With a simplified go-to-market strategy, a comprehensive product portfolio, Lenovo is all set to be a data centre power. In interviews with SME Channels, Ivan Cheung, Vice President, COO, Asia Pacific, Regional GM of Central Asia Pacific, Lenovo, and Rahul Agarwal – CEO & Managing Director – Lenovo India discuss the vision whereby customers should be the essential focus of everything Lenovo does.
The stakes for Lenovo are high in India. “Apart from Japan, India is one of the largest markets in Asia Pacific,” says Ivan Cheung, Vice President, COO, Asia Pacific, Regional GM of Central Asia Pacific, Lenovo. The present state of IT sector is characterized by rapid growth in India in terms of value. In a nutshell India is poised for phenomenal growth for India.
Understanding the customers’ need and working with them is paramount in Lenovo’s mind. Transformation for Lenovo from being a products centric company to a customer centric company is an ongoing process. “We are in the early stages of this transformation. And to an extent, this transformation is a continuous journey,” Rahul Agarwal – CEO & Managing Director – Lenovo India.
Nothing is changing more rapidly than technology. Technology at some level is a blackbox that people believe that they don’t understand. Even most CEOS don’t understand what is happening. Now they expect the CIOs to be at the forefront in terms of recommending what are right projects, technological investments for the organisation.
“The role of CIO in the new age businesses, ecommerce, e-tail business and start up is strategic. “We have a big data centre business wherein we can attend to the core technologies of an organisation. More and more CIOs in India are opening up which was not the case earlier,” says Rahul. “We are aligning ourselves very well to that.”
There would be twenty billion IOT devices by 2020. That is just two years down the line. All these devices will be generating lot of data. Lenovo is in a unique position to play a big role there.
“We are going to use our strength in device ecosystem and computation power to play a significant role in both consumer IOT as well as commercial IOT. And that is something that is valuable to lot of CIOs at a vertical level. ”
Verticals from where Lenovo’s growth is coming
“If we look at last 6-8 quarters we are growing very rapidly in three segments. We are the number one Tablet vendor in India with 30% marketshare. We have a marketshare of 46 % in Commercial tablet market. SMB is one segment where we are under penetrated,” says Rahul.
India is an important market for Lenovo. When it comes to adoption of data center solutions, India is the fastest. ThinkAgile will be playing a large role in the Asia Pacific region, as organizations are focused on data centre consolidation and implementing hyper- converged solutions, as well as software-defined networking and HPC. Main drivers for this huge increase are growth in data and digital intelligent devices, digitalization and also the government’s digital India campaign.
Lenovo’ is committed to disrupting the legacy status quo. Thanks to its proven expertise in x86 server reliability and equipped with a comprehensive data center product portfolio, the company is on a mission mode to become the market leader in datacentre solutions. It is investing in the delivery of disruptive IT solutions to shape next-generation data centres.
Lenovo has put the customer at the core of the company’s message. The company’s internal focus is customer-centric. “We are driving the cultural transformation to make our employees more productive. How to make a mark on the third wave products and services is paramount in our mind,” says Rahul.
Of the last two years Lenovo has moved its money from offline marketing to digital marketing. Seven out of ten customers who buy from retail go online to search. Though offline marketing is important to the continuing success of a company, the role of online marketing is increasingly felt. Today the world is getting increasingly connected. Virtual relationships are gaining acceptance more highly than ever. “But we have to strike a right balance between offline and online marketing,” says Rahul.
Strengthening Focus on the SMB segment
“SMB is the sector we were not so aggressive,” says Rahul. However, in September this year, Lenovo unveiled the new ThinkPad E480 laptop for Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) and start-ups. The small and medium enterprises today have to embrace the latest technological trends with a low maintenance and stylish laptop. With the launch of this laptop, Lenovo believes the SMB market will be able to keep their employees happy as well enhance their work productivity. “We would continue to be aggressive in positioning the power of iconic ThinkPad in the SMB segment. In terms of enterprise and consumer marketing we are very well positioned.”
“ At Lenovo, our objective is to enable SMBs to increase productivity, reduce costs of maintenance and grow their business. With the launch of the ThinkPad E480 series, we have addressed their need for reliable, durable and secure laptops with easy maintenance.”
Since its acquisition of IBM’s x86 business in 2014, Lenovo has come a long way when it comes to data centre solutions. The company is focusing on harnessing the potential of new technologies such as high performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics. The company’s data centre portfolio spans over a wide range of solutions which includes storage, servers, converged and hyper-converged, hyper scale, networking, software and services.
Last year Lenovo revamped its data center portfolio with the launch of the ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile brands as well as a set of server, storage, networking and software defined systems designed to support cloud, software-defined environments, artificial intelligence, and analytics & decision support applications. While the ThinkSystem is a standalone server and unified portfolio of servers, storage and networking solutions, ThinkAgile is focused on software-defined data centers. The company’s ThinkSystem and ThinkAgile portfolio of solutions are engineered to help customers reduce complexity and tackle their most challenging workloads,
Lenovo is focussing on customer-centricity whereby it is making the switch from product to customer centricity. It is endeavouring to respond to the need of customers by focussing on customer-centric solutions to drive profitable growth.