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Techaisle Blog

Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.

Lenovo's Vision of 'AI for All': Unlocking the Power of AI

AI has swiftly moved from being a mere buzzword to a pivotal catalyst of transformation across various sectors. In the face of modern technological strides, adopting AI is not just an option but a necessity. Its transformative potential is not limited to large enterprises but also permeates small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), reshaping the business landscape by streamlining operations, boosting efficiency, and enabling data-driven decision-making.

Echoing the global trend towards AI integration, Lenovo unveiled its ‘AI for All’ vision at its ninth annual global event, Tech World 2023. The company is committed to driving intelligent transformation by prioritizing inclusivity and accessibility. This commitment is underscored by the introduction of innovations across its three business segments: the Intelligent Devices Group (IDG), encompassing PCs and smart devices; the Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG), tasked with delivering infrastructure solutions; and the Lenovo Solutions and Services Group (SSG), offering a wide array of IT solutions and services.

Lenovo’s Hybrid AI Strategy: Unleashing the Power of Data Everywhere

Believing in the universal accessibility of AI, Lenovo has embraced a dynamic hybrid AI strategy aimed at unleashing the power of data everywhere. This extends AI capabilities beyond the conventional cloud environment, delivering real-time solutions at the edge. The strategy envisages a harmonious coexistence of public, private, and personal foundation models to make AI increasingly accessible and secure.

Lenovo’s AI can function solely within a device or securely on on-premises servers, learning from data supplied by individual users or proprietary enterprise data. Importantly, it ensures that no shared information is publicly disclosed or incorporated into open training datasets. This not only bolsters security but also facilitates more personalized AI experiences.

Lenovo and NVIDIA: Pioneering Next-Generation AI Infrastructure and Services

Lenovo is actively developing next-generation AI-ready and AI-optimized infrastructure, aiming to deliver powerful, customized, scalable, and energy-efficient AI to customers through a hybrid approach. This includes an expanded partnership with NVIDIA, introducing a new generation of hybrid AI solutions and engineering collaboration. This partnership is based on a shared vision of making generative AI (Gen AI) accessible to all businesses. Lenovo plans to deliver fully integrated systems that bring AI-powered computing to every location where data is generated – from the edge to the cloud. This will enable businesses to deploy custom Gen AI applications at scale, fostering innovation across various industries.

Moreover, Lenovo and NVIDIA will develop next-generation systems based on NVIDIA’s flexible MGX modular reference design, providing robust and secure solutions for demanding Gen AI workloads.

The companies will also introduce the Lenovo AI Professional Services Practice, offering businesses a suite of services, solutions, and platforms to navigate the AI landscape. This initiative aims to help businesses of all sizes find the most suitable solutions, implement them swiftly and cost-effectively, and simplify their AI journey. With Lenovo’s AI expertise and NVIDIA’s cutting-edge AI technologies, businesses can confidently and quickly embark on their AI-driven transformations.

Lenovo’s Vision for the Future of Devices: AI-Ready Devices and Personalized AI Solutions

Lenovo showcased the future of AI-ready devices and AI-powered features, including a vision of an AI PC designed to enhance productivity, streamline workflow, and protect data. The company is also developing a new concept feature, AI NOW, a personal AI twin (AI assistant) solution for AI PCs. This solution leverages personalized models and information stored on the user’s device to effectively understand and assist the user while ensuring data privacy and security.

Furthermore, Lenovo announced the development of Enterprise AI Twin, a suite of AI applications tailored for businesses. This suite is designed to deliver customized solutions by synthesizing and extracting relevant enterprise data from various sources, including devices, the edge, and private clouds. Users can utilize Enterprise AI Twin in different scenarios and for multiple purposes. For instance, it can simplify travel bookings in accordance with company policies and individual preferences or assist supply chain teams in risk management by integrating public AI data with enterprise-specific information, thereby enhancing decision-making across business areas.

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Lenovo’s Digital Workplace Solutions: Navigating the Evolving Work Landscape with AI and Security Innovations

In response to the dynamic work environment characterized by the widespread shift to remote and hybrid models, Lenovo introduced its Digital Workplace Solutions (DWS) in May 2023. This comprehensive suite of managed services is designed to assist businesses in seamlessly navigating the evolving work landscape, with a strong emphasis on enhancing the digital workplace experience. DWS encompasses a variety of tools and systems that address critical facets of the modern workplace, including technology, security, operational efficiency, and employee satisfaction, thereby helping businesses address the unique challenges posed by the changing work environment. This holistic approach prioritizes employee productivity, job satisfaction, and workplace efficiency.

Lenovo’s commitment to enhancing the digital workplace experience with a human-centric approach is further exemplified by the upcoming launch of the “Care of One” platform. This platform aims to elevate the employee experience by offering automated and hyper-personalized support, leveraging AI and data-driven insights to understand various user personas within an organization. Besides improving individual experiences, it contributes to overall employee productivity, allowing them to focus on more critical tasks and enhancing job satisfaction.

Lenovo tech world 23 Keynote 2295 min

Moreover, Lenovo is making significant progress in the area of security. It has broadened its partnership with Microsoft by announcing an upcoming offering, “Cyber Resilience as a Service.” This cybersecurity solution combines Microsoft’s AI-enabled security stack with Lenovo’s robust security operations center (SOC) capabilities and global reach. As such, this partnership aims to equip businesses with essential tools for protecting their digital assets.

Lenovo’s TruScale: Revolutionizing Business with ‘Everything as a Service’

In recent years, the “Everything as a Service” concept has garnered considerable attention, offering businesses flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. This approach provides a wide range of products, software, and infrastructure as services, simplifying operations, minimizing upfront costs, and facilitating quick adaptation to changing market demands. Lenovo’s TruScale, launched in February 2019, is a testament to this as-a-service trend. It offers a solution that enables businesses of all sizes to access Lenovo’s extensive portfolio within a unified contractual framework. TruScale provides a scalable, pay-as-you-go model with predictable payment options for hardware and services.

Under TruScale’s ‘pay-as-you-go’ model, Lenovo’s hybrid AI solutions are now accessible. Kirk Skaugen, Executive Vice President and President of Lenovo’s Infrastructure Solutions Group, underscores, “We’re offering everything as a service through Lenovo TruScale, unlocking the power of Next Generation AI technology not only for large enterprises but also for small and medium-sized businesses.”

Lenovo tech world 23 Keynote 1513 min

The TruScale approach is particularly beneficial for SMBs as it allows them to manage and scale their IT resources based on their current needs without any minimum capacity commitment. This ensures they always have the necessary technology to stay competitive in the market, whether experiencing rapid growth or facing challenges that require scaling down. This “as-a-service” approach creates a win-win situation for all parties involved. It enables SMBs to thrive in a constantly changing business environment while IT providers can maintain steady revenue through subscription-based services.

Final Techaisle Take

Lenovo's "AI for All" vision is a significant step forward in the AI landscape. The company's focus on inclusivity, innovation, and data security, combined with its hybrid AI strategy, paves the way for AI to become accessible to everyone, including individuals and businesses of all sizes, in a secure and personalized manner. Lenovo is well-positioned to shape the AI landscape and drive intelligent transformation by establishing strategic partnerships, delivering AI-ready infrastructure, and showcasing the future of AI-powered devices and features.

Lenovo has been undergoing a significant change over the past few years, transitioning from being recognized primarily as a hardware company to providing solutions and services. This transformation is exemplified by Lenovo TruScale, which showcases the company's adaptability and unwavering commitment to meeting the ever-changing technology needs of businesses. A key part of the transition to solutions/services is the relentless innovation of intelligent devices so that the solutions, services, TruScale, and DaaS are wrapped around cutting-edge tech.

Lenovo tech world 23 Keynote 1490 min

It is inspiring to see Lenovo, despite having achieved remarkable success for decades, embracing what's best for its future, even if it means deviating from the tried-and-tested model that initially brought them success. Suffice it to say, the future looks bright for Lenovo.

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HP's Path to Transformation: Embracing Innovation

In the ever-evolving technological landscape, businesses often stand at a crossroads, compelled to adapt to emerging trends and customer needs. HP, a renowned player in the personal computing arena, remains committed to adapting to changing trends and meeting customer needs. This year alone, the company has unveiled over 150 products. At the inaugural HP Imagine 2023 event, it showcased a range of products and solutions centered around three key trends shaping its offerings: workplace flexibility, the use of AI to enhance productivity and transform PCs into “personal companions,” and the importance of trust—aligning HP’s values with its customers, with a strong focus on sustainability.

HP has demonstrated its adaptability by launching two innovative products: the HP Spectre Foldable PC and the HP Envy Move. It has also introduced Managed Collaboration Services and HP Protect and Trace with Wolf Connect to address users’ productivity and endpoint security needs. Furthermore, it has expanded its collaboration offerings with the launch of the Poly Studio R30+ Bundle. The company also emphasizes enhancing partner growth and customer experiences, as evidenced by its partner ecosystem, including the HP Amplify program.

HP’s Innovative Solutions for Flexible Work Environments: The Spectre Foldable PC and Envy Move

HP’s innovation is significantly driven by what it calls the ‘era of flexibility.’ The swift shift towards hybrid and remote work arrangements in recent years has necessitated organizations to adapt to fluctuating work environments. Consequently, HP is dedicated to offering adaptable solutions, such as devices that effortlessly adjust to diverse work settings, ranging from kitchen counters to executive boardrooms. In alignment with this commitment, it has unveiled two state-of-the-art products – the HP Spectre Foldable PC and the HP Envy Move.

The HP Spectre Foldable PC touted as the world’s thinnest and smallest foldable PC, is a 17-inch, 3-in-1 device that serves as a laptop, tablet, and desktop, ensuring versatility and portability. Its foldable screen enables it to morph into a large tablet compatible with a stylus, a 12.3-inch laptop coupled with a detachable Bluetooth keyboard, and a desktop PC equipped with a built-in kickstand. This device offers flexibility without compromising performance, making it an optimal choice for mobile professionals needing a robust and adaptable computing solution.

The HP Envy Move is another innovative device, a 23.8-inch portable PC hailed as the world’s only movable all-in-one PC. This product caters to the needs of home-based workers, offering flexibility and mobility. It can be effortlessly relocated from one room to another without being bound to a power source. Its built-in handle, lightweight design, and self-deploying kickstand make it perfect for remote workers seeking a large screen without the bulkiness of a traditional laptop.

The Future of AI with HP: Personalized PCs and Collaborative Data Science Platforms

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Zoom Gears Up for Next Growth Phase with AI Companion and Zoom Docs

Zoom is gearing up for its next phase of innovation and growth, transitioning from a mere meetings provider to a comprehensive communications and collaboration platform. Central to Zoom’s strategy is the provision of choice and flexibility, allowing customers to work in ways that suit them best. Its rich ecosystem fosters seamless workflows across Zoom and third-party platforms. In the era of hybrid work, challenges abound in fostering employee engagement, productivity, and enhancing customer experiences. Zoom, with its communication and collaboration software and rapidly evolving cloud contact center solutions, has emerged as a preferred choice for improving both employee and customer experiences. As part of its growth trajectory, Zoom has introduced the Zoom AI Companion, an innovative AI assistant designed to enhance productivity and efficiency at both individual and team levels. This tool provides a convenient platform for connecting and collaborating with team members, external partners, and customers.

During Zoomtopia 2023, Zoom’s annual conference, it unveiled several enhancements for the Zoom AI Companion. It also launched Zoom Docs, an AI-powered workspace designed to tackle the challenges of hybrid and remote work with flexible AI-powered workspaces for documentation, wikis, project management, and more. Additionally, updates to its channel partner program were announced.

Zoom AI Companion

AI is at the core of Zoom’s offerings. Zoom already utilizes AI to enhance connectivity, video compression, and audio transmission, ensuring superior video quality. Features like anti-fraud measures, AI assistants, and Zoom Rooms with intelligent attendee auto-tracking have been integrated to elevate user experience and engagement. AI-enabled features like virtual backdrops, avatars, gesture detection, and background noise reduction make meetings more engaging and inclusive.

Zoom unveiled AI Companion on September 5, with further feature enhancements and platform expansions disclosed during Zoomtopia on October 3-4. All AI Companion capabilities are available at no extra pricing for paid subscribers. AI Companion aids users in managing note-taking activities during meetings, ensuring uninterrupted participation. It also simplifies summarizing lengthy chat threads, allowing users to concentrate on more strategic tasks. On the creative side, the Zoom Whiteboard, powered by AI companion, assists users in generating ideas for brainstorming sessions.

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Zoom uses a federated approach to AI, incorporating its own large language models (LLMs) alongside Meta, Anthropic, and OpenAI models. This allows Zoom to tailor its AI solutions to meet users' unique needs and preferences. For the uninitiated, Federated AI is a dynamic approach to developing and deploying machine learning models. A Federated approach uses multiple AI models to optimize results while maintaining cost-effectiveness.

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At the time of writing the report, AI Companion supported only English-language meetings, but Zoom is working on adding multi-language support soon. AI features are off by default and can be enabled by administrators and account owners. Meeting hosts can also control the AI features once enabled, and meeting participants can see when AI features are being used. AI companion currently only responds to topics discussed during active meetings.

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Cisco’s Master Plan for Seizing the SMB Market Opportunity

According to data from Techaisle, it is projected that the global IT expenditure of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will escalate to a staggering US$1.35 trillion by 2024. Furthermore, this spending is anticipated to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7%, extending through 2028. Cisco is making a significant push into the SMB market, a segment where it has enjoyed steady growth. In fiscal year 2023, which concluded in July, the SMB segment was Cisco’s top-performing customer category for a third consecutive year. Cisco sees this segment as a $25 billion addressable market opportunity, captured with mid to high-tier SMBs transitioning to cloud and SaaS solutions. Notably, about 20% of Cisco’s SMB business comes from new customers every year, underscoring this segment's critical role in expanding Cisco’s reach and reflecting on the growing demand for technology amongst SMBs.

Cisco’s go-to-market in the SMB segment is partner-led, catalyzed with continuous partner-focused programs, initiatives, and marketing investments to foster robust relationships. According to the latest research by Techaisle, a significant majority of SMBs, 87%, depend on their partners for technology solutions. Furthermore, these SMBs channel nearly 89% of their IT expenditure through these partners. Cisco is, therefore, continuously enhancing its engagement with partners, revamping its marketing strategies, and adapting to the changing needs of its customers. A vital part of this strategy is the focus on the new “Scale” go-to-market initiative, aligned to engaging SMB customers and Partners in this space, as unveiled at the company’s sales kickoff meeting in August. This model offers partners and customers enhanced sales and marketing support, ensuring that SMBs receive expert advice in crucial care-about areas such as cybersecurity or hybrid work.

The concept of “digital transformation” has become a staple in corporate discussions over the years. While some may write it off as a fad, many, particularly SMBs, understand its importance. For these businesses, digital transformation involves adopting digital technologies to streamline operations, improve customer relationships, and position themselves as agile and innovative entities in their respective fields. Techaisle data reveals that 71% of SMBs are investing in digital transformation, and 37% have a holistic digital strategy. SMBs, once perceived as technologically behind, are actively embracing cloud solutions to meet their IT requirements. These technologies have become crucial to their digital transformation journey, enabling them to automate various operational aspects and gain a competitive advantage through essential business process automation tools, orchestration, and integration or advanced offerings like custom AI and analytics applications hosted on cloud platforms.

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