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Lenovo partner program boosts incentives on services

At Lenovo Accelerate 2016, Lenovo revealed a new emphasis on services, spurring its channel partners to sell more by increasing back-end points.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- With the offer of 1.5 points on the back end, having partners sell Lenovo services wasn't a big focus at the company previously. But now Lenovo has not only increased that to five points, it's making services one of the key elements of its channel strategy going forward. This summer, Lenovo will formerly roll out the Partner Sold Partner Delivered services program.

As Lenovo transforms itself from a products-centric company to a solutions-oriented company, the vendor's executives revisited its position on services. "The bottom line is that we weren't offering you enough incentives to sell Lenovo services," said Sammy Kinlaw, Lenovo's North American channel chief, at today's Lenovo Accelerate 2016 keynote session, hence the increase to five points for selling any Data Center Group (DCG) or TopSeller services.

Kinlaw introduced the Lenovo Partner Sold Partner Delivered (PSPD) services program, which gives partners the option of executing the Lenovo services that they sell. The program will first focus on services for Lenovo servers and will be followed by a second announcement for PCs. Watch for the PSPD announcement this summer.

Cami Parks, general manager at Eastern Data Inc., a Lenovo partner in Norcross, Ga., after learning about the increase in back-end points for selling services, said, "That's why we don't sell our own services and why we sell Lenovo services."

What about growing Eastern Data's services stance as Lenovo hones its focus on services?

"Today, we sell Lenovo's warranty services. Going forward, we're going to look at everything. We have to grow and change with our market, so it will grow," Parks said.

Lenovo's investment in services

In a Lenovo Accelerate 2016 session on Lenovo Services, Heather Engen, director of North America services marketing at Lenovo, elaborated on the investment in services that Lenovo is making this year, including program changes. She covered what the company calls "close to the box" or high-attach services on the PC side and core services on the data center side.

For Lenovo partners unfamiliar with the vendor's service offerings, Engen discussed the PC, or client, lifecycle services, of which there are more than a half dozen.

On the data center side, Lenovo acquired IBM's professional services delivery organization with the purchase of its x86 business. The breadth of data center services fall under three categories: planning, implementation and support. One of the more recent offerings is Enterprise Services Software Support for server OS and application support, which was launched last month.

The bottom line is that we weren't offering you enough incentives to sell Lenovo services.
Sammy KinlawNorth American channel chief, Lenovo

The new PSPD services program will initially be tied to the DCG products and targets authorized service providers (ASPs). The goal is to incentivize partners to sell and deliver Lenovo services. Lenovo ASPs get reimbursements on labor and parts.

Partners will be able to sell and deliver Lenovo DCG maintenance services and earn rebates from dollar one with accelerators for growth. All Lenovo DCG maintenance services will be eligible, according to the company.

Engen also talked about Lenovo Cloud Deploy service -- a set of integrated cloud services allowing Lenovo to provision products directly to customers -- on tap for launch by the end of the summer.  Lenovo Cloud Deploy focuses on imaging, and features include automated deployment or self-service device provisioning from the cloud, net sync updates, upload/download, and global coverage.

Up until now, Lenovo hadn't been able to figure out how to offer Lenovo Cloud Deploy to partners. Today, it's part of the vendor's internal Imaging Center. Stay tuned.

Next Steps

A Q&A with Sammy Kinlaw: Lenovo's five strategic goals for 2016

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Lenovo and StorMagic target low-end hyper-convergence

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