AiThority Interview with John Stamer, Vice President & GM of Americas Services at Lenovo
Please tell us about your current role and the team / technology you handle at Lenovo.
I currently serve as the Vice President & GM of Americas Services and Software at Lenovo, leading services and software sales, operations, and marketing across the North America and Latin America services business. My team is responsible for developing and providing comprehensive hardware and software solutions to solve Lenovo customers’ challenges.
How much has your role changed through the pandemic months? What unique challenges did you face and how did you overcome these?
The pandemic caused much of the business world to shift to a remote work environment almost immediately and many companies did not have the technology required for this quick shift in operations. Many organizations had to acquire devices and collaboration tools to ensure their employees remained productive in a remote work environment, creating the need for additional back-end IT infrastructure as well.
At Lenovo, our focus shifted to bringing more diagnostic technology to IT providers, so that we could support IT admins in identifying system issues as managing PC fleets became even more essential due to remote work. We know that IT professionals have been under a lot of pressure, so we’ve taken stock of how we can help automate some of their tasks to create efficiencies in their days and improve uptime.
Tell us more about Lenovo Device Intelligence Plus and the technology that drives it.
Lenovo Device Intelligence Plus is a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service device-health management tool that supports Digital Experience Monitoring. Ultimately, we’re enabling businesses to make data-driven decisions to optimize helpdesk costs while increasing employee productivity.
The service uses Lenovo’s AI predictive analytics to identify potential system failures or performance issues before they occur. The tool collects 10,000 data points every 15 seconds from each device, allowing it to monitor millions of aggregated data points across a fleet in real time. All this greatly helps optimize support costs, end-user productivity and the overall end-user experience.
Remote work has put immense pressure on IT resources. What are the biggest challenges that arose in this pandemic period?
Nearly all companies, especially medium and large, have some sort of continuity plan in place, so many are more concerned about data threats than they are another widespread health event like a pandemic.
According to Lenovo’s recent Future of Work study, the increasing use of remotely-connected cloud and collaboration tools has made data security the number one priority for most IT decision makers (ITDMs). Data security and compliance are now siphoning the most time and money from IT functions, while most large and medium-sized companies subscribe to an IT security service.
The study also showed that businesses of all sizes are grappling with how best to keep themselves secure, while committing to a more agile business-centric approach to security that also focuses on the cloud and data.
With the rise of the subscription culture, ITDM respondents – particularly from medium-to-large businesses – expressed growing interest in Device-as-a-Service (DaaS) solutions which can keep hardware up to date, scale technology needs over time, and even free up time and resources for more strategic projects. With a tenth of businesses currently subscribing to a DaaS-like service, almost two-thirds (63 percent) are showing more interest – pointing to an increased crossover of the ‘Everything-as-a-service’ (EaaS) trend from the consumer into the commercial realm. We expect the EaaS model to expand and expedite IT deployments into turnkey solutions.
How does Lenovo help customers meet these IT challenges and improve IT operations?
Lenovo Device Intelligence Plus uses S.M.A.R.T. insights to prevent battery and SSD failures while also mitigating performance degradation issues, such as system slowdowns and crashes. Based on Lenovo internal testing, LDI Plus has an 85 percent accuracy rate in predicting the most common “blue screen of death” failures before they happen.
The Lenovo Device Intelligence deep learning model has also proven itself to be more than 90 percent accurate at pinpointing current and new applications that cause performance degradation.
Our research shows that by using Lenovo Device Intelligence Plus, enterprises can realize an estimated $3.2 million in annual ROI through the optimization of hardware and software assets.
We also see additional savings of up to $186K in annual service desk improvements, and savings of 95 hours per end-user per year.
Is remote workplace going to be the norm, and how does using employee devices hamper IT performance?
We’re seeing that IT departments are willing to help fund device and accessory purchases to help employees work from home efficiently, though it’s possible workers aren’t taking advantage of this as much as they could – only a quarter to a half of workers have taken advantage.
Our research shows 83 percent of IT decision-makers surveyed said they expect post-pandemic work to be remote at least half the time. That’s not an insignificant number. And as IT departments transform and adapt to the future of work, many of their decisions orbit around data security and compliance – a key area to help support and bring value to companies.
We also found that data security is the #1 most time-consuming challenge among IT departments, so we are laser-focused on delivering as much value as we can for IT decision-makers.
Lenovo Device Intelligence Plus is one way we’re easing the burden.
Tell us your opinion on the role of AI ML in IT operations?
AI and machine learning have a very valuable place in IT operations, as these technologies can connect disparate data points across a fleet of devices to identify patterns that may look innocuous to human users. This helps predict and prevent incidents, analyze and resolve issues, and keep fleets running at peak performance.
Of course, with Lenovo Device Intelligence Plus, we pair that AI with a multi-layered security stack with strict data privacy policies. It follows industry best practices and takes a stringent approach to protect sensitive customer data.
Your predictions on the future of Cloud computing in the Device Management industry?
Many companies have indicated that they plan to have their employees work remotely in some capacity, even post-pandemic, so the reliance on cloud computing will only continue to increase in the years ahead. Employees need these tools to collaborate with their colleagues and remain productive, but this also introduces new security threats and device management concerns. Predictive analytics platforms allow the IT professionals to diagnose and mitigate PC health and performance issues, often before they occur, freeing up time and resources. So, we believe that as cloud computing continues to grow in popularity, so will the need for digital experience monitoring.
Thank you, John! That was fun and we hope to see you back on AiThority.com soon.
As a visionary, strategic, and ‘people-first’ leader, I am passionate about stimulating global and domestic business performance by delivering extraordinary top / bottom line growth. Through developing talented people into high-performing organizations, I drive exceptional customer service, and superior operational results.
As an executive, I build trust by clearly communicating strategic vision to both stakeholders and corporate teams and establish solutions with tactics that everyone can support. I have a strong knack for achieving quick wins that prove the value of changes in direction and rally people to work together for the good of the company.
Operationally, I establish disciplined management systems aligned with corporate objectives, and build a continuous improvement culture across the organization. Quarter after quarter, I deliver predictable results, consistently contain costs, maximize resources, and streamline systems for greater accuracy, efficiency, and financial control.
Lenovo is a US$50 billion Fortune Global 500 company, with 63,000 employees and operating in 180 markets around the world. Focused on a bold vision to deliver smarter technology for all, we are developing world-changing technologies that create a more inclusive, trustworthy, and sustainable digital society. By designing, engineering, and building the world’s most complete portfolio of smart devices and infrastructure, we are also leading an Intelligent Transformation – to create better experiences and opportunities for millions of customers around the world.