News

IBM and Tech Data See SMB Opportunities for Lenovo

   

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — Feb 24, 2005 — IBM announced today that technology resellers leveraging the new Lenovo will realize greater process efficiencies when designing and deploying computing solutions for their small- and medium-sized business customers. By leading with ThinkVantage Technologies, channel partners can lower the overall PC lifecycle costs through IBM's competitively priced products, reseller support services and ongoing technology innovation.

Tech Data Corporation, a leading technology distributor, has been collaborating with IBM to develop innovative programs and initiatives for their mutual customers for nearly 20 years. The distributor, which plays an integral role as conduit between manufacturers and resellers, anticipates that cooperative market approach will continue with Lenovo.

"IBM has always been a leading advocate for the channel," said Pete Peterson, Tech Data's vice president of Software and Systems Product Marketing. "By working closely with distributors and resellers, Lenovo will help ensure the health and competitiveness of the channel, especially in the SMB market."

An example of IBM's commitment to SMB resellers has been its participation in TechSelect, Tech Data's membership-based community of resellers targeting the SMB market. TechSelect enables members to network and share best practices with one another, as well as build relationships with key vendors such as IBM. TechSelect members also receive access to exclusive certification, training and credit offerings, as well as discounts and incentives that best position them to grow their SMB business.

"IBM has been a tremendous supporter of TechSelect," said Annette Taber, director of Tech Data's TechSelect program. "Whether it's offering rebates, subsidized or extended floor planning, or covering membership dues, IBM has consistently worked with TechSelect members to understand the SMB space."

Building upon its relationship with Tech Data and members of its TechSelect community, Lenovo will look to further penetrate the SMB market.

"This deal is a growth vehicle that will help resellers reach more customers with tools like ThinkVantage Technologies that decrease costs and make PC use easier," said Robert Parsons, president of Automated Office Solutions, a solution provider and TechSelect member based in Evansville, Ind. "These are the established computer brands that our customers demand. As Lenovo continues to engage the channel, we'll be able to sell, market and service these systems more efficiently and profitably."

ThinkVantage Technologies are designed to create a competitive advantage that helps businesses and individuals succeed. According to industry analysts, costs associated with deployment, support and disposal account for approximately 80 percent of the entire PC lifecycle cost. ThinkVantage Technologies help make ThinkPad notebooks and ThinkCentre desktops less dependent on IT staff or user intervention for basic tasks such as deployment, backup, maintenance and security. This liberates users and IT staff to focus on competitive advantages in their business.

Tech Data TechSelect Reseller Program Members on the Lenovo Opportunity "Many of my customers are in the public sector, where reliability is an absolute requisite for all internal and external-facing activities," said George Hertzberg, founder and CEO, GHA Technologies. "ThinkPad notebooks and ThinkCentre desktop PCs are recognized by these organizations as superior, high-quality tools that help organizations maintain efficient processes and utmost security so they can serve their core constituencies the best they can. I continue to benefit from the IBM reputation with approximately 15 percent of my total sales revenue coming from ThinkPad and ThinkCentre PCs. I expect that percentage to grow after the Lenovo acquisition." GHA Technologies is an IBM Business Partner and Phoenix-based provider of product procurement and integration services for companies in corporate, government and education markets.

"Working mostly with the SMB market, many of my customers lack on-site resources to help them work through IT-related hiccups and issues. With this in mind, they consider more than just the price of a PC and weigh heavily the service and support available from the PC vendor. ThinkPad notebooks and ThinkCentre desktops are demanded by my customers because they are viewed as more than just boxes. With tools like ThinkVantage Technologies to assist with self-service, as well as easy access to the IBM help desk and technician network, my customers get the most bang for their IT buck," said Gary Stern, president, PC Universe. An IBM Business Partner, PC Universe is an online supplier of IT hardware, software, peripherals, supplies and support services base in Boca Raton, Fla.

"I work with clients to design the most effective IT solutions to help them be more profitable. Whether it's an incredibly fast PC for superior graphics, a hard drive "airbag" to help mobile workers remain productive if they drop their notebook, or a fingerprint reader to enhance the protection of data on a PC, IBM offers innovative tools that meet the varied needs of my clients. The unmatched service and support offered with ThinkPad and ThinkCentre PCs continue to tip the scales toward IBM and the new Lenovo for my clients," said Angela O'Donnell, managing director, W. O'Donnell Consulting, Inc. W. O'Donnell Consulting, Inc. is a New York City-based IBM Business Partner offering consulting services, project management and comprehensive network design and implementation.

About Tech Data Corporation Tech Data Corporation is a leading global provider of IT products, logistics management and other value-added services. Ranked 111th on the FORTUNE 500, the company and its subsidiaries serve more than 90,000 technology resellers in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, please visit techdata.com .

About IBM PartnerWorld IBM PartnerWorld is a comprehensive, worldwide program that offers marketing and sales resources, training, certification and technical support to help create new revenue and market opportunities for IBM Business Partners of all types. For more information on teaming with IBM please visit: www.ibm.com/partnerworld .