2024 Top 10 SMB Business Issues, IT Priorities, IT Challenges




    SMB & Midmarket Predictions


    Channel Partner Predictions


    2023 Top 10 Partner Business Challenges, Priorities


    Channel Partner Trends


    SMB & Midmarket Security Adoption Trends


    SMB & Midmarket Cloud Adoption


    Networked, Engaged, Extended, Hybrid


    Influence map & care-abouts


    Connected Business


    SMB & Midmarket Managed Services Adoption


    SMB & Midmarket Analytics & Artificial Intelligence Adoption


    SMB Path to Digitalization
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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.


One year with Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition: A Celebration of ThinkPad Excellence

Sitting in a hotel in SoHo district in New York City on a cold winter day in October 2022, I received my 30th-anniversary edition of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Upon unboxing, I was immediately drawn to the thoughtful details that set this edition apart. The packaging, crafted from eco-friendly bamboo and compostable sugarcane materials, was encased in a 30th-anniversary sleeve. Nestled within was a pamphlet chronicling the ThinkPad’s journey, a commemorative anniversary sticker, and interchangeable TrackPoint heads in vibrant RGB red, green, and blue colors. The lid branding was the first thing that caught my eye as I unveiled the laptop. The tri-colored logo is a delightful throwback to the old branding, reinforcing the nostalgic theme of this special edition.

My journey with the ThinkPad brand began in 1993, when I first laid hands on an IBM model, though I can’t recall if it was the 700 or 700c. The day the screen shattered was a heart-wrenching one for me. However, the efficient tech support at IBM’s Exchange Square in Hong Kong swiftly replaced the screen, much to my relief. In 1994, I switched to 701, also known as the Butterfly.

Fast forward to 2005, Lenovo took over IBM’s PC division, continuing the legacy of innovation that the ThinkPad line was known for. Among their offerings, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon stands out as a highly sought-after business laptop, earning critical acclaim for its slim design, robust performance, and impressive battery life.

In honor of the ThinkPad’s 30th anniversary, Lenovo introduced a special edition of the X1 Carbon. I am fortunate to have spent the last twelve months with this 30th-anniversary edition of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition is a remarkable milestone, celebrating three decades of the esteemed ThinkPad series. With a mere 5,000 units in circulation, this limited-edition model pays homage to the ThinkPad’s illustrious past and its progressive evolution.

Retaining the body design of the Gen 10, this compact laptop is a traveler’s dream with its 14-inch frame. Its slender 0.6-inch profile and feather-light weight of 2.4 pounds make it my constant companion during my relentless travels. Indeed, the laptop’s negligible weight in my backpack is such that it allows me the added convenience of carrying a ThinkVision M14. The two together have traveled with me three times around the world in the last twelve months. The presence of 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports and 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports proves incredibly handy. They allow for effortless connection of an external webcam or a light, eliminating the need for additional dongles.

The keyboard boasts a unique anniversary design, with the TrackPoint cap mirroring the classic ThinkPad colors. These nostalgic colors pay tribute to the original ThinkPads and serve as a recurring theme on this device. I’ve carefully preserved these interchangeable heads in a Ziploc pouch in my backpack.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition version I’ve been using is a powerhouse. It’s equipped with an Intel Core i7-1270P processor, which ensures robust performance for all my demanding tasks. Accompanied by 32GB of LPDDR5 memory, it allows for seamless multitasking.

The laptop also features a 1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD, providing me with ample storage space and facilitating quick boot times and rapid data access. This feature is a boon for someone like me who accumulates a lot of information.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition display is indeed a highlight. Its 14-inch screen, with a 3840 x 2400 pixels resolution, delivers crisp visuals and vibrant colors. This enhances every task, whether working on spreadsheets, watching videos, or participating in video calls.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 30th Anniversary Edition is more than just a laptop; it’s a testament to thirty years of innovation and quality. Its top-tier specifications, sleek design, and limited availability embody the ThinkPad brand's legacy. This powerful and stylish laptop is a device that celebrates the ThinkPad’s journey, making it an excellent addition to any workspace. My workspace.

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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.

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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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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:

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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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