Channel Post MEA in conversation with Dr. Chris Cooper, General Manager at Lenovo DCG discussing the power of its digital tool, Velocity and how it enables Lenovo speed up its sales as well as enhances channel partner’s profitability.
How would you describe the recently launched Velocity tool?
Velocity is a digital tool built by Lenovo to simplify the way the company does business with its partners. Velocity reflects Lenovo’s effort in solidifying its spot as the number one in terms of reliability. The project aims to make Lenovo faster and more responsive and provide more consistency and predictability in partners’ engagements with Lenovo.
Ultimately, Velocity reduces friction for partners in their day-to-day relationships with Lenovo, to speed up sales and enhance partner profitability by increasing the efficiency of engagement. It also gives partners a more consistent, and integrated experience across the globe, whether they are selling PCs, servers or both.
What are the new elements introduced to this program?
The Velocity initiative is the spearhead of a major platform transformation improving the E2E capabilities in a seamless co-selling flow between Lenovo and its partners. Throughout this journey, we are transforming the Lenovo experience with new digital capabilities and intelligent automation maintaining a human touch to achieve significant improvements:
Digital workspace: simple and efficient access to all relevant business data with new persona-based portal;
Simplified pricing: streamlined and integrated pricing engine, Deal Registration and New Customer Bonus;
Digital co-selling: digital marketing assets, partner-ready services and specialist program and rewards;
Digital processes: realising efficiencies and speed of execution from opportunity, quotation, order and rewards.
How are digital tools going to enhance the ease of doing business for partners?
Having a digital workspace platform that operates as a person-based portal allows users to be assigned certain tasks and responsibility allowing the partner to define which user has authority to accept quotes, manage incentives and so on. This will significantly help create a centralized online place to provide a range of resources, including a pricing engine, pipeline visibility across the entire opportunity pipeline, including PC and Data Center, and a ‘performance dashboard’, providing a view of the partner’s performance against targets, and what the partner needs to do to achieve maximum rewards.
The portal also provides a streamlined and transparent tool for pricing, deal registration and quoting. Previously these tended to be separate systems. With this platform, Lenovo is introducing AI-based learning to automate part of the pricing process, to speed up quotes and lead to a faster turnaround time. Furthermore, deal registration simplification will be a big focus, with Lenovo committing to increase the turnaround time for deal registration requests.
These digital processes have been launched to allow for better visibility for partners across the channel. It also allows for more centralized syndication of product data as well as provide a single tool for financial claims. This will provide partners with auto-validation to reduce admin time which will lead to faster payments and improved cash flow.
Lastly, Lenovo is also unveiling a new set of digital marketing assets and campaign builder tools, along with more sales collaboration tools, a simplified services portfolio for partners and increased rewards for selling solutions such as SmartOffice, Workstation and Education.
How can partners acquire those digital tools and at what price?
Our tools are available to all or key partners across the region at no added cost.
Will Lenovo provide any kind training for partners?
In the Middle East we work very closely with our partners in order to educate them on updates to our channel programme and strategy. We host regular workshops and webinars for our network of partners to make sure that they are up to date and continue to support them through each step of updates on our platform transformations.
What kind of impact would this make on partner’s business, particularly margins?
By streamlining our processes and delivering solutions that will improve efficiency we are certain that this will impact our partners positively. We’ve worked very closely with our partners to identify the pain points and turned that feedback into a partner engagement initiative that has not been done before in our space and we are continuing to invest at a global level around ease of doing business in the partner experience. Our focus on partners and investments into our channel strategy will reduce complexities, speed up sales, improve time to quote, enhance partner profitability and give partners a more consistent, integrated experience.
What message would you like to give to the channel?
Lenovo is a trusted company and is renowned for its reliability in terms of the products and services the company delivers to its partners. As such, we understand the importance of streamlining business activities for everyone across the network. Therefore, an essential part of Lenovo DCG’s business strategy is to develop and share innovative solutions that aim to support and train our channel and business partners to help educate them on best approaches to efficiently grow their businesses which will ultimately improve the network as a whole.