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SME and consumer business serious targets for Lenovo UK

Alex Scroxton

With its share of the worldwide PC market on the way up, Lenovo has offered a glimpse of plans to become a major force in the consumer and SME UK client sectors.

The vendor has taken on 100 new partners in the UK in the past five months and hopes to create a pipeline to grow that number by 20 to 25% this year, according to UK and Ireland channel director Darren Phelps.

Speaking to MicroScope last week, Phelps said its current strong performance vindicated its strategy of directly attacking the marketshare of other vendors, and said the company remained firmly fixed on that mantra.

"But we feel now we need to complement and add to that focus by expanding the breadth of our channel and growing those numbers," he said.

Thanks to its acquisition of IBM's PC business in 2004, Lenovo has perhaps become best known as a purveyor of well-built performance notebooks to the discerning enterprise buyer, but Phelps said the firm's evolving portfolio meant this perception would soon be a thing of the past.

"Had you asked two years ago about taking our product to SMEs there would maybe have been some uncertain conversations, but what we have found is that with the right programme and resellers it actually works really well," he explained.

"The introduction of the Edge [notebook] portfolio marries up traditional resellers with SME buyers because we now have a better solution to take to them," he said.

As far as tablets and ultrabooks are concerned, Phelps said Lenovo did not yet consider the devices a truly volume sale for the channel, but suspected they would come into play towards the end of the year.

"When Windows 8 becomes available it'll be more of a solution to fit the SME market," he said

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