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    Lenovo Unfurls SaaS Application for Virtual Learning at CES

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    While Lenovo is best known for its hardware, the manufacturer of PCs, tablets and smartphones over the last year has been building out a software portfolio. At the 2016 edition of the CES event this week, Lenovo unfurled its first software-as-a-service (SaaS) application in the form of an AirClass virtual learning service.

    Sal Patalano, chief revenue officer for Lenovo Software, says Lenovo is not only trying to enhance the end user computing experience; it’s committed to making it simpler to invoke additional application services. For example, later this year Patalano says Lenovo will roll out a version of its existing Unified Workspace software as a cloud service.

    AirClass is built on top of the Stoneware cloud platform that Lenovo acquired in 2012. While Lenovo has been slow to expand the number of cloud services it provides, Patalano says AirClass is actually the first SaaS application that Lenovo has ever built. Previously, Lenovo applications only ran on the device or a local server.

    In the case of AirClass, Patalano says Lenovo is keen to show how its virtual learning application can be applied across multiple types of devices, including those not manufactured by Lenovo. What makes the Lenovo AirClass service different is that the cameras on the devices can be used to capture and analyze the level of attention being paid to any given presentation.

    As Lenovo expands its software portfolio, Patalano says, organizations of all sizes should expect to see Lenovo engage customers more not just on what types and classes of devices to use, but also at an application level that highlights just what those devices are capable of really accomplishing both inside and outside of the workplace.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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