The strategy is best described as “Everything-as-a-Service,” Lenovo NA President Vlad Rozanovich told WRAL TechWire in an interview, using the company’s new Lenovo TruScale.
The tech giant which is the world’s top PC seller and operates dual headquarters in Beijing and Morrisville also plans to unveil about 10 new products and services, including edge computing, infrastructure, and data center products, as well as a range of new laptops, tablets, and devices.
“Over the last few years, as people have started defining buying technology through a service related agreement, rather than a capital expenditure,” Rozanovich explained. “The methodology of being able to say “I don’t mind buying hardware, technology, and the overall security, as a service,” well, that’s creating a well-defined market for us to go after.”
The new strategy emerged from Lenovo’s Device-as-a-Service model, which Rozanovich said that became very attractive to Lenovo’s current clients, and to those approaching Lenovo for the first time. “We’re seeing that people are open to this idea, asking for Lenovo to manage everything in the portfolio.”
Lenovo noted in a statement that the company would now bring each of its “as-a-service” products under one umbrella, which the company noted would “provide a truly global solution that makes everything from the pocket to the cloud available via a single contract framework.”
Rozanovich told WRAL TechWire that this concept isn’t new, though it has re-emerged and become commonplace, now, for how companies are conducting business with cloud providers.
“Xerox did that back in the day,” said Rozanovich. “It all comes down to that financing model, it’s a lot easier to go to the CIO, and the CFO, and say, you know what, rather than ask for $21 million one time, to ask for a monthly charge that is an OpEx rather than a CapEx charge.”
“People are willing to say that they’re willing to have a faster refresh rate to get the latest technology,” he added. “Customers would rather have a one-stop shop.”
For example, Rozanovich shared that one of Lenovo’s largest customers, a Fortune 500 company, has about 100,000 devices in its technology portfolio, and half are Lenovo product. But Lenovo is doing asset management for all devices.
“It’s a win-win for them, they can go to a one-stop shop, and have that service available to them,” said Rozanovich.
Digital transformation speeding up
“Digital transformation is accelerating faster than ever, and companies are struggling to keep pace with the speed of innovation. We hear from CIOs every day that their organizations’ technology needs are evolving every 12-18 months,” said Ken Wong, president of Lenovo’s solutions & services group, in a statement.
The solutions & services group was previously restructured, as one aspect of Lenovo’s response to a changing technology marketplace.
That digital transformation is accelerating, said Rozanovich, in part because of the rapid changes that emerged in the marketplace following the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent transition of many workers to remote work environments.
“When we look back, when the pandemic first started, there were thoughts that it would last for a month, maybe a few months, and then return to work as usual,” said Rozanovich. “Obviously, it’s been a lot longer than that, and what’s happened is that people have adapted to a lifestyle where they’ve had to learn to be productive without being close to colleagues, or family, or friends.”
One thing became clear, very quickly, noted Rozanovich. “Digital connectivity became more important.”
Whereas many families used to own a single laptop or desktop computer as a family computer, we’re now at a point where the actual need is more like one device per family member, Rozanovich noted. And it’s not enough for those devices to be powerful enough for content consumption, but also content creation and digital connection, said Rozanovich.
That’s what is guiding Lenovo product development: designing and delivering technology that makes people seem to be closer together, so they can learn, so they can work, and so they can play, said Rozanovich.
The onset of the global pandemic resulted in more people working from home offices, and technology infrastructure quickly changed, noted Rozanovich. That was true for workplaces and workers, and that was also true for students attending K-12 schools or colleges and universities.
“We saw rapid advancements in camera technology, and what people expected out of their cameras, and in today’s higher end laptop devices,” said Rozanovich. “And we saw that people moved more toward desk microphones.”
“Advent of high-definition monitor screens,” added Rozanovich. “To create a better sense of inclusion with teams and with people.”
One result of the digital transformation that took place in the prior 18 months, said Rozanovich, is that companies are now looking at their existing office infrastructure and wondering whether it is as up-to-date as their employee’s home offices.
“The first thing that I’ve heard from clients that I’ve met with in the past few weeks is that security is a must, moving forward,” said Rozanovich. “Because they’re admitting there will be a hybrid environment, for the near future.”
“They also said that they’re looking at, when they do create office environments for their employees, that they’re creating environments that people have become used to using from their own homes,” he added. “They need to make sure that when employees come back to the office, that the technology, high definition cameras, monitors, is actually better than the equipment their employees have at home.”
That includes conference rooms, individual work stations, and anywhere where technology can integrate into a workplace or school, noted Rozanovich. For example, Rozanovich noted that one Lenovo client is upgrading work stations that used to have two 21″ flat screen monitors to now be upgraded to two 34″ curved monitors.
That’s just one example of the digital transformation that the company will discuss at its Tech World event later today.
“A year ago, Lenovo had one ThinkSmart View product, and now we have a whole suite of products,” Rozanovich explained.
“Some of that has to do with the advancement of all of the things, like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet,” he said. “That people are thinking about how they can bring that experience into nearly every conference room.”
“Tremendous interest, tremendous growth in this area,” he noted.