SMEs Need Their Cloud Managed Partners More than Ever

Are you considering using cloud and managed services, but are afraid of the costs and complexity, or are unsure how your SME business can benefit? You are not alone. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for business continuity, resilience, and disaster recovery, and cloud-related technologies allow businesses during times of lockdowns to enable remote working, continue to serve their customers online, and also protect their data. The Government, too, has made cloud-based technologies and solutions a focus area of the Malaysia Digital Economy blueprint.

SMEs in particular can benefit significantly from embarking on digital transformation and digitalizing their business models and processes. This includes gaining improved access to information and resources, integrating themselves into regional and global markets, and fostering greater productivity. According to SME Corp, SMEs that use social media saw productivity increase by 26%, while those using e-commerce had productivity grow by 27%.

However, despite this potential that cloud services offer, many Malaysian SMEs remain bound to legacy systems. SME Corp, for instance, notes that approximately 77% of Malaysian SMEs remain at the basic digitalisation stage, and only 53.9% had a Web presence in 2019, much less anything more sophisticated. According to a 2021 report from the World Bank, while “the pandemic has accelerated the level of digitization among firms in Malaysia”, “small and medium-sized firms’ rate of digital adoption continues to lag behind those of large firms”.

There are many factors why this is the case. The World Bank pointed out that lack of financing was one of the factors limiting the digitisation and digitalisation of SMEs, alongside digital skills shortages. SME Corp agrees, stating that according to a survey conducted by SME Corp and Huawei, 60% of business owners were unaware of the various financing options available to them, and 34% thought that cloud computing was expensive. Further, only 15% of Malaysians have the advanced ICT skills needed for digital transformation.

One solution that SMEs should therefore consider is finding the right managed services partner that can walk them through the entire digital transformation process from end to end. Such a trusted partner would be able to customise and tailor packages that suit the needs of the individual SME in question.

One such partner that SMEs should bear in mind is IT giant Lenovo. A Fortune 500 company, Lenovo is one of the world’s largest PC makers and is perhaps most well-known for its hardware products, having purchased IBM’s PC division and Motorola Mobility few decades ago – before further innovating on the products and solutions regarded by many as “the latest and greatest within industry”.

What many may not know is that Lenovo actually offers a complete portfolio of cloud infrastructure and services from servers to software under its Cloud Service Provider (CSP) Program, and has done so since 2015, making it a global Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS) provider. Whatever issues SMEs face, Lenovo is able to address with its comprehensive suite of offerings, drawing on its myriad partnerships with industry software leaders, and supported by a wide range of professional services.

This is ideal for SMEs that find the whole idea of cloud services complex and confusing, not knowing where to start, much less where to go from there. For such SMEs, Lenovo offers a dedicated team that will walk them throughout the entire deployment process, from planning and purchasing, through to implementation, providing them insights into the options and benefits available for each service offering, as well as extensive support along the entire journey.

Lenovo is aware that each SME is different, having different needs and facing different constraints in terms of costs and capabilities. Hence, Lenovo’s dedicated team of experts will work with SMEs extensively to design the best custom solution that cater to their particular business needs and budgets. It provides businesses with true end-to-end capabilities, helping personalise unique cloud-based solutions that will empower businesses to design, build and deploy locally and worldwide – all in-house.

Lenovo CSP Program solutions offer the greatest flexibility for cloud subscriptions in terms of pricing and licensing. This makes it ideal for SMEs that anticipate a period of sustained and increasing business growth and scalability, and may be concerned that their cloud-based solution’s licensing terms will not be able to keep up with their growth, or that costs will skyrocket as a result. However, with Lenovo, customers can freely adjust their subscriptions’ license counts without undergoing separate quotation or ordering processes. Lenovo also provides a 12-month price guarantee (from the first subscription date) for all license-based subscriptions.

The company’s XaaS offerings include Device-as-a-Service, providing hardware, software, and optional managed services on a subscription basis. As part of the subscription, businesses can consider Lenovo ThinkBook devices such as the Lenovo ThinkBook 15 Gen 2. This powerful laptop sports up to a cutting-edge 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processor with Intel® Iris® Xᵉ graphics. The Lenovo ThinkBook 15 Gen 2 operates on Windows 10 Pro. Get a FREE upgrade to Windows 111 (when available, see below). Windows 11 Pro is the most secure Windows yet, delivering powerful built-in security.

As part of its overall service offerings, Lenovo promises its clients free, centralised 24/7 support across the globe via email and phone, for prioritised ticket escalation. Through the premier support for partners program from Microsoft, Lenovo has a dedicated technical account manager who can assist customers in a timely and professional manner. SMEs who want to begin their digital transformation journey, and are ready to experience how Lenovo’s CSP Program can help improve productivity and support their workforce both on-site and remotely, can learn more by visiting the Lenovo Tech Today website.

1The Windows 11 upgrade will be delivered to qualifying devices late 2021 into 2022. Timing will vary by device. Certain features require specific hardware (see aka.ms/windows11-spec).”

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