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Lenovo’s Steve Biondi On Winning Dell, HPE Partner Mindshare

‘Are there challenges within the partner community saying that other vendors take deals direct and are a little unpredictable? Yes, that’s real. For Lenovo, that’s not,’ says Lenovo’s North American channel chief Steve Biondi.

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What is your strategy to win over channel share from partners who have been traditionally focused on selling Dell and HPE? What’s Lenovo’s differentiation?

So you see announcements from our competition about lowering thresholds and trying to be more accommodating in the current climate -- we’ve taken a different approach. I’ve gone out very surgically, spoken to our big distribution partners saying, ‘How can I help you? Do you need better terms? Do you need us to lower our inventory threshold? How can we help?’ And they’ve given us surgical things to go apply and we’ve done them. We’ve done that with our Platinum and Gold partners as well. So not a broad sweeping thing, but instead, we’re going very specifically to the partners saying, ‘How can we help you with this opportunity today? And how do we keep that maintained?’

We’ve taken that same of thinking and gone after some of our competition’s ecosystem to say, ‘Look, with the pandemic crisis going on, our supply chain really had very limited effect.’ The biggest effect that we’ve had was not enough planes to be able ship our stuff around. Lenovo’s supply chain is very diverse, meaning in China, in Europe, in Latin America, etc. While some of the facilities had some issues, they were resolved quickly. We never really got past four or so weeks of supply chain shipment delays and normally, it’s about two-and-a-half weeks anyways. So we didn’t see a big impact where some of our competition were telling their partners to buy in May for autumn delivery. Deals are perishable. We went out to partners and said, ‘Look, we have better technology than the competition. We have a better price point. We have a partner program now that’s enticing. If we can help you save a deal and satisfy a customer more meaningfully, give us a shout.’ And they have. We’ve seen success with that and we’ll continue to push it.

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