Author: Brian Corrigan
Lenovo will more than double its number of contracted resellers during the next 18 months to try and get a foothold in the SMB and consumer markets.
The vendor currently has 400 dealers under contract across Australia but wants to hit 1000 by the end of 2006.
Sales director, Phil Cameron, estimated the company currently had more than 2000 non-contracted resellers buying its products every quarter.
He said the company hoped to convince many of these to take the plunge and sign up.
"We will be assessing non-contracted partners to see if they fit our criteria and asking our distributors for their opinions," Cameron said.
"Contracted partners will be tiered according to revenue potential and geographic coverage. There will be a major focus on recruiting resellers in the capital cities and regional growth areas like Townsville.
"Partners that concentrate on growth markets such as education, health, government and SMB will also be attractive; or those with technological expertise in mobility and wireless, for example."
Contracted partners gain access to the vendor's business partner logo, incentive and education programs, a rebate scheme, co-marketing funds, special pricing for volume bids, a lead referral program and a new monthly newsletter.
One of the main challenges facing Lenovo will be to build up the same level of cachet around its brand as the IBM name held for many of its corporate resellers.
But it also needs to come up with some new strategies if its soon to be released consumer and SMB brand is to win hearts and minds in these ultra-competitive markets.
With that in mind, Cameron said he was currently in negotiation with several mass merchant chains about filling some of their shelf space next year. Any agreements were unlikely to be signed in time for the Christmas rush.