Some Lenovo resellers have taken the PC giant’s revamped EMEA partner programme as a sign that it is demanding more from the channel, as it tightens its corporate belt.
The new Lenovo Partner Network was launched last month and UK transaction business director Tim Wilkinson told CRN the programme would create greater differentiation between Lenovo’s Premium and Member partners.
Lenovo has about 3,000 UK partners, of which more than 100 have achieved Premium status. Wilkinson indicated he wanted to add more resellers to both tiers but added: “We welcome any partners that want to achieve Premium status, but there is balance to keep it as a Premium partner programme.”
He said the new programme would introduce stricter duties for Lenovo’s Premium partners, including enhanced technical skills and a annual business plan to be agreed with the vendor.
“We are looking for growth plans of 20 per cent over one year. These are more than achievable,” he said.
Wilkinson also claimed the programme would formalise how rebates are given to resellers. “It is very clear what rebates are available, whereas previously they had been on more of an ad hoc basis. We are making it very simple to understand.”
He added that the programme was “not designed with any thoughts of our retail business; this is around our commercial business”.
Barry Dodhia, marketing manager for Premium partner Hemini, claimed that vendors were having to demand more from their partners in the current economic climate.
“I do not see any fundamental changes; Lenovo has just tightened its belt a little. But I am sure there will be benefits. Companies in our field of business should be providing these sorts of things,” he said.
Shaune Parsons, managing director of Premium partner ComputerWorld Wales, said he was pleased by the changes that have been introduced.
“We get good targets, we get good account management and we are getting rebates on things we have never had before, so Lenovo has finally seen the light,” he said.
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