Lenovo’s ThinkSystem at 30: System, Software, Security and Sustainability Innovations

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  September 21, 2022

It can be challenging to celebrate longevity in a tech industry obsessed with newness and youth. But decades-long success is difficult to disagree with, especially when a company steadily progresses in market and technical leadership. In the case of Lenovo’s Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG), the celebration in question is the 30th anniversary of the launch of the company’s ThinkSystem servers.

To mark the date, Lenovo announced Infrastructure Solutions V3 which it described as “the most comprehensive portfolio enhancement” in its history. The new offerings include ThinkSystem, ThinkAgile and ThinkEdge servers and storage systems, enhanced ThinkShield security features, a new XClarity management platform and sustainability-focused solutions, like next-gen Lenovo Neptune warm water-cooling and carbon offset services. Let’s consider Lenovo’s Infrastructure Solutions V3 offerings and what they mean for the company and its customers and partners. Continue reading

Dell Technologies – Adding APEX Value and Variety to Channel Partners’ Options

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  September 21, 2022

As vendors, businesses and end users continue to move to subscription computing services, it is important to understand how this transition will impact third parties, like value added resellers (VARs) and other channel ecosystem members. Why so? Because in many cases, channel partners serve as the main point of contact between vendors and clients, especially smaller and regionally based businesses. Keeping those partners happy is vital to vendors’ bottom lines.

More importantly, since vendors are constantly hunting for new opportunities and have the technical and financial resources required to develop new solutions and business lines, they can also help translate those opportunities into terms that channel partners can understand and support. Last week, Rola Dagher, Dell Technologies’ Global Channel Chief, outlined enhancements to Dell’s APEX portfolio and services that are designed to expand channel partners’ skills and solution sets. Let’s consider these new options. Continue reading

IBM’s New LinuxONE Emperor 4 – Big Blue’s Big Green Bets

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  September 14, 2022

When it comes to data centers, energy efficiency is a broad and complex topic. That is largely due to the number of server, system and facilities components that consume electricity. But it also includes less tangible issues, including fluctuating utilities costs, affordability of local energy sources and concerns about environmental degradation and global warming.

IBM has been a central player in these issues for decades though the company has taken a number of different paths that lead to or result in enhancing compute performance while maximizing energy efficiency. IBM’s new 4th generation LinuxONE server, the Emperor 4, shows how the company is continuing and advancing this process. Continue reading

IBM Tailors IBM i System Subscriptions for SMEs

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  September 7, 2022

Small- to medium-sized enterprises and businesses (SMEs/SMBs) face some unique challenges when it comes to accessing and adopting new technologies and IT services. Not surprisingly, tech vendors tend to initially target deep pocketed large enterprises with latest/greatest solutions and services, with more modestly sized and priced offerings suitable for smaller organizations coming months afterward. That can be painful for SMEs that are sensitive to technological and competitive issues in specific markets, regions and industries.

These points are worth considering related to IBM’s new System Subscription solutions for its IBM i customers, and how those businesses are likely to benefit from these offerings. Continue reading

Dell’s XPS 13 Plus – Delivering Established Value in a Bold New Design

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  August 31, 2022

Product development is often a delicate balancing act, especially when vendors are updating well-established devices like consumer and commercial laptops. Since it is all too easy to get things wrong, many laptop vendors simply let things lie and make incremental changes or simply add in next gen CPUs and other components. But there is a strong case for modernizing classic laptop designs to account for valuable new technologies and evolving customer preferences or habits.

That is certainly the case with Dell’s new XPS 13 Plus 9320, one of the boldest examples of a vendor reimagining and enhancing one of its most successful solutions. Let’s consider why and how that is the case. Continue reading

Lenovo’s AI Innovators Program – Speeding AI Development and Deployments

By Charles King, Pund-IT®

The tech industry is well known for creating innovative new business solutions. However, just as important is the work vendors do to make those offerings practical and usable for enterprise clients. That is especially important when it comes to highly technical projects, such as applying artificial intelligence (AI) tools mainstream and in emerging business use cases. Without such efforts, even the most promising new developments can languish and fail.

Lenovo’s new AI Innovators program is a notable example of how one vendor is approaching this process and delivering practical new solutions with the help of strategic partners. Continue reading

IBM Wazi aaS, Eurobank and the Value of Mainframe DevOps in the Cloud

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  August 10, 2022

As cloud computing continues to evolve and mature, why businesses deploy processes and workloads in the cloud is just as vital to understand as when they adopt cloud solutions or which platforms they choose. It is also important to note that while public cloud providers’ portfolios share numerous similarities, some also offer solutions and services which are essentially unique.

A good example of that point is IBM Cloud’s Wazi as-a-Service (aaS) which provides enterprises on-demand access to zEnterprise mainframe development and testing capabilities. Why this is important and how one IBM customer, Eurobank, is using and has benefitted from Wazi aaS was the subject of a recent analyst briefing that is worth considering in detail. Continue reading

Dell’s Latitude 9330: Emphasizing the Value of Adaptability in Business Endpoints

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  July 27, 2022

Enterprises worldwide have clearly faced a wide array of serious business, logistical and operational challenges during the past 2+ years. Equally undeniable is the value that many or most have realized from technology solutions that helped them adapt to those challenges. As a result, companies have survived or even thrived despite elemental shifts in the way they deal with employees, customers, partners and business processes.

Unfortunately, it is a mistake to believe that these disruptions are over. Far from it, the continuing appearance of Covid-19 variants suggests that many of the changes that companies hoped were temporary fixes have become and likely will remain in place. The question then becomes what capabilities organizations should look for in new and next generation endpoint devices that help workers continue to thrive?

Dell’s new Latitude 9330 2-in-1 provides innovative answers that enterprises would do well to consider. Continue reading

IBM Expands Power10 Portfolio with Midrange and Scale-Out Solutions

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  July 12, 2022

The close links between industry standard silicon and system vendors are clear every time new or next gen microprocessors hit the market. Intel or AMD issues a press release highlighting their latest achievements, along with a list of server vendors supporting those products. Those vendors highlight how they will utilize the chips’ features and advancements and then, over time, roll out new solutions.

A couple of decades ago, system vendors that developed their own processors, including IBM, HP and Sun followed similar paths with a couple of wrinkles. They certainly spotlighted new features, but they also focused attention on proprietary technologies developed for their customers’ specific business needs and requirements. Today, IBM is the only commercial system vendor that still develops its own microprocessors, so it is worth discussing how the company’s newest Power servers featuring its latest Power10 chips measure up to the competition. Continue reading

Kyndryl Advances Hybrid Cloud Services with Global Strategic Partnerships

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  June 29, 2022

IT infrastructure services are one of the least understood areas in enterprise technology. That is partly the fault of tech vendors who use the term as a bin to contain whatever data center consulting offerings they prefer or are promoting. But more importantly, difficulties in pinning down or defining the meaning of infrastructure services reflects their continuing evolution.

In essence, IT infrastructure services are designed to help enterprises adopt and deploy complex solutions and tools and adapt to or prepare for promising new technologies. Meaning that the shape and intent of offerings that service providers like Kyndryl provide are in flux according to its customers’ current and upcoming needs.

In other words, it is more important to understand how service vendors are adapting to those changes than to pigeonhole them into rapidly outmoded or redundant definitions. Kyndryl’s collaborations with hybrid cloud strategic partners is a good example of how this process works and can succeed. Continue reading