Lenovo’s TruScale, Announced back in February 2019, TruScale is Lenovo’s effort to stay ahead of the as-a-service trend and develop an umbrella service, similar to IBM’s multicloud effort, that includes third-party offerings as well as in incorporate their efforts and both have the value of using a general contractor to oversee both the services provided by the company and the services provided by those third parties.
As-a-service offerings are on the rise, and Lenovo’s offering is particularly interesting in this regard given its potential scale and aggressive nature of the offering.
Let’s take a look at Lenovo’s TruScale:
It is somewhat ironic that under IBM the computer industry started as a service. In the early days of the mainframe, you couldn’t buy the hardware. Software and services were included in the monthly fee, and while the resulting solution didn’t really scale up or down with demand as modern as-a-service offerings, it was clearly more of a service than a purchasing model.
This initial service model had several major benefits. Customers were effectively attached to IBM and remained loyal because IBM made a point of treating customers like family. Customer loyalty was high for IBM during the mainframe years. Services revenue was also incredibly predictable, not going up or down with economic conditions. IBM became not only one of the best employers, but also one of the most reliable investments in the fledgling technology industry.
There was one big problem, however: IBM effectively saturated the computer market. So IBM started selling its mainframes and changed the market from one with massive stability and customer loyalty to one more based on one-off purchases that were more cyclical in nature. Now IBM had to do software updates to generate revenue and hardware updates.
IBM later became the company it is today and is laser focused again. With its multicloud solutions and other as-a-service offerings, it offers solid, service-based solutions.
The market has always looked back fondly to the days when a vendor treated technology as a service and customer companies could focus on staffing the business rather than technology delivery, maintenance and support.
This led to an increase in as-a-service offerings. Lenovo TruScale is one of the newest.
By leveraging partners such as Nutanix (virtual PCs) and SAP, in conjunction with internal product offerings such as ThinkAgile and ThinkSystem, Lenovo has created an offering that combines the capabilities of Lenovo with those of top partners to deliver one of the most comprehensive as-a-service -Offers on the market.
TruScale is designed as a true consumption-based model, and there doesn’t seem to be a minimum capacity commitment. On paper, the service can be scaled up or down based on customer needs, which has been problematic for IT companies as it poses significant revenue and profit risk for the vendor while providing a solution that is much closer to what IT buyers say wanted in an as-a-service offering. Most initial as-a-service offerings had purchasing elements and shared financial risks that IT wasn’t comfortable with, but Lenovo seems willing to take the risk to break into the infrastructure segment as a relatively new player.
Lenovo partners participating in this offering, such as CDW and SYNNEX, have publicly praised it, and the service now includes offerings from VMware and Microsoft Azure.
Lenovo’s TruScale as-a-service offering is one of the most aggressive on the market, ultimately promising a single point of contact for all of the company’s as-a-service offerings.
It will take time to become this comprehensive, but partners like SAP, Nutanix, VMware, and Microsoft are filling the gaps well as this offering grows.
I have yet to survey those who have used this service extensively and will update when that happens, but if you’re looking for a comprehensive as-a-service offering, it would be worth your time checking out this Lenovo offering, if only as an indication of where the market is going and for long term planning.
Especially in times of key skill shortages, a comprehensive technology-as-a-service offering like TruScale can be an ideal way to acquire the skills that are so scarce today.