What partners sell, though, is fueling growth as much as how they sell, according to Cato. In place of devices, Lenovo is pitching full-scale solutions to customers in healthcare, government, and other critical market segments. A digital learning solution Lenovo has had success with exemplifies those offerings. In addition to virtual reality headsets and tablets, the system includes wireless routers, software, and more.
“To me, being in the solutions space means that you’re providing an end-to-end solution, and with that VR classroom that’s exactly what we achieved,” Cato says. “You’re going to start to see more things like that as we go forward, especially around things like smart office.”
Cato also sees untapped potential in workstation solutions for designers, engineers, architects, and other professionals in need of high-performance hardware. “That market, while it’s not exploding, is continuing to see strong growth,” he says, adding that Lenovo is “under-indexed” at present in workstation sales.
“I’d like for our channel partners to look at those offerings, especially in the SMB space, because there’s a good opportunity for both of us to make money by selling workstation class products to our customers.”
Lenovo has plenty of upside ahead of it across the board, though. Its market share after all, though climbing, is still barely in double digits.
“We’re number one worldwide and we’ve got a $46 billion business behind us, [but] we’re a small startup in North America,” Cato notes. “We’ve got an opportunity to continue to go take market share.”