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Cracking the SMB market

Zafar Anjum | July 19, 2010
MIS Asia online editor Zafar Anjum discusses with Eugene Liew, country manager, home and small-medium business, Lenovo Singapore, how Lenovo is trying to crack the small and medium business (SMB) market in Singapore

Eugene Liew, country manager, home and small-medium business, Lenovo Singapore

Many hardware companies are targeting the SMB market in the region, including Singapore. How has Lenovo prepared itself for this market and how does it differentiate itself from the competition?

Lenovos Protect and Attack corporate strategy has identified SMB as an area of focus and we are excited by the growth potential of this segment. In 2010, Gartner estimated that the SMB market will account for 44 per cent of total IT market spending this works out to be an US$800 billion expected expenditure.

Singapore is recognised as a mature PC market and we are aware that organisations both large and small are replacing or planning to replace PCs partly driven by the adoption of Microsoft Windows 7. Lenovo has put in place a comprehensive product line-up for SMBs, consisting of the ThinkPad Edge, the ThinkPad SL series of notebooks; as well as the ThinkCentre A70z all-in-one PC (AIO).

We also offer a full suite of flexible service and support solutions to address SMBs needs such as extended warranties and notebook protection. This combined hardware-software-services value proposition through value-added hardware management features such as Lenovos unique ThinkVantage Technologies and the Lenovo Security Suite empowers SMBs with a computing experience that IT departments in larger companies enjoy.

At the same time, we are also trying to educate the market about total cost of ownership (TCO). Typically, the purchase price of a PC is only about 20 per cent of the total cost over the useful life of a PC (three to five years); the remaining 80 per cent is accorded to costs in security, deployment, asset management and disposal . TCO is a major consideration point among our large enterprise customers and we think SMBs will benefit from that perspective as well.

Another thing to think about would be scalability again, a concept that large enterprises are used to. Scalability from an SMB perspective involves maximising your computing resources within pre-defined infrastructure be it Internet connectivity, file-sharing, or even IT support. With the connectivity, collaboration and self-help features built into our products, we should be able to help SMBs ensure that their computing platform remains highly scalable.

The challenge with the SMB market is that their needs are diverse. Some have IT departments, others dont. Some buy through retailers and others procure through IT business partners. We have classified these into three subsets: very small business or small office/home office (VSB or SOHO) which have one to nine employees; small businesses (SB) from 10 to 99 employees and medium-sized businesses (MB) with 100 to 500 employees.


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