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'Shared values ensured smooth integration'

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DQW Bureau
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In an exclusive interview to Shrikanth G, Neeraj Sharma, MD, Lenovo

South Asia puts into perspective the year that went by. Excerpts:

What are the key inte­gration strategies Lenovo has adopted for creating

a portfolio of products?



During the transition, our prime objective was to sta­bilize the business.

This meant retaining and building the trust of customers and the business

partner network, and developing quality pro­duct offerings. In keeping with

this, we strengthened our enterprise product port­folio and focused on con­solidating

the 'Think' brand during the first few quarters. We also introduced 64-bit

computing with the Think­Center A51, launched the first wide screen ThinkPads

and the ThinkCenter desktops for small businesses.

What synergy challenges did you face in the process of integration and how

did you address them?



Integration has proceeded ahead of schedule, which is partly the result of

pre-acquisition research that resulted in a company with very little overlap in

opera­tions. Shared business values morphed diffe­rences in lan­guage and

geography. More­over, the two organiza­tions shared many common values that

eased the tran­sition, such as a commitment to inno­vation and quality, tech­nology

leadership, and a high commit­ment to talent. These shared values ensured smo­oth

and efficient integration and gave the company a strong foundation for shaping

the future growth plans.

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How did you manage on the channels side? Were there any transition pains?



Actually, we were over­whelmed by the enthusiasm and support of our

business partners. We have received positive feedback from the channel community

over the last year. Their support has been encouraging. They clearly saw

opportunities in the merger and have been enthusiastic about Lenovo products. A

survey of more than 4,000 PCD (PC Division) international customers indicated

that more than 90 percent were favorable towards Lenovo. This and other such

indicators have helped build and retain their trust.

Initially, the IBM channel network and sales teams were leveraged to ensure a

seamless supply chain tran­sition. Lenovo immediately joined the IBM business

partner program, ensuring that Lenovo business part­ners continued to receive

consistent marketing and sales resources, training, certification and technical

support. Since Lenovo busi­ness partners demanded con­sistency in their

programs, we maintained the same blue-chip programs with which they had been

successful in the past. We continued to base our channel strategy on what

customers wanted: high—quality products, world-class service, low-cost of

ownership and constant innovation.

Is there any restructuring in HR terms?



We are taking some actions to ensure that our efficiency and productivity is

maxi­mized and we are compe­titive enough to meet the demands of the

constantly evolving market­place. We are inte­gra­ting key custo­mer-support

func­tions giving custo­mers a simple “one-touch” rela­tionship with Le­novo.

Secondly, we are stream­lining global sales and mar­keting to reduce layers in

our sales struc­ture, em­po­wer sales lea­ders and bring deci­­sion-making

closer to our custo­mers. We are also strea­m­lining mar­keting operations,

elimi­nating redun­dan­cies. Finally, we are centralizing the teams where it

makes sense.

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