Customer-centricity: The name of Lenovo’s game
Lenovo is raising their game to another level for their new fiscal year. According to Lenovo Asia Pacfic’s President and SVP of Lenovo Group, Ken Wong, there is now a lot more focus on customer-centricity.
Speaking to journalists during a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur, he also outlined Lenovo’s next steps towards consolidating their position as an end-to-end hardware player from mobile devices all the way to desktop computers and now also smart appliances for smart homes.
“There is a simple idea behind everything we do today, and every decision we make on a daily basis is to resolve customer pain points.” Wong also reiterated that 2017 is the year that Lenovo will build upon their USD2.5 billion acquisition of IBM’s entry-level servers. In late 2014, Lenovo decided to bet big and marked their entry into the data centre and enterprise market by taking over IBM’s x86 machines division.
“We want to build end-to-end dedicated teams from products to research and development… we are dedicated to the data centre business and are engaging in data centre conversations with customers,” he explained, adding that enterprise requirements are a lot more different from consumer requirements.
Going beyond hardware territory
Granted, Lenovo is successfully retaining its position as the world’s leading PC brand; in fact Gartner has decreed that Lenovo’s growth has exceeded the regional average in all key regions in Q1, 2017. The consumer market has always loved Lenovo machines, but Wong also noted that PC numbers for the consumer segment is down due to “market saturation.”
However, tablets and PCs for commercial segments are still growing and this is true for the matured parts of Asia Pacific, he said.
“Another thing we are betting on is customer innovation. In the past 12 months, we are the only one to introduce lots of interesting form factors and new functions and features.”
As much as USD1.2 billion goes into research and development for Lenovo’s overall business, and of that amount up to 30-percent is on artificial intelligence.
Lenovo also aims to revive the consumer PC market and are looking again into the role of the desktop computer in the home. For example, they have recognised the power of extending a PC’s compute power and enabling it to communicate with other Internet of Things (IoT) elements (read smart home devices) in a house.
They recently introduced the Lenovo Smart Assistant with far-field microphones to pick up voice commands that would operate smart home devices like a telephone or a fridge.
After feedback from their business partner community, Lenovo would be launching a new business partner portal in just a matter of months, according to Lenovo General Manager of Malaysia and Singapore, Khoo Hung Chuan.
“The idea is to make their lives and interaction with Lenovo easier and simpler… help them win more share and make more money with a revised incentive partner program that is simple and impactful!”
Lenovo still has no plans to offer cloud platforms to their customers. Wong said, “We are focused on helping people build their own cloud infrastructure, for example in China we sell hardware to cloud players like Ali Baba and Tencent. We also help enterprises build out their private or public cloud.”