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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 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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Mitel is well-positioned to support on-prem, private, and public cloud unified communications solutions

What do Hyatt, Hilton, and Marriott all have in common? Besides being among the world’s largest hotel chains, all use Mitel’s MiVoice Business solution. Hospitality is one of the many verticals that Mitel excels in. Manufacturing, retail, healthcare, media, and entertainment are some of the other verticals where Mitel has been showing considerable growth. Businesses require a broad spectrum of adaptive and agile communications solutions, and suppliers should be able to support a wide range of needs. Mitel is well-positioned to support the needs of firms of all sizes. For example, Halepuna Waikiki, an acclaimed Hawaiian boutique hotel, is an excellent example of how Mitel solutions can be tailored for global and local businesses alike.

Mitel is on a modernization mission

A recent global Techaisle Communications Adoption Trends research study (N=1361), conducted in the US, UK, France, Germany, and Australia, shows that 84% of firms say that modern communications solution is vital for business success. 73% agree that modern communication solutions help their business grow by contributing to improved decision making, driving innovation, and enabling better customer experience. As a result, 64% consider the modernization of their communications infrastructure a priority, and 47% of firms are using or implementing on-prem UCaaS solutions on multiple platforms.

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Hybrid work is challenging the SMBs

Techaisle’s SMB and Midmarket Hybrid Work Adoption Trends survey indicates that 41% of SMBs plan a phased approach to return to the office, up from 22% in 2021. 20% of employees will likely work from home, in sharp contrast to 58% in 2021, similar to pre-pandemic levels in 2019 when 29% of small business (1-99) employees, 9% of employees within midmarket firms (100-999), and 7% within upper-midmarket firms (1000-4999), who worked from home. Techaisle survey also shows that 42% of employees want to work 3-4 days per week from home.

Security, remote IT support, and unreliable networks continue to be significant technology challenges in managing remote workers. Remote IT support is an especially acute inhibitor for 46% of small businesses. On the people-side of the hybrid work equation, work-life conflict, maintaining team cohesiveness, and lack of training/career implications are dominant challenges. As a result, only 11% have a hybrid first mindset, but 37% believe they have mature remote work practices.

Team collaboration solutions, office collaboration tools (conference room devices), and remote worker collaboration devices (headsets, video cameras, etc.) are the top three priorities for 45% to 58% of SMBs. PC upgrades and refreshes to enable a hybrid workforce are the fourth top priority for 39% of SMBs.

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WW SMB PC market forecast to reach 104.5 million units in 2022

Techaisle’s PC market study forecasts SMBs worldwide are likely to purchase 104.5 million PCs in 2022, a growth of 3.4 percent from 2021. The North American and Western Europe SMB PC shipment growth rates will likely be below 3 percent. 20-49 employee size segment will see a 3.9 percent growth rate, the highest among all employee sizes.

In 2022, SMBs are looking past the PC supply-chain challenges and focusing on improving employee experience, better security features offered by Windows 11, and accelerated move to cloud infrastructure requiring modern PCs. The transition to cloud infrastructure will also enable SMBs to utilize computing as a service rather than physical servers for their businesses, shifting spending from CAPEX to OPEX. The IT budget surplus will allow SMBs to purchase newer, more powerful PCs for further growth endeavors. In addition, SMBs prefer easier manageability, cost-effective provisioning, and simpler remote management to improve IT efficiency, available in Windows 11. Techaisle research data suggests that Windows 11 deployment momentum is building. Each of the above factors will drive SMB PC shipment and growth in 2022. 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 promise to deliver more than an incremental improvement in performance and features, and even price-conscious small businesses benefit significantly from replacing older PCs with newer PCs.

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