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Lenovo’s AI Milestone: Updates, Announcements, and New AI Capabilities Revealed

The News: Lenovo makes a raft of product updates and announcements including new AI capabilities. For more details click here.

Lenovo’s AI Milestone: Updates, Announcements, and New AI Capabilities Revealed

Analyst Take: I have just spent the week in Hungary with the Infrastructure Solutions Group at Lenovo and I have to say that my perception of the company has been reframed. If, like me, you consider Lenovo to be a market leader in PCs and mobile devices, including the company’s Motorola brand, you would not be wrong. Lenovo has a market-leading position in PCs and a strong position in the mobile device market, but this is only half the story.

With the announcements this week, Lenovo has achieved a significant milestone by surpassing $2 billion in annual revenue from its AI infrastructure, and yes, that figure surprised me, too. This accomplishment highlights Lenovo’s commitment to advancing AI and its impact on various industry verticals, including areas such as financial services, under the global stewardship of IBM veteran Thomas Hager. In this most recent announcement, the company also unveiled its next phase of growth, involving an additional investment of $1 billion over 3 years to expedite AI deployment for businesses worldwide.

With these announcements, Lenovo is acknowledging the growing digitalization trends and the increasing demand for as-a-service, consumption-based IT infrastructure. To simplify the complex implementation of AI capabilities, Lenovo is looking to bring AI directly to the source of data. By leveraging its network of partners, the company intends to develop turnkey solutions that enable intelligent computing at the edge, where an increasingly large volume of enterprise data is generated. This strategic investment will expand Lenovo’s portfolio of smart devices, infrastructure solutions, and services, allowing businesses to leverage generative AI, immersive metaverse simulations, and cognitive decision-making on a large scale.

As part of the additional investment announced this week, Lenovo has allocated $100 million to grow the Lenovo AI Innovators program. According to the company and my briefings this week, this program has already yielded impressive results, delivering more than 150 cutting-edge AI solutions in collaboration with 45 leading independent software vendor (ISV) partners in its first year. Through the AI Innovators ecosystem, these solutions bridge the gap between AI research and real-world implementation, facilitating technology shifts in high-growth sectors. Enterprises can now deploy state-of-the-art AI capabilities, such as generative AI, computer vision, voice AI, and virtual assistants, more rapidly, which will be crucial with more than 16,000 AI startups chasing the AI gold rush.

In my one-on-one meetings this week, Kirk Skaugen, President of Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group, expressed his enthusiasm for the investment, stating that it expands the development of AI-ready infrastructure solutions. According to Skaugen, these solutions aim to assist customers in overcoming deployment complexities and implementing AI more easily. The sentiment I took from the executives this week is that Lenovo aspires to become the world’s largest end-to-end infrastructure solutions provider, focusing on empowering customers’ intelligent transformation by bringing AI to the source of their data, specifically at the edge. This is a bold ambition, but with the ISG team claiming over $10 billion in annual revenue, they certainly have the track record to dream big.

Business AI implementation challenges often arise due to resource limitations and infrastructure complexities. Lenovo’s AI Innovators program addresses these challenges by collaborating with best-in-class software partners to deliver tailored, proven, and ready-to-deploy AI solutions across various industries. These solutions encompass areas such as computer vision, audio recognition, prediction, security, and virtual assistants. Lenovo’s offerings help customers harness the value of their data and deploy purpose-built AI solutions that drive transformative outcomes.

To provide ultimate flexibility and address the on-premises demands of a hybrid multicloud deployment model, Lenovo is increasingly delivering its AI solutions via TruScale Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). I spent considerable time going deep on TruScale with Craig Routledge, who leads TruScale globally, and I came away impressed with the device-to-data center scope of the offering. This service-led approach aligns with Lenovo’s ongoing transformation, offering customers the ability to access AI capabilities as needed.

Bringing AI to Your Data: Lenovo’s Comprehensive Portfolio

As the world generates an unprecedented amount of data, the need becomes more crucial for advanced infrastructure technologies that bring computing power closer to the source. Lenovo recognizes the importance of empowering AI at the edge and, based on these latest announcements, the company is committed to delivering purpose-built performance for remote settings. With an extensive portfolio of AI-ready infrastructure solutions, Lenovo is enabling organizations to process AI workloads everywhere.

Lenovo’s comprehensive portfolio now encompasses more than 70 products designed to address a wide range of AI workloads. As emerging technologies like large language models (LLMs) and computer vision continue to evolve, the demand for processing power at the edge intensifies, enabling real-time inferencing where the data is generated.

One of Lenovo’s latest innovations is the ThinkEdge SE360 V2, a purpose-built edge server that provides enhanced computing power for AI solutions such as computer vision, voice AI, and generative AI. With support for Intel Data Center GPU Flex Series, NVIDIA AI platforms including NVIDIA L4 Tensor Core GPUs and NVIDIA AI Enterprise software, as well as Qualcomm Cloud AI 100 platforms, the ThinkEdge SE360 V2 is capable of handling intense workloads at the edge. It boasts the highest GPU density in a compact form factor and is significantly quieter than competing products, making it suitable for deployment in remote and rugged environments.

Lenovo’s AI-ready edge solutions also include the ThinkEdge SE350 V2, designed for hybrid cloud and modern hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) deployments. This solution offers twice the storage capacity and leverages the power of the Intel Xeon D processor, enabling customers to run AI workloads while easily consolidating various tasks in a compact form factor.

In the data center space, Lenovo introduced the ThinkSystem SR675 V3, a versatile accelerated computing platform that is purpose-built for AI. It features three server configurations, including support for NVIDIA HGX 4-GPU systems, or 4-DW PCle GPU or 8-DW PCle GPU servers, all within a compact 3U footprint. This platform is ideal for leveraging AI in combination with digital twins, which are fully-simulated replicas of buildings, factories, stores, or even entire cities. Collaborating with NVIDIA, Lenovo delivers powerful performance for NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise workloads, enabling businesses to unlock the full potential of digital twins for improved design outcomes and business processes.

Beyond infrastructure, Lenovo extends its AI implementation to smart devices and solutions, making data science accessible across industries in the hybrid and remote work era. Lenovo ThinkPad commercial laptops now include the Lenovo View application, leveraging AI-enabled computer vision technology to enhance video image quality and tools for improved collaboration. ThinkReality XR solutions provide users with access to immersive simulations, while purpose-built Lenovo ThinkStation and ThinkPad P Series Data Science workstations deliver the high-performance capabilities necessary for critical AI model development, data preparation, and training tasks.

With its AI-ready servers, smart devices, and a robust ecosystem of leading ISVs, Lenovo is bringing pre-validated, performance-optimized AI solutions to the source of customer data, even in unique edge settings. These advancements simplify the rollout of AI, making it accessible to organizations of all sizes and enabling transformative intelligence across various industries.

Looking Ahead

Lenovo’s recent announcements and investments indicate a forward-looking perspective on AI and its role in shaping the future. By surpassing $2 billion in annual revenue from AI infrastructure and committing an additional $1 billion over 3 years, Lenovo is positioning itself as a key player in advancing AI adoption. These are bold claims, and I will be keeping a close eye on these statements and progress in future briefings.

Lenovo recognizes the need to simplify AI implementation and bring AI capabilities directly to the source of data. By leveraging partnerships and developing turnkey solutions, Lenovo is aiming to enable intelligent computing at the edge, where data is increasingly generated. This approach acknowledges the growing digitalization trends and the increasing demand for IT infrastructure upgrades across industries and makes sense.

Lenovo’s focus on providing end-to-end infrastructure solutions and its aspiration to become the world’s largest provider in this space demonstrates the company’s commitment to empowering customers’ intelligent transformation is well-founded, in my opinion. By addressing deployment complexities and offering flexible, service-led approaches such as TruScale IaaS, Lenovo aims to make AI accessible to businesses of all sizes, which will be crucial as enterprise deployments expand.

In summary, Lenovo’s forward-looking perspective on AI is evident in its investments, partnerships, and comprehensive portfolio of AI-ready infrastructure solutions. By addressing implementation challenges, expanding its ecosystem of ISV partners, and delivering industry-specific AI capabilities, Lenovo aims to empower organizations to unlock the full potential of AI and drive transformative intelligence across various sectors.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

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Author Information

Regarded as a luminary at the intersection of technology and business transformation, Steven Dickens is the Vice President and Practice Leader for Hybrid Cloud, Infrastructure, and Operations at The Futurum Group. With a distinguished track record as a Forbes contributor and a ranking among the Top 10 Analysts by ARInsights, Steven's unique vantage point enables him to chart the nexus between emergent technologies and disruptive innovation, offering unparalleled insights for global enterprises.

Steven's expertise spans a broad spectrum of technologies that drive modern enterprises. Notable among these are open source, hybrid cloud, mission-critical infrastructure, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and FinTech innovation. His work is foundational in aligning the strategic imperatives of C-suite executives with the practical needs of end users and technology practitioners, serving as a catalyst for optimizing the return on technology investments.

Over the years, Steven has been an integral part of industry behemoths including Broadcom, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and IBM. His exceptional ability to pioneer multi-hundred-million-dollar products and to lead global sales teams with revenues in the same echelon has consistently demonstrated his capability for high-impact leadership.

Steven serves as a thought leader in various technology consortiums. He was a founding board member and former Chairperson of the Open Mainframe Project, under the aegis of the Linux Foundation. His role as a Board Advisor continues to shape the advocacy for open source implementations of mainframe technologies.

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