Evolving Beyond ‘Garage’ Model of Innovation

Broad Support from State of North Carolina

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., May 24, 2005 … Lenovo today announced plans to establish a new Innovation Center that will enable customers, business partners, solution providers and independent software vendors to collaborate on new personal computing solutions to address today’s toughest client IT challenges. North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley praised the investment. “The Innovation Center will attract business leaders from around the world and bring extraordinary resources to our state,” Easley said. “This will grow our technology sector and help us maintain our top-ranked business climate and remain competitive in the global marketplace.”

Intel, IBM, LANDesk, Microsoft, and Symantec are founding partners in the Innovation Center. The facility will be located in Research Triangle Park. N.C., and will be staffed by engineers, programmers, product developers, and sales and marketing professionals from these companies to collaborate in multi-day developmental projects with customers from throughout the world. The center will create an incubation environment for the design, creation, validation, proof of concept, and deployment of new personal computing solutions.

“Lenovo and its partners will use this center to make innovation relevant to our customers,” said Deepak Advani, senior vice president, Lenovo. “It will create a hands-on facility dedicated to eliminating customer pain points, a place where professionals from numerous companies come together and focus on core business processes. Together, our companies offer a vast portfolio of expertise, hardware and software solutions, education, and services. The center will focus those resources on resolving specific customer problems.”

The Innovation Center will include several components: Technology Incubation, Partner Collaboration, Solution Development, Imaging and Training Services, in addition to a Solution Showcase. Participants in the center will include professionals from the new Lenovo, Intel, IBM, LANDesk, Microsoft and Symantec, as well as other technology companies, independent software vendors, and business partners.

The center will act as a collaboration facility for businesses pioneering the conception, development or deployment of new solutions, which often encompass technologies and services from numerous companies. Businesses currently solve these problems in a serial process, meeting one-on-one with multiple companies. At the Innovation Center, professionals from several companies will assemble together for multi-day sessions that brainstorm the possible, interlock components, and resolve the actual details of deployment. These solution phases would be supported by the combined experience level of experts who draw from already-existing solutions in the creation of completely new models.

North Carolina state officials congratulated Lenovo on creation of the center.

Marc Basnight, President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina Senate, said, “Research Triangle Park was originally envisioned as a place for great innovation in technology, and this new partnership takes that vision to the next level. The Innovation Center will put North Carolina on the map as a place to solve some of the world’s toughest technology challenges. I applaud Lenovo, IBM and the founding partners for their leadership in taking this unique collaborative approach.”

Jim Black, Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, said, “The Research Triangle Park continues to be one of the premier locations in the world for technology, research and health related jobs, and the new Innovation Center will also ensure that North Carolina continues to be a major player in the future. Lenovo, IBM, Microsoft and other founding partners of the Innovation Center are to be commended for their efforts and foresight to bring together customers, businesses and software vendors to find the best possible solutions to technology challenges faced by customers.”

Richard Morgan, North Carolina House Speaker Pro Tempore, said, “Lenovo’s decision to locate its new Innovation Center in Research Triangle Park is further evidence that North Carolina continues to be a destination state for the technology industry. Our ongoing commitment to economic growth and development, and our strong dedication to education continue to make North Carolina attractive to businesses seeking to expand or locate here. Lenovo not only provides high quality jobs for our citizens but also provides computing solutions for businesses worldwide. This is precisely the kind of business that North Carolina needs to move our economy into the 21st century. I look forward to a long and productive partnership with the Innovation Center.”

And Beverly Perdue, Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina, said, “I welcome Lenovo’s plans to establish an innovation center in the Triangle. Bringing together Intel, IBM, Landesk, Microsoft and Symantec in collaboration for the development of innovative products and services is a great model and perfect fit for RTP. I look forward to working with the Innovation Center and encouraging other tech businesses to consider the advantages of doing business in North Carolina.”

Committed to the development of innovative products and services, Lenovo and its collaboration partners will continue to serve as the whiteboard for innovation for the PC industry.

Support from Intel “The Innovation Center provides a direct way for the industry to test and implement real-world business solutions to issues our customers face every day,” said Sean Maloney, executive vice president and general manager, Intel Mobility Group. “The center takes a look at the entire platform – from hardware and software to services – to create solutions. This directly complements Intel’s focus on platforms like the Intel® Centrino™ mobile technology and other research and development areas such as virtualization and active management technology which strives to bring additional value to our customers.”

Support from IBM “In the 21st century global economy, the basis of innovation lies in collaboration and expertise to foster new ideas, technologies and processes,” said Tony Romero, general manager, Lenovo Alliance, IBM. “The launch of this center will do much for technology advancements across all industries.”

Support from LANDesk “The task of managing software licenses, regulatory compliance audits, and remote system troubleshooting in a heterogeneous environment is getting more and more difficult,” said Joe Wang, President and CEO, LANDesk Software. “Additionally, IT organizations must work constantly to keep up with patches, spyware detection and removal, and other security configuration issues. The new Lenovo Innovation Center provides us a unique means of collaborating with our customers and partners to create solutions that bring security and control to complex IT environments, delivering increased business value from IT investments.”

Support from Microsoft “Creating and maintaining a secure client infrastructure is a challenge that requires the integration of a range of applications, tools, technologies and services,” said Rodrigo Costa, vice president, OEM Division, Microsoft. “The Innovation Center will help facilitate that integration by providing an environment where customers can work in collaboration with Microsoft and other technology companies to develop new and innovative solutions. It will also provide an environment where customers can receive hands-on training on new technologies.”

Support from Symantec “IBM and Symantec have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship for many years on a number of fronts – global service delivery, hardware and also software,” said John Schwarz, Chief Operating Officer, Symantec. “Innovation and thought leadership for the enterprise are central to Lenovo’s strategy and the Lenovo Innovation Center will allow Symantec to continue to be actively engaged in creating innovative security solutions for customers. We look forward to our continued collaboration with Lenovo and our partners in the Innovation Center.”

Customer-Centric Model A customer-centric model for innovation will be reflected in the center. Partners in the Innovation Center see innovation today as occurring more quickly, easily surmounting barriers of geography and enabling a shorter cycle between invention and implementation.

“Until recently, people hunkering down in a garage could create a new technology that would sweep the world,” Advani said. “But innovation today requires wider collaboration across disciplines and specialties. Combinations of technologies, expertise, business models and processes will now drive innovation.”

The Innovation Center will be located at Lenovo’s facilities in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, within a 30-minute drive of the campuses of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, and North Carolina State University. Construction is expected to be completed in the early third quarter of 2005, and proposals for initial customer projects are now being accepted.

For more information about innovation in ThinkPad notebooks, ThinkCentre desktops, and ThinkVantage Technologies, see www.thinkpad.com/innovation .

Contact: Bob Page, Lenovo919 991 3467 rpage@us.lenovo.com


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