After reneging on the price commitment made to public sector customers under the Catalist framework, Lenovo is trying to claw back some credibility in the space and "restore confidence among partners".
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The vendor replaced notebook SKUs with ones that were over 20% more expensive after swooping movements in foreign exchange rates meant the deal signed months earlier was not profitable.
Vincent Fauquenot, Lenovo vice president of transactional business for Western Europe said it had been facing an "exceptional situation" in the currency markets and needed to ensure business was profitable.
"The UK has been moving against the dollar and some of the programmes that we had in place were not sustainable," he told Microscope, adding some large corporate customers had also experienced the same issue.
Lenovo partners have complained that price rises in the SME space could ruffle the feathers of customers but doing so in the public sector was commercial suicide.
"The deal was on such low margins that Lenovo realised it was unprofitable but when you make a commitment to the public sector you stick with it," said one source, "Lenovo has lost a lot of credibility so we have switched to HP".
Another agreed the vendor had been chasing market share with prices that were too aggressive, "but it has backfired".
Fauquenot said it was listening to partners' complaints and planned to "do everything possible in the coming months through our product offering, programmes and incentives to restore confidence among partners."