Home Technology Accolla, Lenovo: a 360-degree attention to the partner ecosystem, between solutions and ESG

Accolla, Lenovo: a 360-degree attention to the partner ecosystem, between solutions and ESG

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Accolla, Lenovo: a 360-degree attention to the partner ecosystem, between solutions and ESG

“With the current market in deep and continuous evolution, we realized that there are a number of opportunities which, if correctly addressed, can lead to very interesting results for our partners”. These are the words with which Cristiano Accolla, Channel Leader of Lenovo Italyexplains the rationale that guides the novelties of the company’s partner program.
“Lenovo is a channel-centric company – he continued – and worldwide, 95% of our turnover is developed through the network of our partners. In Italy this percentage is even higher: it is therefore clear how strategic the channel is for us and the reason why all our efforts and strategies are aimed at developing it better”.
The scenario is complex and competitive, which is why Lenovo believes it is essential to evolve and place itself in a position to be able to provide more and more value-added services to its business partners, also due to the availability of an increasingly complete portfolio of solutions.

The new Lenovo 360

“When we launched the Lenovo 360 framework dedicated to our partners in 2021, the goal was to strengthen relationships and allow them to more easily access our entire portfolio of solutions”.
The launch of the framework had in fact occurred in conjunction with the creation of a single organizational structure dedicated to ecosystem partners, embracing them all, both those engaged on the client side and infrastructure partners.
Today we are in a further evolution, which is played out on three pillars.
“First strengthen the position of our business partners on the market guaranteeing them quick and easy access to an increasingly complex product portfolio. Our business partners can range from the cloud to the small device to the most complex infrastructure, from pure transaction to managed service delivery. A portfolio that allows the partner to integrate all our solutions with his own and with his services”.
The second pillar instead looks to customers, customers whose needs have become increasingly complex and articulated.
“It has become imperative for us increase the education and training partso that the partner can be identified as a consultant on whom the end user places his trust and relies for his own transformation and innovation paths”.
The third pillar is the investment that Lenovo makes on the success of its partners.
“It couldn’t be otherwise, given that today we only work with them. Also in this case we have structured the investment in three strands: with the first, which we define as enablement, we make resources, solutions, marketing campaigns and tools available to partners aimed at simplifying the performance of daily activities. With the second, Connect, we want to give life to a real one community in which the partner has access not only to Lenovo experts, but also to all the other partners, who deal with similar markets or who have complementary skills. The third trend is that of growth and provides incentives where the skills of the business partners come into play”.

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What’s New in Lenovo 360 Solution Hub

Lenovo has therefore decided to enhance the sales and marketing tools to support the business, in particular by improving and enriching the portal for its ecosystem partners, with new dashboards enhanced in terms of response speed and information flexibility.
“Partners can access increasingly detailed content and marketing resources, from banners to infographics, ready-made but with the ability to customize them with additional information developed independently”.
It will also be part of the tools available to partners Lenovo 360 Solution Hub, a new portal designed to help partners navigate the available solutions. “It is a portal that helps the partner to identify the most suitable solution for each type of customer. Once the solution has been identified, it supports it in the configuration and in the quotation request. It will come launched in April 2023 in some areas and in some markets, including Italy, and then it will be extended to all countries between the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024”.
In Lenovo’s mind, it’s a tool designed to help retailers run their business more efficiently and with a greater degree of autonomy.
“An autonomy that already existed, but concerned the single product or service. With the new Solution Hub extends to the complete solution. We start from the customer’s need, from the specifications and we get to understand which products can be part of it, in which configuration and we arrive at the quotation. It is an approach that facilitates, speeds up and helps in the creation of the complete solution”.

A community dedicated to ESG topics

An important point of the new Lenovo 360 concerns the drive to connect and create real communities among business partners, so that they can share knowledge and experience. And it is with this in mind that in April the community Lenovo 360 Circleeffectively launched last year, will be open to all resellers who are part of the programme.
“It’s a community engaged on issues ESG and sustainability. It is an important topic, which also involves our ecosystem partners, given that there are an increasing number of companies integrating sustainability into their business models: a simple principle on paper, which becomes more complicated when it is converted into computer facilities”.
In this case there are two principles at the basis of the action: firstly, the company’s transformative paths, rethought according to the logic of sustainability, secondly, collaborative leadership.
“Since sustainability is complex, we have to work together. Every player in the supply chain, from the vendor to the retailer to the end user, must therefore collaborate, giving their own contribution to achieve the common goal”.
The partner therefore becomes a trusted consultant to achieve the sustainability objectives of its customers, analyzing their business together and evaluating the most suitable paths and tools.
“Let’s think of a consultancy activity on typical customers of the Italian industrial fabric, made up of small and medium-sized enterprises, where time and skills are lacking and in which therefore this issue, in itself complex, becomes even more so”.

A relationship of trust between partner and customer

As regards the growth of partners and their business, in the new version of Lenovo 360 the company has decided to adopt a new approach, which on the one hand rewards the individual growth of the partner, on the other recognizes the ability to effectively take on a advisory role with clients.
“If the seller is increasingly experienced, the end customer trusts him and relies on his advice and recommendations. There is therefore an aspect of trust And then there is the ability to expand the offer. The more our business partners are aware and know well the technologies that Lenovo makes available, the more they are able to identify additional products to those currently treated and therefore increase the offer to customers. It goes without saying that a more informed and more experienced partner is able to identify not only current needs, but also emerging or even latent ones in client companies”.
It is a driving force that one would like to trigger, which also leads the business partner to explore new vertical markets not yet touched or perhaps explored with a substantially different focus.

The importance of training

And for this reason, training plays a key role: business partners are required to acquire credentials and certifications in areas ranging from professional services (LifeCycle Service) to workforce performance, from infrastructure management to what is called Advanced Infrastructure to complete Lenovo portfolio management. hence the client rather than the infrastructural part, even smartphones.
These are individual training courses, but which serve the partner company to maintain or improve its status within the Lenovo program, which includes both generalist, Silver, Gold and Platinum statuses, but also vertical statuses based on specific programs, for example example in the workstation world, in that of smart collaboration or in that of infrastructural solutions.
“In the new formulation of the program we will have new reward levels for those who want to invest in both areas through the completion of certification and accreditation courses. And just to explain all the changes underway, an activity was launched that actually covers the entire year from February to December. This is the Smart Together Tour, 50 stops in collaboration with our direct distributors, to tell our partners on the one hand about Lenovo solutions and all that the company makes available to be able to meet customer needs, on the other also why today we believe it is useful for a partner to be part of the Lenovo family, therefore the program, the advantages, the instruments, the tools”.
Even if, apparently, there are no specific certifications for vertical markets, there are certifications in the Lenovo program that start from specific products that inevitably have repercussions on some specific markets: thus, for example, the path on workstations opens paths in the world of graphics or of the automotive.
However, there are specific paths for the world of Education or Smart Collaboration.
“In general we try to support all our partners, whatever the market they are targeting. As far as OEMs are concerned, for example, we try to help those companies that carry out pure system integration activities, we try to support their needs, for example by certifying the availability of spare parts for a certain number of years”.
The point is, continues Accolla, that needs are becoming increasingly complex: “Succeeding in addressing them is the first step in building customer loyalty”.

Through PNRR and Education

A final reflection Accolla dedicates the dedication to PNRRfor which a dedicated internal structure has been created in Lenovo.
“In particular for the Education world, we have identified some Business Partners present in the area, with whom to implement a specific path. We are in contact with the Ministries and with the working groups: our goal is to generate demand and opportunities for Business Partners. We try to understand what are the specific needs of the school world, what are the best solutions to propose and with our partners we define the most suitable configurations. There is a strong collaboration and we are convinced that in the coming months the PNRR can bring an important amount of business for them”.

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