sure they can always trust that we are with them to the end on every solution.

You mentioned deal registration. How does Channel First change this process for partners?

Bockhop: Our deal registration has always been in place but we didn’t have specific rules on how partners would be treated if they are in a deal registration and a customer would also say, hey, can I also get a direct price from Lenovo. With Channel First, what we are going to see is: Mr. Customer, we are only going to give you a price if the partner working with you agrees. Then, to our partners, we’re going to tell them that whatever price we give them is going to be higher than the price we gave you and that way we feel our partners can put everything together and go after every deal with us with full confidence that they are always going to be included in the end solution.  

Chad Hodges of Enterprise Networking Solutions, a Lenovo Platinum Partner, also shared his perspective on the strategy with CRNtv.

“We couldn’t be happier about the strategic nature of this relationship and how it’s growing,” Hodges said.

For more from Bockhop and Hodges on Lenovo’s Channel First strategy and it’s impact on partners, watch the video above.

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