Home Networking company Lenovo Engages Strategic Partners for New Everything-as-a-Service and Edge Solutions

Lenovo Engages Strategic Partners for New Everything-as-a-Service and Edge Solutions

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Lenovo has long been one of the tech industry’s most savvy vendors when it comes to building and expanding strategic partnerships. So it’s no surprise that new and existing partners shared the spotlight and rallying cries at last week’s Lenovo Tech World 2021 event.

Building on Lenovo’s existing suite of Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Device-as-a-Service offerings, the company also took advantage of the Tech World event to unveil a host of new IT solutions in as service and periphery. Many of these are provided by its Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG) and Solutions and Services Group (SSG).

However, while most system vendors offer or develop their own brand of EaaS and edge offerings, few are as focused as Lenovo on the practical value that partners can add to these efforts. As a result, Lenovo’s new offerings will hit the market well ahead and better formed than many others. Consider this in more detail.

The case of EAaS and the periphery

First, why are vendors focusing so intensely on EaaS and edge computing?

Essentially, they follow the money and the market, but for somewhat different reasons. The case for EaaS – to acquire, deploy, maintain and manage a vendor’s products through a one-time contract, support, and payment arrangement with no upfront fees – has grown significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic .

Businesses facing unexpected challenges in everything from staffing to facility maintenance, customer demand and supply chain management, are looking for ways to survive and be successful. These factors, along with simplified monthly or quarterly payment terms, have made EaaS solutions increasingly valuable and attractive to business customers.

According to Lenovo, the market for aaS offerings is growing at more than 4 times the overall APR of IT services. On the product side, the company noted that aaS accounts for 12% of x86 server spending and more than half of new enterprise storage spending, with a 40% CAGR growth. In commercial PCs, one of the top markets for EAaS, solutions account for 17% of overall spend (up from 1% two years ago) and are growing at 50% CAGR.

In other words, it’s no wonder that IT vendors are chasing EAaS.

What about advanced computing? The narrative there was also impacted by Covid-19. For years, the case for edge computing has revolved around the need to process, analyze, and improve the value of data generated and collected at the far ends of corporate networks, in locations such as factories and outlets. These value propositions still exist, but are adding new use cases, such as companies supporting remote workers and schools enabling distance learning.

As a result, private and public sector customers are looking for solutions that improve the performance of network functions and services while facilitating or automating complex management tasks. With the growing interest and potential size of these markets, many IT vendors are actively developing and delivering edge-centric solutions and services.

Lenovo’s new corporate offerings and the added value of partners

So what exactly did Lenovo announce at Tech World 2021? Perhaps the most important takeaway is that the company will begin to offer its entire product portfolio as a service under the expanded TruScale brand. Lenovo believes it is uniquely capable of differentiating TruScale from its competitors’ offerings through its global reach, its portfolio of end-to-end technology solutions – “from pocket to cloud” – and its centralized management platform.

That said, what are Lenovo’s new enterprise data center and EaaS cloud and edge offerings, and what roles do Lenovo’s strategic partners play? In the first case, the new EaaS solutions dramatically extend the company’s TruScale infrastructure services that allow customers to use hardware and services without purchasing the equipment and pay for what they use without the requirement of minimum capacity.

Lenovo’s metering solution stays outside the customer’s data plan, combining ease of access and cloud-like economics with the security of on-premise hardware. Capacity can increase or decrease to meet a customer’s business needs. The contracts include all associated services (maintenance, support, remote monitoring and management) paid in a single monthly invoice.

Partners play a key role in existing Lenovo TruScale offerings, such as the SAP S / 4HANA Cloud Private Edition, a fully managed SAP S / 4HANA cloud service based on Lenovo TruScale and purchased through SAP, and hosting hosted on Nutanix and Citrix. desktop solution announced in April.

At Tech World 2021, the company announced new partner-compatible offerings, including:

  • Edge to Cloud Solutions using Lenovo’s ThinkAgile VX HCI platform and VMware Cloud Foundation or Lenovo’s ThinkAgile MX HCI platform and Microsoft Azure Stack HCI (both will be available in December 2021)
  • VMware-based infrastructure solutions (Lenovo + VMware Cloud Foundation) as a service managed by Lenovo through the VMware Cloud Provider (VCPP) program (available worldwide in December 2021)
  • Deloitte Cloud Managed Services powered by Lenovo TruScale IaaS which leverages Deloitte’s Open Cloud management platform and can be purchased through Deloitte or Lenovo (available December 2021)
  • In partnership with Intel, Lenovo TruScale Infrastructure Solutions with Silicon-as-a-Service The features will allow customers to scale compute resources on demand and pay only for activated processor cores. Proof-of-Concepts are currently underway with availability scheduled for Q1 2022
  • Lenovo TruScale Infinite Storage enables uninterrupted perpetual storage infrastructure data services, including guaranteed upgrades to the latest Lenovo ThinkSystem DM series during the term of the contract. Enables customers to continuously expand their storage environments up to 260PB to meet performance and / or capacity requirements (available Q1 2022)

In addition to customers who purchase new EaaS solutions directly through Lenovo and its strategic partners (if applicable), members of Lenovo’s TruScale Channel program can directly outsource and provide customers with TruScale as- a-service (available in September 2021 for Q1 partners and in Q1 2022 until distribution).

Three separate announcements highlighted Lenovo’s focus on edge computing. First, the company said it would be the first vendor to release a solution that leverages VMware’s state-of-the-art computing platform. The offering consists of two Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350 Edge servers integrated with preloaded VMware software and can reduce the footprint of Edge hardware by up to 50%.

The company also announced enhancements to Lenovo Open Cloud Automation (LOC-A), which is designed to automate data center and cloud infrastructure deployment tasks. According to Lenovo, LOC-A can now support up to 10,000 state-of-the-art IT sites and accelerate deployment time by up to 81% while reducing labor requirements by 10X + (compared to manual methods ). ThinkSystem SE350 Edge servers and LOC-A enhancements will be available in September 2021.

Finally, the company showcased the Lenovo ThinkEdge SE70, a flexible artificial intelligence (AI) edge platform for businesses designed to support smart transformation efforts in areas ranging from logistics, transportation, and smart cities. retail, healthcare and manufacturing. The ThinkEdge SE70 was created in cooperation with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and leverages the AWS Panorama Device SDK which can be used to turn common IP cameras into “smart” cameras. The new solution is powered by NVIDIA’s Jetson Xavier NX platform to support AI and machine learning models at the edge. Availability of the ThinkEdge SE70 is scheduled for 1h 2022.

Final analysis

Working successfully with strategic partners is a vital issue for suppliers of all stripes. This can significantly reduce the time, effort, and risk involved in developing and delivering new solutions and services. Additionally, well-known partners add their own imprimatur or “label of approval” to new solutions, a critical issue for companies and other organizations that tend to place as much emphasis on reliability as on innovation.

These points and value propositions are clear in the new EaaS and advanced computing solutions that Lenovo announced at Tech World 2021. With the help of strategic partners, the company has significantly expanded its TruScale portfolio with infrastructure offerings. IT and cloud that should appeal to a wide range of business customers. Lenovo has also followed a similar path, amplified by partners, in its new edge offerings, resulting in solutions that will meet current business needs and emerging areas of interest.

As I noted earlier, Lenovo has proactively leveraged strategic partnerships for many years, ranging from well-established efforts with pillars of the IT industry including Intel, Microsoft, VMware, SAP, Nutanix, Citrix and NVIDIA, to new relationships with Deloitte, Kyndryl and AWS. While the Everything-as-a-Service and Edge computing offerings announced at Tech World 2021 may be new, the partner-centric ethos behind them has been a key part of Lenovo’s long-standing success and advantages that it constantly offers to professional customers and to the channel.


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