Lenovo has launched its Smart Collaboration product suite, offering several business communication solutions that enable hybrid work environments.

Given how the way teams work, collaborate, and make decisions have fundamentally changed, the Smart Collaboration portfolio of solutions enhance employee productivity and engagement regardless of their geographic location.

Remote collaboration has become a strategic imperative for businesses looking to remain competitive in the post-pandemic world. Such has been the impact of this that during the first eight months of 2020, at least 100 digital remote collaboration products were launched. The same research has found that CEOs expected 36% of their employees to be working remotely.

According to Forrester, knowledge workers see value in sharing information, finding documents, meeting efficiently, and gathering ideas. By embracing collaboration platforms, companies can boost productivity by 10%, resulting in up to four hours saved per work week. This is significant given today’s competitive landscape.

“Designing specific solutions to address different collaboration needs will drive real-world benefits,” says Thibault Dousson, GM of Lenovo SA. “Organisations can cultivate a positive employee experience and enable flexible working, which helps to attract and retain talent while unleashing workforce creativity. The solutions themselves can include hardware, software, and services.

“The Lenovo Smart Collaboration ecosystem of solutions enable this by providing the platform essentially to fully migrate to a hybrid work environment.”

The Lenovo Smart Collaboration offering launched today consists of:

* ThinkSmart View. This eight-inch HD IPS touchscreen device is built on the Microsoft Teams platform and handles videoconferencing, content viewing, and more. This collaborative smart device works from an individual’s workspace, tackling administrative tasks that waste a computer’s resources.

* ThinkSmart Cam. An enterprise-grade artificial intelligence smart camera designed for video collaboration and is certified for Microsoft Teams and Zoom platforms. This high-resolution Web camera provides users with a wide field-of-view and supports features like auto-framing, auto-zoom, and whiteboard awareness.

* ThinkSmart Bar. This premium soundbar features built-in beamforming microphones for an immersive audio experience in meeting rooms. It is purpose-built for meeting room-based video conferencing and can be paired with a computing device or used as a standard plug-and-play speaker.

* ThinkSmart Manager. This software provides a single console with which companies can manage their entire ThinkSmart network of collaborative solutions. Whether it is remote deployments or configuring, protecting, and auto-updating software on each ThinkSmart device, the ThinkSmart Manager software enables this with ease.

* ThinkSmart Hub. An all-in-one video conferencing room system configured with Microsoft Teams and Zoom software. This smart device provides meeting hosts with complete control over meetings from a centralised location.

* ThinkSmart Tiny. A poly conference room solution that integrates with existing Poly solutions and bundled with the latest Poly controller. It provides a robust and intuitive compute platform for meeting and learning spaces designed to improve productivity and collaboration.

* ThinkSmart Professional Services. An integrated environment providing the support companies require to facilitate hybrid work. This provides businesses with personalised and professional services that help them get the most out of their Lenovo ThinkSmart devices and technologies.

All these solutions support the Microsoft Windows 11 operating system and Microsoft AutoPilot technology that makes deploying Windows and applications to devices a more user-friendly experience.

“It’s clear that hybrid work is here to stay – both in terms of the approach to work and the technology needed to accommodate this way of working,” says Colin Erasmus, director of modern workplace and security at Microsoft South Africa. “Business leaders need to place their people at the centre of their efforts and use technology as an enabler to enhance work culture, productivity and well-being to create a better future of work.

“The Lenovo Smart Collaboration environment provides the ideal hardware ecosystem on which to deploy Microsoft software. Together, Lenovo and Microsoft can make working remotely an easier proposition for organisations across industry sectors.”

There will be a continued growth of hybrid working models with traditional offices transitioning to become more dynamic and collaborative business centres. Video conferencing and collaboration platforms are playing a critical role in helping employees stay productive, engaged, and connected wherever they are.

“At Lenovo, we continue to look ahead and understand the importance in maintaining those connections. At home or in redesigned meeting spaces, the Lenovo ThinkSmart product environment delivers intelligent solutions to meet the variety of conferencing needs. The right technology provides not just productivity, but personal connections so important to collective well-being. Our goal is to continue to innovate to bring people together,” concludes Dousson.

Editor@tech-talk.co.za