By HUSNIYE GUNGOR
Lenovo and SAP have joined forces to make technology investment easier for the business world. Lenovo’s everything-as-a-service solution TruScale, which runs on SAP’s software-as-a-service system S/4 HANA Cloud, is ready for installation after 12 months of cooperative work. The first global installation of TruScale, which claims to provide speed, flexibility, security, and cash flow management for companies, took place in Turkey last week. Visiting Istanbul for this specific occasion, Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG) Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) President Giovanni Di Filippo said that this is just the beginning since the platform can be utilized for many other things in the future.
A five-year contract was signed with a Turkish public entity, which declined to be named, for the platform, which simplifies technology investments by packaging many IT components such as hardware, service, software, maintenance, and training. TruScale gives companies all the power and strategic advantage of the latest data center hardware through a pay-as-you-go business model. Scaling for companies will be easier without incremental capital investments and they will be able to focus more on their bigger picture, thanks to included 24/7 proactive monitoring, management, and services, according to Di Filippo.
Di Filippo said that he wanted to meet with this very important customer, which is making an investment in Lenovo and SAP, and make the first global announcement of the installment of the TruScale platform in Istanbul. “I really wanted to come to Turkey and discuss the rollout of this project with my friend Ugur [SAP Turkey GM Ugur Candan] and wanted to meet with the customer. Because it is a start. When you have a journey, it is important that you meet your customer face to face.” He will also meet other customers and partners, he added.
“This morning (March 22) we had a two-hour session, where we met the executives our most important partner. We presented our vision, strategy, and roadmap we are taking as an organization because we are growing exponentially. Last quarter we had our best quarter ever, with USD 20bn turnover and a 62% increase in net income compared to the previous year,” he said.
Di Filippo knows the Turkish market very well from his previous roles in international, multi-billion-dollar technology companies including SAP. Lenovo’s relationship with SAP goes back 25 years. The two companies have more than 15,000 installations worldwide. The SAP headquarters in Waldorf, Germany has a laboratory with a huge Lenovo infrastructure on which SAP is constantly testing its new application and services. “For us, this is a win-win strategic partnership on a global scale,” Di Filippo said.
He does not hesitate to point out that TruScale’s installation is a first in the world and happening in Turkey, not in Japan, Australia, or North America. “I am really proud that this is happening in Turkey because it proves that Turkey is an innovative country. We have significant opportunities in Turkey,” he noted.
“When you look at large enterprise companies they use capital expenditure to buy installed infrastructure and deploy solutions and services from SAP, for example, such as ERP, cloud, HR, or e-commerce solutions. However, this always requires infrastructure. Now we have built a concept which is called ‘as-a-service,’ where you don’t have to pay for a one-time investment. Instead, you pay on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis, just like paying a utility bill.”
Better cash-flow management
Di Filippo identifies TruScale as an important solution as it will also help the customer to have better cash flow management. “They can use the money which they don’t spend on infrastructure for other projects. That is where we want to help,” he said.
So, it is a complete next-generation of solutions that Lenovo is building with SAP, offering an on-premises subscription model, according to Di Filippo. The companies will be able to balance their peak times by utilizing the service more or less according to their needs and paying as they are using it. “We will see it becoming an avalanche,” he says, adding that other companies will follow suit once the solution goes more public.
The solution will be customized for each customer, per their pain points and expectations, Di Filippo said. “For the installation in Turkey we worked with SAP hand in hand for 12 months until we came to the point where we have now signed a contract,” he said.
“We are number one in terms of platform, SAP is number one in application cloud services. Two number ones are coming together and serving the customers of all kinds, like multinationals, enterprises, and SMEs,” he said.
Either SAP or Lenovo will conduct marketing for the new solution. Their primary market will be the public sector and enterprises because TruScale is a premium product, as Di Filippo said. “It will provide agility, flexibility, and security for companies. It will also enable them to manage their financial cash flow better by making technology investment affordable,” he said.
Frees up CIOs for core business
Lenovo and SAP discussed internally the fact that their customers should focus on their core competence areas. IT may not be their core competence as a public sector company, for instance, but it is theirs, Di Filippo noted.
“If I were a CIO, I would prefer to focus my time on the vision and strategy of the CEO. If I can outsource certain services to organizations that have a core competency, I will do this. Then I can free up human capital to really focus on supporting business lines or the CEO,” he said.
To him, the launch of the TruScale platform is not the end of the story, it is just the beginning. “This is a combined solution tested and certified between SAP and Lenovo. You will see many more solutions coming up because as we go our platform will be here to serve many industries and verticals with all kinds of solutions. Our platform can be utilized for many other things in the future as well.”
Lenovo ISG EMEA President Giovanni Di Filippo emphasized once again how proud he is about this first installation is happening in Turkey. To him, this shows the willingness of the high-profile customer to start on this path with SAP and Lenovo. They also have an obligation as the first global customer, he added. “We want to make this a big success so that we can say, this customer has taken an asset risk and validated this with us, we built the solution, now we are going to deploy this to our customer’s end-users. That is fantastic,” he said.
A wealth of experience in technology
Giovanni Di Filippo joined Lenovo ISG as President of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) on January 30, 2020. Before Lenovo, Di Pilippo was VP of EMEA for Channels, Sales & Strategic Alliances with Riverbed Technology, where his channel-oriented strategy led his region in 2018 to become the Geography of the Year. Prior to this, he held several Global Vice President-level positions within SAP’s global channel & sales divisions. Following a period as the Managing Director of Central & Eastern Europe and the Gulf region for Cisco, he went on to expand this role to lead the entire CEE, CIS, and Middle East region as well, covering 42 countries in total – a USD 3bn business. Before this, he gained leadership experience with Sun Microsystems and Compaq Computers driving sales in international environments. In more recent times, Giovanni has worked with several European startups, providing consultancy to ensure sustained growth and helping to set up their international sales organizations. This gave him invaluable insight into business agility and innovation.
Leading the Turkish PC market
Lenovo, which closed the last quarter of 2021 with USD 20bn in turnover for the first time, increased its net income by 62% compared to the previous year, reaching USD 640m. Maintaining its strong global performance, Lenovo Turkey also completed 2021 as the leader of the Turkish PC market, just like last year. In 2021, Lenovo led the Turkish PC market with 26.7% market share in the total PC market, 40.1% in the enterprise PC market, 39.5% in the SME PC market, 19.1% in the total consumer PC market, 28.7% in the total laptop market, and 21.7% in the desktop computer market. The Turkish PC market grew by 6%, while Lenovo Turkey grew by 11.2%, in 2021