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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

What has been Lenovo's approach to the cost factor for its products? Isn't Singapore a price-sensitive market?

For us, price is only one area of focus and not necessarily the key one. We have always emphasised the ease of manageability within our products and have global R&D teams dedicated to producing practical innovations that enhance the overall computing experience.

Our strategy is to leverage our competitive advantage in innovation to deliver compelling and competitive hardware products.

As mentioned earlier, we want SMBs to consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) when purchasing products. Typically, upfront purchase costs account for only 20 per cent of the total lifecycle cost of a PC, while the remaining 80 per cent of costs are incurred after purchase, such as maintenance upgrades, warranty terms and energy consumption. These costs can weigh heavily on SMBs as many do not have support provided by a dedicated IT resource.

Rising energy costs spurred by changes in global fuel prices may be a cause for concern for businesses at the operational level. To help companies address this, Lenovo builds in power management features, such as ThinkVantages Power Manager, into its products to help users achieve energy savings. Our notebook, desktop and monitor products are energy-efficient and comply with EPEAT , are TCO-certified and also meet Energy Star 5.0 requirements.

Another way of looking at cost would not be price to the purchaser, but environmental cost. With the increase in public and corporate awareness of climate change and environmental responsibility, SMB suppliers to large enterprises may be required to fulfil certain environmental practices or criteria. Lenovos emphasis on green and sustainable products could help SMBs in their role as socially responsible and green suppliers.

Lenovo leads the market in sustainable manufacturing practices and green computing products, and we maintain a close relationship with our suppliers to ensure the availability of environmentally preferable substitutes and when feasible, will eliminate sensitive materials such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFR) from our products. This environmental consciousness is also extended to our packaging we use recycled and recyclable material; reduced the size of boxes for our ThinkPad products and have increased the use of bulk packaging.

What kind of new features has Lenovo introduced in its range of laptops and PCs for SMBs? What has been the focus of its innovations?

Early this year, Lenovo introduced the ThinkPad Edge 13 notebook, an SMB line which combines stylish design, multiple wireless connectivity options and Lenovos unique ThinkVantage Technologies. SMBs are assured of an easy-to-manage computing solution that carries an affordable price range. The ThinkPad Edge offers good battery life, a stylish and spill-resistant keyboard, a multi-touch touchpad and a low-light capable camera for a great voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) experiencea mode of conducting business that is increasingly preferred by cost-conscious SMBs. Our ThinkPad SMB range also includes the enhanced ThinkPad Edge 14 notebook, for customers desiring a larger form factor.


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