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    2022 Top 10 SMB Business Issues, IT Priorities, IT Challenges
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    2022 SMB & MIDMARKET PREDICTIONS

    Top SMB & Midmarket Predictions for 2022
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    2022 CHANNEL PREDICTIONS

    Top SMB & Midmarket Predictions for 2022
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    NEXT CHANNEL - THE FUTURE OF PARTNER ECOSYSTEM

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    SMB Path to Digitalization - Prologue and Epilogue
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    HYBRID WORK IS HERE TO STAY?

    NOT SO FAST SAYS THE DATA
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    US SMB & Midmarket SaaS Adoption
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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 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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Dell Latitude 9330 - a great laptop becomes even better and is a collaboration powerhouse

How does one take an existing exceptional PC brand and improve it? I have no idea, but the engineers at Dell Technologies achieved an incredible feat with the Latitude 9330 13-inch form factor. A hardware advancement enhanced by software innovation. For a month, I have been using the latest ultra-premium 2-in-1 with the world’s first distinctive Collaboration Touchpad. Weighing 2.8 lbs., the Latitude 9330 has empowered my mobile, nomadic work style in planes, trains, cafes, lounges, conferences, parks, hotels, and the home.

Mobility magic

The mobility magic is easily felt in its thoughtful design. Wi-Fi 6E and 5G ensure that one is never out of reach of Internet connectivity. I activated Verizon 5G (which is not always the best in the places one needs most), but it works. The 13.3-inch QHD+ (2560 x 1600) WVA touch display with 500 nits of brightness is plenty vivid and crisp to scroll through volumes of data and PowerPoint presentations in bright lights and dark surroundings. Dell has continued with its InfinityEdge display design, which is very neat, and the ComfortView Plus display reduces blue light. Those using Windows 11 know that its snap layouts and snap groups work great on large external monitors. Therefore, I was initially skeptical because of Latitude’s 13-inch screen size, but I found the use of snap layout and snap group features on the Latitude effective. If I require additional screen space, I connect the Dell ultrathin 14” FHD portable monitor (C1422H). It gives me dual-screen productivity with 330 nits brightness and 2 x USB-C (one on each side). Working from home, my Latitude laptop is connected to a Dell UltraSharp 34-inch Curved video conferencing monitor (C3422WE) through a Dell dock, a Dell Bluetooth silent keyboard, and a mouse.

The battery life can last through coast-to-coast flights but not a cross-Atlantic trip. However, the specifications claim that the laptop can charge up to 80% within 40 minutes, which in my experience, comes very close to it. The Adaptive Battery Performance tends to optimize and extend battery life. The backlit keyboard is excellent for working in dark environments such as planes when the lights are dimmed or during my late-night work habits.

Sustainability is quickly becoming an essential purchase decision-making process. The Latitude 9330 does not disappoint. The packaging is made from 100% recycled materials, and the keyboard and the keycaps are also made from recycled materials.

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Collaboration center

Video-enabled collaboration is necessary for business agility – decision agility, innovation agility. The nature of the collaboration discussion has permanently changed. Advanced collaboration technologies answer real business issues – issues that have become more pressing in today’s competitive world for productivity, innovation, and customer interaction. The Latitude 9330 is built for collaboration, enhancing video, and calling. It has top and bottom firing speakers and four microphones to pick up one’s voice clearly. The glass collaboration touchpad automatically lights up with Zoom icons for mute/unmute, video on/off, and screen share when in a Zoom call. The settings can be modified in the collaboration section of the Dell Optimizer. The icons have saved me a ton of time from fumbling for mouse-click buttons on the Zoom screen. The 1920x1080 webcam with a safety shutter automatically opens and closes during video calls. The camera shutter can be opened/locked with the F9 key for extra cautious users. Included in the laptop is AI-based noise cancellation for background noise reduction. It is unclear if the noise cancellation is additive to or overrides the feature of video-conferencing applications.

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2022 WW SMB PC market shipments will likely be 101.2 million units

Techaisle’s PC market study forecasts SMBs worldwide are likely to purchase 101.2 million units, a 1.9% increase from 2021, revised down from 104.5 million PCs predicted earlier in March. Workforce scarcity (58% of SMBs), inflation anxiety (47% of SMBs), recession angst (41% of SMBs), ASP (average selling price increases) of 3.3% to 7.7% q-o-q, and increasing investments in non-IT capital equipment (18% of SMBs) are contributing to the slowdown in PC purchases.

The North American and Western Europe SMB PC shipment growth rates will likely be 1.9% and 1.2%, respectively. Asia/Pacific and Latin America markets will likely grow by 2.2% and 2.4%, respectively. Healthcare and financial services will probably be the leaders in PC purchases, whereas hospitality and personal services will be the laggards. Between 11% to 15% of SMBs are using Windows 11 PCs, and between 62% to 73% of SMBs may plan to replace/upgrade Windows 10 PCs with Windows 11.

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Lenovo melding hybrid work and Work for Humankind

On the heels of its success in 2021, Lenovo has launched its second iteration of Work for Humankind to show how everyone can think differently about the future of hybrid work. In partnership with Lenovo, Island Conservation, and the Robinson Crusoe community, volunteers work their own jobs remotely from one of the world’s most far-flung offices. The NGO Island Conservation and the local community on Robinson Crusoe Island thoroughly vetted and screened prospective volunteers from across the world who sought to participate in this initiative through an open application process. These volunteers use Lenovo’s technology and donate their professional skills spanning design, technology, sustainability, and biodiversity to support conservation efforts. Lenovo’s efforts recognize that technology is pivotal in creating the flexibility to fulfill knowledge workers’ desires to work from anywhere while enabling them to do good in their communities. Through the Work for Humankind project, Lenovo demonstrates what is possible when people and technology are brought together for the good of humanity.
After launching the volunteer application form in December 2021, Lenovo received thousands of applications worldwide for fewer than a dozen volunteer spots. All volunteer finalists went through multiple rounds of screening before selections were made by Island Conservation (NGO) and the local Robinson Crusoe community.

Since first announcing the Work for Humankind project, an enormous amount of work was done to prepare for the arrival of volunteers on the island. From a technical perspective, Lenovo had to increase the island’s internet bandwidth to support its local NGO partner, Island Conservation, and enable the island to advance its own community goals and equip the volunteers to do their own day jobs remotely. Together with Island Conservation and the local community, Lenovo has established a community technology hub, fully equipped with some of Lenovo’s devices, solutions, and services, and significantly upgraded internet connectivity from 1 Mbps to up to 200 Mbps, bringing high-speed internet to Robinson Crusoe Island for the first time. The broad portfolio of Lenovo’s devices, solutions, and services being used include:

Lenovo 2

The Lenovo technologies incorporated into this project aim to accelerate proven conservation actions that preserve the rare habitats and endangered species thriving on Robinson Crusoe Island. After the program, the technology will remain on the Island for the community to use long-term.

Capturing and highlighting the meaningful work on Robinson Crusoe Island is a priority for Lenovo. Therefore, Lenovo uses its www.lenovowfh.com microsite to post blogs from its volunteers, testimonial interviews, videos, and photography.

Better hardware equipment and mobile devices are an essential component of remote work, but remote work enablement extends beyond hardware to applications, solutions, and work habits. Besides selecting the volunteers, the most challenging parts were setting up island connectivity and building the tech hub. The initiative focuses on empowering the volunteers to improve the Island’s ecosystem and advance the community’s desire to become more socially, economically, environmentally sustainable, and resilient while enabling the volunteers to work from anywhere on their day jobs indeed.

The industry is abuzz with hybrid work discussions, home office, safe return to the office, shared space, meeting rooms, and hot desking. Although most agree that hybrid work is here to stay, many cannot ascertain the trend's longevity because forecasts tend to be very wrong in volatile times. Most IT suppliers are focused on providing innovative technology solutions for the hybrid work model. Lenovo is showing how hybrid work can be melded with Work for Humankind.

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