Friday, April 2, 2010

CES….A game changing moment for Lenovo

Jay McBain, Director of Small and Medium Business

January 18, 2010

There are key moments that define companies.

The buzz leading up to Consumer Electronics Show 2010 was about the world leading PC Companies not being on the show floor. It was reminiscent of the old COMDEX shows that ran from 1979 to 2003. If you remember, that show grew too large after admitting the general public and major sponsors dropped out forcing the cancellation of the 2004 show. The final nail in the coffin is when they limited the press engagement to only a handful of the top periodicals, effectively censoring new products and innovation.

With the convergence of consumer electronics and computing early in the new millennium, the CES show took over the spotlight in 2004 for major product announcements and became the platform for companies to establish themselves as innovation leaders.

Lenovo decided to rent out a high-end restaurant in the Venetian hotel, just steps away from the conference. This allowed customers, partners and the press exclusive access without the crowds and mayhem of the CES trade show floor. It was the right decision. From blogger nights, to heavily attended press releases, Lenovo generated more buzz than most other companies in the industry.

Lenovo became the star of the show for two reasons: 1) Announcing several new innovative product categories, and 2) Establishing what the post-Legend, post-IBM, company would look like.

1. The introduction of the first Smartbook (Skylight) and Hybrid Notebook (IdeaPad U1) were groundbreaking for several reasons. Breaking away from the traditional PC desktop and notebook design, technology, and usage is important as individuals and companies start to view computers as ubiquitous in their everyday lives. With the rise of all-day mobility, pervasive connectivity and cloud based applications, users will be looking for devices that better integrate with how they want to access and consume information. We need to stop thinking about one device that will do everything, and start thinking about the 20 or so devices that are optimized based on where you are and what you are doing. Lenovo has established itself as an innovator looking at these different usage scenarios. The introduction of the new ThinkPad X100e and ThinkPad Edge are further examples of where businesses may optimize their user experience either by a companion device, or a thin and light alternative. Finally, the array of new all-in-one desktops, including the ThinkCentre A70z, show that even the traditional 30 year-old desktop world is innovating. With power and space savings, these new devices could become your base unit paired with a companion X100e for mobility.

2. Lenovo also introduced a dozen other IdeaPad and IdeaCentre designs including 3D gaming, and an innovative phone for the Chinese market. The buzz following the show, including 8 “best in shows”, have firmly established Lenovo as a design leader both in Commercial and Consumer technology.

What does this mean for the channel?

Lenovo has been known for decades for building durable, manageable and secure business class PCs. With the emergence of cloud computing, all-day battery life and connectivity, Lenovo is creating devices that take advantage of this new world.

For example, most channel partners have been asked by customers about the Netbook phenomenon and their business application (or lack thereof). With the announcement of the ThinkPad X100e, Lenovo has created an ultraportable device with a more usable screen, keyboard, higher build quality and ThinkVantage technologies to satisfy strict business requirements.

The pace of technology change on the hardware side will not let up. Channel partners can trust Lenovo to be researching the business relevance of these technologies, and developing hardware, software and services that lower costs, drive productivity and optimize profitability.