Lenovo signs IBM server deal

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Lenovo signs IBM server deal

Microscope contributor

Lenovo has vowed to end the troubles that have dogged its recent quarters and promised partners that channel incentive programmes, the special bid process and lead times are being reviewed to create a more predictable partnership.

The company has merged its SME and corporate channels under Neil Berville, transactional director for the UK, Ireland and now Benelux, while Glenn Williams, relationship director is to head up mid-market sales in the region.

"By putting the whole channel under one team we can be sure we are consistent," said Vincent Fauquenot, Lenovo vice president of transactional business for Western Europe.

He admitted the company had not been pricing as aggressively in the SME market this year following a strategic review, and as a result some partners had approached the corporate team to secure more aggressive special bid deals.

"We've been less aggressive from a price standpoint in a couple of segments and that has impacted overall volumes," said Fauquenot.

A number of distribution sources say this has led to a massive drop off in UK sales this quarter, estimated to be down around 50% year-on-year.

Reseller partners have complained that lead times are around three weeks on bid business as distributors do not stock the Partner Choice portfolio aimed at corporate customers because they are not paid a rebate to do so.

One reseller said it was taking on board stock to better manage customers' expectations, which was adding cost to its bottom line. "A three week lead time is one week longer than Dell and two weeks longer than HP," he said.

Fauquenot said Lenovo had changed the internal channel coverage model but may potentially overhaul other areas of the business.

"In the coming months we are going to review not only our product offering but our channel incentives and special bid capabilities to provide the level of consistency that has been missing over recent quarters," he said.

As reported by MicroScope in February, Lenovo is to shed 550 employees across Europe and channel partners have noticed many of their account managers or other contacts in the firm have changed.

Last week, Lenovo split its business in two, divided by mature and developing economies. Under the changes, Alan Munro, Lenovo vice president of the UK and Ireland is also assuming the role of head of global accounts.

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