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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.

lenovo tech world 23 keynote 0322 min

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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Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 is a phenomenal multitasking notebook for the discerning SMB user

Occasionally there comes along a compelling, impressive, persuasive, and differentiated notebook design that astonishes you. Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 is that design. The new Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 has a 17.3-inch ultrawide 3K display AND an additional 8-inch color display beside the keyboard. It is built for multitasking. And I love it.

I first fiddled with Thinkbook Plus in November 2019. The notebook gripped my attention because of its “Think” pedigree, focus on the SMB segment, and unexpected E-Ink screen on the lid. It was an intriguing design. Fast forward two years to September 2022. The innovation difference between the Gen 1 and Gen 3 has been nothing but exponential. I distinctly remember quizzing engineers during analyst council sessions with many PC OEMs about a notebook with multiple or extensible screens. Two models with dual screens have been introduced, and Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 is far better than its competitor.

techaisle lenovo thinkbook plus gen3 image

I have been using a fully configured (1 TB SSD, 12th Gen Intel core i7-12700H processor, 32 GB memory, a fingerprint scanner on the power button, TPM 2.0) production model for most of the last month. It is an innovative and practical notebook that exudes the quiet confidence of imaginative applied design. When I powered on the notebook, my synapses fired on all cylinders. Lenovo still has one of the cleanest setups and installs of any PC OEM. Lenovo Vantage is one of the best apps to personalize device settings, update drivers and software and manage security configurations.

Dual displays are more productive than one

The touchscreen 17.3-inch main display of the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 is ultrawide and has a resolution of 3072 x 1440 with an aspect ratio of 21:10 and 400 nits brightness. The ultrawide display in a laptop makes multitasking more accessible and allows users to see more content with less distraction. The massive and roomy display is a visual treat, a productivity enhancer, and ideal for Windows 11 snap layout. Straddling the line between business, work, and life, ThinkBook boasts Dolby Vision for lifelike images, blue light reduction, and 2 X 2W Harman Kardon audio for superior sound. The Lenovo Integrated Pen is a bonus for the secondary display. There is a built-in pen garage in the right corner of the chassis rear. I found the pen responsive on the 8-inch display when using Microsoft OneNote. I have extensively used the secondary 800 x 1280 multitouch LCD display for email, note taking, meeting calendar, WhatsApp desktop, skype, web browsing, file explorer, and Teams chat. Its 10:16 aspect ratio works very well, in my experience. It is one of the best examples of multitasking. Although the screen resolution is not the best, it is very productive to have an additional display. The high point is that I can drag and drop most applications and snap windows from the main to the secondary display and vice versa. I have effectively used the screen to glance at my talking points during presentations. The two screens combined optimize my productivity. The backlit keyboard is helpful.

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Top 5 technologies where small businesses are increasing investment

Techaisle worldwide survey of 2427 SMBs shows that collaboration, cloud, security, mobility and PCs are the top five areas where small businesses are increasing technology investments. Each of these address current business challenges and lay the foundation for the five pillars of small business digital transformation: 1/ achieve cost efficiencies, 2/ initiative innovation, 3/ enable operational efficiency, 4/ drive business growth, and 5/ empower organizational productivity.

techaisle top 5 technology areas small business

Collaboration: 66% of small businesses are increasing investments in collaboration solution as compared to 19% who are either decreasing or delaying investments. Collaboration is a critical solution priority. The enormous reliance on mobility, the trend towards flexible work within small businesses and the general trend of including customers within the framework of collaboration solutions have all contributed to much broader demand for collaboration solutions. Use of collaboration solutions within small businesses started as file-first but has quickly transitioned to person-first. The central requirement for a collaboration solution is the ability to share files from desktop or mobile devices, the second is to enable online interaction, and the third is to provide richer media and media escalation for person-to-person communications.

Cloud: 64% of small businesses are increasing investments in cloud. Cloud is no longer a trend that is discrete from mainstream IT. This shift in cloud’s positioning has brought with it a shift in the kinds of insights needed to help connect suppliers and buyers to address common interests in deployment, integration and expansion strategies. Small business buyers are needing help in moving past initial cloud pilots and applications to integrated cloud systems that provide support for mission-critical processes. Vendor suppliers need to adjust their messaging to address the needs of early mass market rather than early adopter customers.

Security: 61% of small businesses are increasing investments in security solutions. Although data shows that small businesses are more optimistic than they ought to be about their current security profiles, security is an important constraint on mobility within the small business segment. Vendor suppliers need to help small businesses to establish frameworks that protect against both external and employee threats to information security.

Mobility: 59% of small businesses are increasing investments in mobility solutions. If the “office” is defined by devices, so too is “workplace” defined by the ability to work from wherever those devices (and their users) are located. Small businesses are investing in mobility because it contributes to both cost savings and increased market reach, with “improved productivity” and related answers connected to establishing “better ways of working” viewed as the greatest benefit of mobility within SMBs. Techaisle’s data shows that there are inherent challenges in supporting the mobile workforce: struggle with the “on ramps” to mobility (such as finding appropriate suppliers and solutions) and concerned with security/data protection and mobile management.

PCs: 56% of small businesses are increasing investments in PCs. PC is where work gets done. PC is still the centerpiece of business productivity and buying a new PC is likely to have a more significant impact on productivity than any other technology. Modern PCs deliver more than an incremental improvement in performance, manageability and security features and even price conscious small businesses benefit significantly from replacing older PCs with modern PCs.

There is a strong connection between cloud, mobility, collaboration. Mobility, cloud and collaboration are all important trends in today’s IT market, and Techaisle data indicates that they are tightly interconnected. Mobility is a key driver of collaboration demand, with worldwide total of 292 million small business mobile workers looking for framework technologies enabling them to connect with suppliers, customers and each other. At the same time, collaboration is seen as a key attribute of successful cloud solutions, with more than one-third of small businesses citing “the ability to provide or support collaboration” as a key success factor in cloud solutions.

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Case for Always Connected PCs in edge computing

While cloud is replacing conventional data centers at the core of the network, an entirely new technology tier – “edge” – is emerging as a complementary source of IT infrastructure, supporting many innovative technologies that promise to extend the use and impact of technology into entirely new domains.

Connectedness is an intrinsic component of the edge. It applies in two directions: client devices ranging from PCs to smartphones to sensors connect to more gateways and other powerful edge systems, which process time-critical responses and then communicate data safely back to clouds at the core of the infrastructure fabric.

The edge is broad in scope and deployment. It moves with the user of a device or an appliance or a transport, it morphs when a sensor or a beacon is triggered and it can expand or change when real and/or augmented environments interact. The edge includes the devices and networks that deliver mobility to users – and it also describes the infrastructure needed to support leading-edge solutions like IoT, autonomous and connected vehicles and field-ready AR/VR systems – solutions in which devices are connected and configured to support remote monitoring/service/control, or harvesting data from one or more connected systems and applying contextual analytics to support smarter decision making, or delivering inputs needed to provide better insight into current and future business opportunity.

To be fair, many of these edge-dependent systems are still in their infancy, and will gain widespread adoption after 2018 (or potentially, at some point in the next decade). But there are signposts that we can see today, which indicate how edge resources and expectations will evolve.

One such example is found in “connected PC.” In the context of a Interwork platform in 2018, connected PC may look like an odd inclusion – shouldn’t we focus instead on growth areas like sensors or smartphones, rather than an aging device type that is being eclipsed by these newer form factors?

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