Lenovo: Partners in productivity

By Rhys Thomas
Rob Makin, WW Executive Director, Device as a Service, Lenovo explains how Modern IT can secure success and stability amid a market of uncertainty...

“We had to move very quickly when COVID-19 struck,” says Rob Makin. 

Makin, who has spent the past 25 years leading IT sales and business teams across Europe and APAC, is closing in on six years at Lenovo. There he heads up the worldwide Device as a Service (DaaS) business, helping companies adapt their IT infrastructure to empower employees and move away from the outmoded CapEx model. 

His team has been busy the past 12 months guiding businesses through the complex process of switching to a remote workforce, dispersed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But while the coronavirus outbreak forced the hand of some, Lenovo DaaS has been helping business shift to more flexible device management for years.

“This basically entails us managing the full life cycle of their devices,” Makin explains, likening it to a “mobile phone experience” where onboarding and updates require little input on the part of the end user. Lenovo handles distribution of devices - in the office or, more frequently these days, at home - remotely testing, loading software and preferences, and managing any issues or updates along the way. At the end of the chosen contract period, Lenovo collects the device, closing the loop.

“From a productivity point, it’s a huge advantage; from an experience point, it’s a huge advantage, particularly when we are working from home and don’t have that IT specialist to go to,” Makin explains. Overhauling legacy IT systems “can take months or years, but it's when we have a partnership approach with our customers that it works best,” he says.

Lenovo has a close partnership with financial services leader Wesleyan. “We’re very proud of our relationship at Wesleyan. It’s very much a cohesive team, which makes the support of their workplace environment a simple thing. We also deliver predictability of cost, something that was important before the pandemic and now even more vital for organisations.” 

Lenovo DaaS ensures stability in user experience and cost-age at Wesleyan, but Makin says the two firms are collaborating on further transformations to continue this momentum into the post-COVID market. 

“We are talking to Wesleyan about how we can implement Lenovo Device Intelligence, our predictive and proactive analytics, across their devices,” Makin says. “This means rather than a device having errors or faults, whether it be software or hardware, we want to be able to predict when it's going to have an issue.” 

The analytics platform will also help Lenovo “define the personas of their individuals” to ensure every professional within an organisation has the right device and resources to remain productive and able to perform for “the best output” wherever they are.

This flexibility will be key to the future success of businesses, says Makin, who believes that in our current climate, the companies that have moved to a more Modern IT structure “have potentially done better than the organisations that weren't able to move”.

“And that's certainly what we at Lenovo DaaS believe in; what we are developing and expanding to is to really look at Modern IT low-touch as a service. We want to really accelerate and support enterprises and the businesses moving forward as we come out of the pandemic.”

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