Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Hugo Ortega opens Tablet talks with Lenovo

It’s not often that major vendors show grass roots passion for their products in Australia (probably a sentiment felt even more by New Zealand Tablet PC MVP, my mate Craig Pringle). So frequently I hear tales of little interest shown to “the man on the street” by the big brands. So with that in mind I got in contact with Lenovo.

In a highly anticipated announcement IBM confirmed the sale of its PC division to China's Lenovo Group, 8th of Decmeber 2004; a proclamation that also saw IBM take 18.9 percent equity stake in Lenovo. With this in mind it came at no surprise that Lenovo has kept the build-quality that we’ve all come to expect from brands like “Thinkpad” and Thinkcentre”. What I didn’t expect, and was pleasantly surprised by, was their newly found commitment to making the Lenovo a brand that aspired to IBM greatness, but now fully intended to surpass it.

Let’s start from the top: “I Hugo Ortega (nicknamed Poogie) predominantly focus on growing Tablet PC awareness in Australia”. The way I accomplish this is by strategically and sometimes coincidentally making myself available to masses of listeners willing to listen to the merits of Tablet. I’m really not prejudice, I’ll preach to Microsoft Employees, I’ll make interstate visits to hand deliver a Tablet, or even prophesize to mums and dads while waiting for my son after school. Tablet PC isn’t a way of conducting oneself on the road, to me it’s a commitment to progression. If this technology is allowed to go to the dogs, then it’s only time before the brakes are pulled on more and more projects that should be destined for greatness.

Along my travels I have built congruent partnerships that support my commitment, and conversely show passion for what I do. It was Lenovo that came into my life in December 2005 when I became a Lenovo Business Partner. Admittedly I signed up to gain leverage from current Lenovo programs but I’ve since realised that I’m dealing with a Group that is more proficient than that. It was my initial contact with Merrin Palmer, Lenovo Channels & SMB Marketing Manager, that lead me to realise just how proactive this company truly is. Imagine this, every email I sent swiftly received a reply – obviously it sounds ludicrous to mention this as a point of difference from other companies, but sadly it’s true.

Passionate people have always been intriguing to me. Knowing that if I display sincere interest in anyone then they’ll often share with me their passion. In the case of Greg Hunt, Lenovo Business Development Manager, it’s quickly apparent that his passion lies in destiny. As we sat at my local "Italian-style" Cafe and talked Tablet PC over coffee I couldn’t help but admire well-dressed Greg. As he hacked away at his Lenovo Thinkpad X40 I began to admire his level of commitment and passion for the Tablet. As we took doses of caffeine and Greg hacked keys, and I inked Tablet, I realised that Lenovo and Tablet PC Australia had nothing to worry about. Greg sat there and described the proprietary “Hard Drive Active Protection System” and talked about forth coming structural enhancements to Lenovo notebooks in general – Lenovo to me felt like it has a pulse and is unquestionably kicking!

As we parted our ways both Greg and I knew that our paths would cross again. We’d tentatively mapped out some strategy and eagerly brainstormed new marketing techniques for Lenovo, and most excitingly Tablet PC as a whole.

Watch this space!

  • Do you own a Lenovo notebook?
  • In your opinion does Lenovo still carry on the IBM legacy?

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