IT powerhouse Lenovo recently unveiled the Lenovo 360 Framework, which is founded on three pillars of “People”, “Programmes” and “Tools”. Alaa Bawab, General Manager, Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG), Middle East and Africa (MEA), tells Intelligent Tech Channels what the Lenovo 360 Framework is all about and how channel partners across MEA can take advantage of the many benefits it brings to their businesses.
Talk us through the state of the Lenovo channel market in MEA at present?
Lenovo has a strong track record and commitment as a 100% ‘channel first’ company. In Q3 of our fiscal year (Oct to Nov) Lenovo had its highest level of growth since 2019. We have also enjoyed double-digit growth in every single technology that we offer within Lenovo’s Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG). In addition to this, in the last quarter we also achieved our highest ever growth for our storage solutions business unit within ISG. I believe these results not only reflect the opportunities that exist in the market from Digital Transformation, but also show the strength of our channel partners and how they are really the local extension of our Lenovo team.
What has been Lenovo’s focus in 2022 with its solutions offerings to channel partners in MEA?
We continue to release solutions that capitalise on the demand for easy-to-use solutions and services that help customers to achieve intelligent transformation. In March, we introduced our new line-up of Future-Ready IT Infrastructure, a complete series of flexible, Edge-to-cloud solutions including new server, storage and service offerings that help organisations easily overcome resource limitations, optimise for remote work and accelerate innovation.
Lenovo recently unveiled the Lenovo 360 framework. What is this framework and how will this initiative be rolled out in MEA?
Lenovo 360 is a unique global channel partner framework designed to provide easier access to the entire Lenovo portfolio across devices, infrastructure, and services and solutions.
Lenovo 360 builds on the reorganisation of Lenovo’s three core business units unveiled in April 2021; Intelligent Devices Group, the core PC and IoT business, Infrastructure Solutions Group and a new Solutions and Services Group focused on verticals and services. Lenovo 360 unites IDG, ISG and SSG for the benefit of our partners, so that they can unleash the power of our full portfolio – from pocket to cloud – to bring complete, end-to-end solutions to our mutual customers.
All sizes of company are moving toward the “Everything-as-a-Service” consumption model, so Lenovo 360 helps partners capitalise on this service-led and solutions-based opportunity to open new revenue streams.
We have designed Lenovo 360 in collaboration with our channel partners, and unified our global channel team structures, so that partners can deliver solutions in areas where we see greatest demand, such as enabling workforce productivity and collaboration, infrastructure flexibility, sustainability improvements, and industry specific solutions.
Why was it important for Lenovo to launch the Lenovo 360 framework now?
IT spending in the region remained resilient throughout the pandemic, as organisations accelerated their Digital Transformation, and if we look at IDC’s predictions for the META region for 2022, we can see that this trend is continuing. Spending on security (hardware, software, and services) will grow 7% to top US$3.76 billion, spending on public cloud services will grow 27.3% to surpass US$6.8 billion, SaaS apps will account for 41% of public cloud software spending, spending on AI will grow 24.7% to total US$1.2 billion, spending on robotic process automation (RPA) software will grow 47.5% to cross US$159 million, spending on Big Data analytics will grow at 8.1% to reach US$3 billion.
The predictions all look very positive, and this is creating huge opportunities for the channel to create integrated Digital Transformation solutions that help customers on their digitisation journeys. Lenovo 360 gives our partners easier access to our full suite of products to create solutions that address these opportunities.
Which countries in the broader MEA market are a key focus for Lenovo with the Lenovo 360 framework?
So far, we have rolled out Lenovo 360 to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and South Africa in Sub-Saharan Africa.
How does the Lenovo 360 framework work and how can new partners join the programme?
The Lenovo 360 framework is founded on the three pillars of “People”, “Programmes”, and “Tools”. The power of our people, especially when combined with the knowledge of the channel, is best-in-class. Lenovo 360 will provide the technical and market expertise to support our indirect sales teams to provide our mutual customers with best-in-class solutions. Channel partners will have direct access to global experts in ‘As-a-Service’ and subject matter experts to build vertical-based solutions and our programmes will help partners sell or up-sell solutions and services.
Lenovo 360 is a global programme that offers unique benefits to specialised partners. We see Lenovo 360 paving the future of the channel moving away from traditional features and cost drivers, and towards a solutions-based approach. The framework unleashes partner potential to grow their business and engage customers on a deeper level.
As far as tools go, we will ensure partners have tools and processes to make engagement, pricing, quoting, partner protection and support, efficient and reliable. It will simplify how we engage and drive speed to price and time to revenue. In parallel with the programme, we have also created turnkey marketing materials and campaigns that our partners will be able to leverage, ensuring they can go to market as soon as we do, with the most current product and services information.
What training and certifications will partners have to undergo in order to retain a partner tier under the Lenovo 360 framework?
The new channel framework is open to all partners working with Lenovo on the devices and infrastructure side. In essence, what we are doing is encouraging all partners that are looking to expand their business to take advantage of Lenovo 360 to develop new offerings to go deeper with their customers.
Why should channel partners work with Lenovo and the Lenovo 360 framework this year and beyond?
The true value of Lenovo 360 is in the support that we will provide to partners to build vertical-based solutions and integrated As-a-service solutions that capitalise on growth areas such as hybrid work models, IoT and edge computing scenarios, and other advanced digital projects. Our partners will have more opportunities to build and diversify their revenue streams with Lenovo 360.
What other channel initiatives is Lenovo planning for it channel partners in MEA this year?
Our focus will be on Lenovo 360, and we will look to add value to the programme and adjust it according to the needs and feedback from our partners. We want to ensure that working with Lenovo is the first choice for our partners.
What does the outlook for Lenovo look like in the next 12 to 18 months now that the company has globally launched the Lenovo 360 framework?
In the Middle East we see very strong opportunities in the ongoing Digital Transformation of businesses. Organisations large and small have seen the benefits of digitisation of processes and operations and are now looking to push out into new areas such as AI, data analytics, automation, and into new models of delivery. Our aim is to ensure that partners are familiar with the full Lenovo portfolio and aware that we can support them to create solutions that will meet the specific needs of each customer.Click below to share this article