Prepped for the fu­ture

Keep­ing the mo­men­tum strong with Len­ovo.

HWM (Malaysia) - - DIALOG - by Bryan Chan

In 2016, Len­ovo was ranked the num­ber one PC ven­dor in terms of unit ship­ments* in the world. Ac­cord­ing to the same re­port by Gart­ner, the com­pany man­aged to ship close to 16,000 units, which is a rather im­pres­sive feat, con­sid­er­ing the PC mar­ket has been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a downward trend – in terms of sales – in re­cent years. We spoke to Ken Wong, Pres­i­dent of Asia Pa­cific, Len­ovo; Ivan Che­ung, Re­gional Gen­eral Man­ager, Len­ovo Cen­tral Asia Pa­cific Re­gion; and Khoo Hung Chuan, Coun­try Gen­eral Man­ager for Len­ovo Malaysia and Sin­ga­pore, on how Len­ovo plans to con­tinue this mo­men­tum.

What have been the key fac­tors to Len­ovo’s suc­cess thus far?

When you look at IT ven­dors, I be­lieve Len­ovo is the only one with a full range of prod­ucts, in­clud­ing desk­top and note­book PCs, tablets, smart­phones and dat­a­cen­ter in­fra­struc­ture op­tions. We’re also ex­pand­ing into the smart home, aug­mented re­al­ity and virtual re­al­ity mar­kets. In short, there’s some­thing for ev­ery­one.

Look­ing for­ward, what is Len­ovo’s strat­egy to re­tain the top spot?

We’ll be fo­cus­ing on mak­ing Len­ovo a cus­tomer-cen­tric com­pany. The con­cept it­self is sim­ple, but the re­sult is highly im­pact­ful. Es­sen­tially, we need to fo­cus on what our cus­tomers want and need, and cre­ate ser­vices and prod­ucts based on those needs.

Can you pro­vide us with some ex­am­ples as to how Len­ovo plans to be­come more cus­tomer-cen­tric?

First, we have set up ded­i­cated re­sources for our dat­a­cen­ter busi­ness, where we’ve fo­cused a lot of man­power, from R&D all the way to our sales force, and from world­wide teams to coun­try­wide teams. The pur­pose of set­ting up th­ese teams is to be able to com­mu­ni­cate bet­ter with our cus­tomers.

Sec­ond, which I be­lieve is more rel­e­vant to this part of the world, is gam­ing. We are the num­ber one gam­ing sys­tems ven­dor in Thai­land and al­ways the top two in Malaysia, in terms of units sold. Sim­i­lar to our dat­a­cen­ter busi­ness, there’s a ded­i­cated team on the world­wide level, all the way down to a coun­try­wide level. We’ve also re­branded our gam­ing prod­ucts with the ‘Legion’ brand­ing as part of this ef­fort.

In terms of prod­ucts, how does Len­ovo dif­fer­en­ti­ate it­self from the com­pe­ti­tion?

It all boils down to in­no­va­tion. The mar­ket de­mand for PCs is fac­ing a downward trend and will con­tinue to do so be­cause it’s bor­ing. If you sub­scribe to this idea, the only thing to do is to in­no­vate – cre­ate in­ter­est­ing form fac­tors, cre­ate prod­ucts with in­ter­est­ing func­tion and fea­tures that can reignite the de­sire to buy our prod­ucts. And we’ve done this. We in­tro­duced prod­ucts like the YOGA Book and Moto Mods, among other things. We’re ac­tu­ally spend­ing US$1.2 bil­lion on R&D alone.

Speak­ing of R&D, what is Len­ovo cur­rently fo­cused on?

Our Chair­man and CEO has chan­neled 20 to 30 per­cent of the US$1.2 bil­lion to ex­plore ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence. In fact, we’ve just ap­pointed a new Chief Tech­nol­ogy Of­fi­cer, Dr. Rui Yong, an in­di­vid­ual who is well­known in the re­search of AI.

Apart from AI, what are the other seg­ments that Len­ovo is fo­cused on?

There’s the gam­ing seg­ment, which is one of the fastest grow­ing seg­ment in the PC mar­ket. There’s also the com­mer­cial seg­ment, es­pe­cially in lo­ca­tions like Ja­pan. Apart from that, there’s the 2-in-1, as well as thin-and-light seg­ments.

What is the next step of evolution for the PC?

I think we need to think about the role of a PC. We be­lieve it will be mul­ti­pur­pose, and has the abil­ity to in­ter­act with other de­vices. For ex­am­ple, it has to be able to in­ter­act with the Smart Home As­sis­tant that we just in­tro­duced. In a nut­shell, a PC will need to be able to meet one’s re­quire­ments in dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios and can’t just be a single-func­tion de­vice.

Are there any new ser­vices or prod­ucts that you’re ex­cited to un­veil this year?

We’re launch­ing our new busi­ness part­ner por­tal, which is highly au­to­mated and in­tel­li­gent, to make it eas­ier for our busi­ness part­ners to com­mu­ni­cate with us. Part of this pro­gram also con­sists of a re­vised in­cen­tive pro­gram, which should prove to be ex­cit­ing, and this is ac­tu­ally hap­pen­ing within the next cou­ple of months, not only in Malaysia, but world­wide. In ad­di­tion, we’ll be fo­cus­ing on en­hanc­ing our cus­tomer sup­port, like build­ing a gam­ing com­mu­nity for our Legion brand, and of­fer bet­ter re­sponse times when at­tend­ing to queries or prob­lems.

Speak­ing of cus­tomer sup­port, we’re also launch­ing new ser­vices, like the Premier Sup­port Ser­vice, where you pay just a lit­tle more for an ad­di­tional level of sup­port and af­ter-sales ser­vice.

(From left to right) Khoo Hung Chuan, Coun­try Man­ager for Len­ovo Malaysia and Sin­ga­pore; Ken Wong, Pres­i­dent of Asia Pa­cific, Len­ovo; and Ivan Che­ung, Re­gional Gen­eral Man­ager, Len­ovo Cen­tral Asia Pa­cific Re­gion.

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