If you’re a fan of corporate clichés—and who isn’t really—you will have heard the phrase “end-to-end solution” about 6,000 times in your life. As in “Don’t worry, we have an end-to-end solution for you, Mister Customer.” You can see why such an expression had legs: contained in it is a vague yet comforting promise of convenience and progress, a sense that some company has your back and can—for the right price—solve all your problems before you even detect what they are.
Which (awkwardly perhaps) brings me to the genesis of this article. Lenovo makes a ton of devices across multiple product categories. But we frequently present them in isolation—“Check out this new laptop” or “Buy our cool VR headset.” By laying them out here, we thought you might see the full landscape of what we make and how it all fits together in one big (here it comes) end-to-end solution.
We like to think of our technology as the humble enabler of your greatness. That might mean you sharing a simple idea via smartphone that takes seed as a new business or creative endeavor. It might mean you hammering out the mother of all PowerPoints on your laptop, sending your career in an entirely new direction. Or (for a precious few) it might mean connecting 3,400 servers together to create a supercomputer of unfathomable power and possibility.
Which is to say, we've got you covered. Far as I can discern, we design and build devices so you can excel in five basic areas:
- Have fun.
- Live better.
- Connect with people.
- Get s**t done.
- Solve problems.
Did I leave anything out? (Room for comments below.) From smartphones to servers, here’s a quick look at what we make.
Is there a more intimate human-and-device pairing than our relationship with our smartphone? For better (and occasionally for worse), the answer is no. We rely on our phone for everything: it is our camera, our social feed, our link to the world when we’re on the move and our beacon in moments of distress. This is why our Moto phones are designed to last forever (Moto E), take a great picture (Moto G) and remain unphased when they get dropped on the ground or in the sink while you're multi-tasking (Moto Z, Moto X).
Once the darlings of the tech world, tablets have settled in and found their niche. They don’t grab as many headlines as they did 5 years ago but they are far more useful (not to mention powerful) than those earlier iterations. Our range of tablets reveals the broad range of uses people have found for them, from the ruthlessly efficient business-oriented (ThinkPad X1 Tablet) to the artful (Yoga Book with pen) and pure pleasure-seeking (Yoga Tab 3 Pro with projector).
Laptops aren’t what they used to be—and that’s a good thing. (Rumors of their death have been greatly exaggerated.) They are lighter and thinner. They are more powerful, versatile and connected. We’ve come a long way since emerging on the global stage with the 2005 acquisition of the ThinkPad brand. While we proudly carry on that business computing tradition, we’ve also gotten serious about gaming (Legion) and education (Chromebook). And we created an entirely new category—the 2-in-1—so you can flip, twist and spin your way from laptop to tablet (Yoga and Miix).
At the moment, this may be the richest area in tech for sheer, wild experimentation. As you all must know by now, Virtual Reality (VR) is set to revolutionize gaming and a number of other areas by letting us interact with devices and see the world in new ways. We’ve worked with Google to deliver a groundbreaking headset and camera solution (Mirage Solo with Daydream). Augmented Reality (AR) had its first moment on the world stage with Pokemon Go and it continues to proliferate in exciting ways, most noticeably our recent collaboration with Disney (Star Wars: Jedi Challenges).
Watchers of tech industry events like CES know that virtually every object in your home is being reimagined as a “smart _____” at the moment. (Yup, even light bulbs.) Lenovo has been focused on how we can provide different approaches to design and voice, creating devices that can simplify and improve home life (Lenovo Smart Display & Tab 4 Home Assistant Pack) and office teleconferences (ThinkSmart Hub) while expanding the possibilities of your smartphone (Alexa Moto Mod).
Servers, Storage and Networking
Some of you will barely know what a server is. (Yeah, it took me awhile to grasp too.) Think of a computer that morphs into a tank or an aircraft carrier and you’re on the right track. While many of us laptop-toters are achieving things on a humble individual level, servers are out there being the backbone of massive e-commerce businesses and magnificent supercomputers. If we ever cure cancer or find an effective way to combat climate change, we may have servers to thank for all the high-energy data analysis that will have gone into it. Another aspect of our work in the enterprise: we are partnering with Intel on Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) hardware and software that will pave the way for 5G deployment across the globe. Tack on our expanding offerings in storage, networking and services and you find yourself trying really hard not to shout “End-to-end solution!” from the rooftops.
One final note: we’ve made significant investments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) that will inform and transform nearly every future Lenovo device. We see a world of technology shaped by “Augmented Intelligence,” in which tech enhances and elevates human capability rather than replacing it. Exciting times, and we’re thrilled to be your humble enabler as you sprint forward into a wide-open future.
Gavin O'Hara is Creative Lead for Lenovo Social Media.