Lenovo to tailor an Australian and New Zealand data centre partner program to speed ThinkSystem, ThinkAgile growth

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Lenovo to tailor an Australian and New Zealand data centre partner program to speed ThinkSystem, ThinkAgile growth
Nathan Knight and Wendy Komadina, Lenovo

Lenovo is going to rejig its data centre partner program to make it more rewarding and relevant to Australian and New Zealand partners, the company has said.

During the vendor’s ThinkSummit event in Sydney on Thursday, data centre group general manager Rob Makin, along with SMB and channel sales manager Nathan Knight, head of product, brand and channel program strategy Wendy Komadina and ANZ head of technical inside sales Shayne Harris fronted partners for an update on the growth of the company's servers, storage and infrastructure business.

In addition to messaging around its recently launched ThinkAgile and ThinkSystem appliance and server hardware, Lenovo’s local channel leadership said the company would be responding to partners’ request for greater product detail, data centre-oriented sales leadership and enablement for the channel.

Part of that response will see Komadina take on additional channel responsibilities, including the review and refinement of the Australian and New Zealand channel partner program to better align with, enable and reward local partners, she told CRN.

“My organisation is going to start building a more structured and refined program and reward structure,” Komadina told CRN. “It will initially be internally focused on how we reward partners from a rebate perspective, all the way through to enablement and more."

With Lenovo’s fourth financial quarter wrapping at the end of March, Komadina said there would “without doubt” be new reward and enablement elements of the partner program popping up from the beginning of April. Changes to platinum, gold and silver program tier revenue thresholds may also be reviewed, she added.

“There is a high probability we will review the thresholds. Part of that is because we want our platinum partners to feel like they are platinum for a reason and we want to give them incremental benefits and rewards for being a platinum partner.”

Knight told CRN Lenovo’s local channel team had a unique benefit in being able to tailor many elements of the partner program to suit Australian and New Zealand partners.

“For a lot of our competitors, the local channel manager can’t look at their global program that comes down and say ‘I don’t like that component of the program or that component of the program’ but we can with our business scope,” he said.

“Actually what we do is have these thought leadership programs that we’re running and we scale them up and down. There are firm components [of the global program] that we have to execute on, but as long as we can articulate the value at a senior leadership level we have the autonomy to make certain choices.”

In the event's opening keynote, Lenovo’s Makin laid out a few of the vendor's pride points from the past 12 months, including that globally, the data centre group was manufacture 100 servers per hour, and that the company had hit the milestone of delivering its 20 millionth server.

Lenovo’s ThinkSummit tour wrapped in Sydney on Thursday having stopped in Melbourne and Auckland earlier this month.

The vendor hopes to expand its ThinkSummit tour once its new financial year kicks off to visit  Queensland and South and Western Australia Australia.

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