Lenovo Offers Business PC Customers a Little Help

After buying IBM's personal computer division, the PC maker plans to open a U.S. facility, where it will work with Microsoft, Symantec and others to help customers better integrate business computing resources.

One way that Lenovo Group, which recently acquired IBMs PC division, wants to attack the PC market is through closer collaboration with business customers.

The company on Tuesday announced plans to establish a new Lenovo Innovation Center near its offices in Research Triangle Park, N.C. The center, Lenovo Group Ltd. says, will allow its customers to work with software makers LANDesk Software Ltd., Microsoft Corp. and Symantec Corp., as well as with hardware and services players IBM and Intel Corp., in an effort to put together different bits of technology more easily.

The center, which will be staffed with employees from all six companies, will serve to create and validate ways to use PCs to beef up security, for example.

A customer might use it for a project that replaces standard passwords with fingerprints for logging into its databases. Many Lenovo IBM ThinkPads already come with fingerprint readers installed.

Lenovo, which is still formulating plans for its product lines, also will use the facility in an effort to set itself apart from its major competitors, such as Dell Inc.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read about Lenovo executives deliberating on the companys future.

"Youve got a lot of other guys out there saying, Let the R&D [research and development] be done by Intel and Microsoft, and Im going to focus on innovating other parts of the business," said Deepak Advani, a senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Lenovo.

"Thats a fine way to do it. But were saying innovation matters, not just with the PC but with the entire solution."

Thus, while the facility wont be used to design new desktops or notebooks, it will serve to make them work better inside a business environment, Advani said.

Construction of the center is expected to be completed during the third quarter. Lenovo said the center is already taking proposals for its first set of projects.

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