Lenovo rethinks channel partner programme

Lenovo has unveiled its new partner programme, the Lenovo Partner Network, introducing a two-tier structure for resellers of its hardware. This move furthers the distance between Lenovo and IBM, the company it acquired the PC division of last year.

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By  Andy Tillett Published  April 19, 2006

Lenovo has unveiled its new partner programme, the Lenovo Partner Network, introducing a two-tier programme for resellers of its PCs and notebooks. This move furthers the distance between Lenovo and IBM, the company it acquired the PC division of last year. Lenovo has already started rolling out the new programme, which sees partners moving from the present three-tier structure to one of two categories: business partner and premium partner. “This is the move that a lot of people have been waiting for. People still see Lenovo as they saw IBM, but with the launch of this programme we are truly differentiating ourselves and proving our channel commitment,” said Mohamed Sharaf, marketing manager Middle East, Egypt and Pakistan (MEEP) at Lenovo. Premium Partners from the present IBM PartnerWorld scheme will be transposed to premium partners in the new Lenovo Partner Network, and resellers in the advanced and member tiers of PartnerWorld will become Lenovo business partners. New partners will have to meet a certain criteria to qualify for each category of partnership. Khalid Wani, channel manger MEEP at Lenovo, says that the new partner programme is being brought in to give partners better access to the retail space and SMB markets. “We were working through IBM’s partner programme, which only really addressed the commercial side of the business. The Lenovo partner programme is a new way for us to do business with the channel,” said Wani. “Premium partners will enjoy better rebates and support as reward for their commitment in brand and technical ability and will be treated as first tier partners even though they are second tier partners.” Lenovo listed its objectives for the new partner programme as including a more defined value proposition, focus in supporting business partners in front of the customer and more roadshows and drive to get Lenovo recognised in the channel. The vendor also revealed some tempting second tier rebates for partners. “Rebates start from US$10 and go up to US$30 per product,” said Wani. “On the T series and X series products we will be offering rebates of up to US$30 per unit, and on the new 3000 series, up to US$20 a unit,” concluded Wani.

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