Smart IoT is part of Lenovo’s future plan.
Chairman and CEO of Lenovo, Yang Yuanqing with the much anticipated Motorola Razr.
The foldable ThinkPad X1 made its first appearance since its preview in May.

From smart cities to transportation, retail and even healthcare, one tech giant is embracing the age of data intelligence, writes Nur Zarina Othman

TECH giant Lenovo is working towards a greener and smarter future where it is using data intelligence to power the industry, especially in manufacturing and retail.

“Over the past two years, we’ve been trying to imagine what a brighter future in the intelligent era will look like.

Now — after all our hard work — we have truly entered the age of intelligence, where data intelligence is powering industry transformation at large,” says Yuanqing Yang, chairman and chief executive officer of Lenovo during his keynote speech delivery at the Tech World event in Beijing.

Smart cities, smart transportation, smart retail, smart finance, smart healthcare — these are some of the transformative technologies covered in the company’s effort to enable technology accessibility to as many people as possible.

Making the shift towards green, smart manufacturing is critical to nurture a more efficient, low-carbon and sustainable future.

Lenovo is partnering with Schneider Electric so that it can adopt the power of digital innovation in manufacturing.

“A scale up of IoT and smart solutions is key to greater efficiency and a more sustainable planet,” says Jean-Pascal Tricoire, chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric. Leveraging on the strengths of both companies, combining Lenovo’s Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) LeapIOT solution with Schneider Electric’s smart green manufacturing solution, the combination will build a blueprint which can be used as a smart manufacturing solution for discrete and hybrid manufacturing operations.

“This strategic partnership will catapult the intelligent transformation of the manufacturing industry and enable breakthroughs in smart green manufacturing.

“Going forward, we will continue to form more partnerships of this nature to accelerate the transformation of various industries and embrace the age of intelligence,” says Yang.

As its first step, Lenovo kicked off its intelligent transformation journey from within.

Powered by data intelligence from as early as 2013, the company has been utilising its smart technology and management systems covering the full value chain encompassing research, production, supply, sales and service to increase efficiency, meet demands and elevate satisfaction.

“The process has enabled us to improve the quality and efficiency of manufacturing and better satisfy clients’ demand for personalisation and customisation. The ‘Smarter Technology for All’ saying we all live by is testament to our commitment towards being a leader and help shape the intelligent transformation which now sweeping across the globe.

“We will do our utmost to leverage data intelligence to provide smarter technologies, products, platforms and services for customers, to drive transformation forward, help upgrade various industries and create a better, more intelligent future,” adds Yang. In its effort to becoming a key enabler and driver in the Era of Data Intelligence, Lenovo applied what it calls data intelligence.

Data intelligence or industry intelligence is when data is regarded as the fuel while computing power as the engine for more effective decision-making outcome, where efficient business processes can be attained through big data tools and advanced algorithms combined with the knowhow of people.

“This data intelligence concept will empower the intelligent transformation of all industries. It is poised to serve as the steering wheel for industry transformation, bringing about an industrial revolution that will progress and benefit society and lead us into an exciting era of data intelligence.”

According to a forecast from Deloitte, the global AI market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 30 per cent from 2017 to 2025 with projection of more than US$6 trillion.

Looking at the great potential the AI market is offering, Lenovo has been vigorously promoting intelligent transformation through three key initiatives — Smart IoT where all data generated acts as fuel and foundation for the intelligent transformation exercise; the Smart infrastructure which underpins end-edge-cloud-network synergy with a focus on end-edge, edge network and edge-cloud collaboration to meet industries’ need for computing power; and Smart vertical where the company create “architectural blueprints” based on business pain points and business needs to construct “building blocks” to complete the construction of intelligent transformation as needed.

Smart technology will reshape the shopping experience.

The past few years have been described as “retail apocalypse”, with the closing of many retail stores around the world.

However, the retail industry is not dead but is going through a revolution. Customers are simply buying things differently today.

New retail business models based on disruptive digital technologies are emerging. Experiences are taking over where stores hosting unique, in-store-only sales and themed events make use of technology compared to the traditional retail experience. Just by installing interactive touch-screens, shoppers can choose products to be sent to their dressing rooms, resulting in a designer boutique tripling its clothing sales.

However, the technology does not end there. Many fashion outlets are trying out interactive mirrors which allow customers to view how the outfit look like on them without having to physically fit into it.

Lenovo is getting its hand in this in its effort to transform the community into a smart one.

As part of the driving force of the seismic shifts happening in retail, Lenovo offers technologies and solutions to forward-thinking retailers to foster ground-breaking, systematic change that’s driving the transformation of the entire retail supply chain.

The company is reimagining grocery shopping by leveraging technologies like AI facial recognition, camera integration, software and IoT to create a cashier-less store that requires only your face for you to make a purchase.

No wallet, purse, credit card, smart phone, cash registers or even store employees are needed.

Retail is still alive and well. For example, Delhaize, a Belgian food retailer which uses Lenovo Scale Computing edge infrastructure solution, has transformed its stores into an intelligent stores by reducing time spent deploying and managing edge IT infrastructure with a solution that can host traditional and IoT applications on the same hardware.

The solution also helps streamline retail IT operations at the store level while providing a foundation for enhancing the customer experience and reducing costs.

Lenovo aims to continue to be a big part of the shift by providing critical capabilities from phone and IoT to infrastructure and data where needed.