Even if you are the very best at your job, you need the right tools to do it in the best possible way. Yes, masters can use a toothpick and still come out on top, but - let’s be frank - most of us are not at that level of mastery.
In our line of work, the tools we rely on are computers, usually expanded with additional screens, keyboards, mice… To ensure all Ingsters have the best possible tools at their disposal, we’ve struck a strategic partnership with Lenovo which ultimately resulted in a complete overhaul of ALL (100+) of our computers and displays. This was the biggest investment in Ingsoftware’s history (besides our fantastic new office space - our Sanctuary).
Read on to find out why we chose Lenovo, how we decided which configurations to order, and how our team is using their new tools.
How It Used to Be
In the olden days, we applied the “buy as we grow” approach. We always got computers that our engineers, developers and designers are happy with, but there was no standardization - we relied on what was available on the market at that moment to satisfy their specific needs.
On one hand this did ensure our people got configurations they wanted, but on the other we created a messy IT environment with lots of equipment by various vendors. Not to mention, that each purchase was being done on a case by case basis making this as slow and lengthy as it can be.
Our IT department ended up being in charge of inventory so diverse that maintaining everything efficiently was very far away from a cost-effective process.
When we decided to improve how we approached this, we knew we had to start from the basics. Think about which groups of users we have in our organization, define their needs and configurations that will satisfy those in the foreseeable future.
Also, to be able to plan ahead, manage everything efficiently, and negotiate favorable financial terms, we knew we had to choose a single vendor. The question was, which one…
As full blown geeks, we approached this “problem” thoroughly, did our research, created comparison spreadsheets, and after weeks of research and contacts, we decided to go with Lenovo!
First of all, we love the ThinkPad legacy. It is a brand loved by many (maybe even all) geeks around the world and generally valued for its quality and reliability. That it was the first laptop certified for use in NASA space missions and on the International Space Station helped us make the right decision! (A ThinkPad first flew in space almost 30 years ago in 1993!)
Also, from the very first time we spoke to representatives in Lenovo’s Serbian office, it was clear they valued us as their potential partners. This initial feeling was proven time and time again by their dedication during the challenging global chip shortage crisis. Nobody knows when we would get our new machines if we didn't have support from their entire team.
“We are honored to be able to support Ingsoftware by providing our ThinkPad, Legion and ThinBook laptops to their team. Our whole team is dedicated to fulfilling their needs while navigating the complexities of the chip shortage crisis,” said Vladimir Urukalo, SMB Sales Representative at Lenovo Serbia, about the partnership.
What did we choose?
First of all, we decided to replace desktop machines with high-end laptops. This was the key step in enabling our remote-first hybrid approach to work where our corporate HQ is a Sanctuary for all, whenever it is needed. And at the same time, this ensured we don’t need to think about replacing the computers for several years.
When we analyzed our needs, we identified several distinct groups of users and made a decision about which Lenovo laptops would make good long term companions for each of them. Out of these, three models stand out.
Developers, UI/UX Designers, and Artists
Most of the laptops we got are ThinkPad T14(s)! Yes, two different versions - a classic T14 for some of our most demanding team members (UI/UX designers) and super sexy and slim T14s machines for our software engineers!
Both are powered by the latest generation of Intel i7 CPUs and are equipped with 32 GB of RAM and enough storage space to last for years. Their keyboards are (maybe even literally) bulletproof, and classic T14 machines also feature discrete graphics to support UI/UX Designer needs.
On the other hand, T14s models are the perfect combo of performance and portability for all tasks our software engineers deal with day in, day out, so they can choose the best place to do their work each day.
By the way, did we mention that both T14 versions are military specced, and due to the chip shortage currently are not available in shops! Especially not in configurations and quantities we ordered!
By far the most powerful (and expensive) laptops are used by our Unity developers. To enable them to do their magic, we got them Legion 5 Pro machines that are a dream for every passionate gamer (which our Unity devs surely are) and are able to execute even the most demanding Unity 3D projects.
These machines are powered by the latest AMD Ryzen processors and NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics, supported by 32 GB of RAM and use 16" QHD displays with 165Hz refresh rate, and despite all that power will provide our people with up to 8 hours of freedom from needing to be connected to the electric grid!
Our support teams are also geeks (at least some of them) and cherish the high quality of Lenovo laptops.
For them, we got ThinkBook 13s machines that successfully fit ThinkPad quality into a much better design (subjectively speaking). With latest Intel CPUs, more than enough RAM and storage capacity and slim 13 inch cases that feature 16:10 Full HD displays, these are a delight to carry around and use anywhere our team members like to work from.
On paper, when we made a decision to order 100+ Lenovo laptops everything seemed perfect. We expected to receive our new computers in about 2 months (yes, the order was so big that faster delivery was not realistic) and then the chip shortage hit us... hard!
The following months tested our patience, but partners from Lenovo kept us in the loop and did everything they could to ensure our laptops get delivered as quickly as possible.
As our CTO Milan Stojanović put it: “We are very happy about partnering with Lenovo for our complete IT equipment overhaul. What we managed to achieve would be literally impossible without the help of the Lenovo Serbia team - neither in terms of scale, equipment quality, nor availability. Especially considering the extremely difficult global chip shortage conditions.”
Needless to say, Lenovo’s global influence and their local team’s dedication is something that we are extremely happy with and showed us that we made the right decision choosing them.
While we as a company got a partner for years to come, our teams got fantastic new laptops that will enable them to work their own unique magic each and every day.
What Comes Next?
Besides continuously ordering new laptops to support our ongoing growth, we are revamping other equipment as well. We want not only to provide all Ingsters with perfect tools for their jobs, but also to delight them with devices and features that go above and beyond their everyday needs.
First on this list is a brand new display. But the ThinkVision P34w-20 is much more than a display, it is a powerful addition to every Lenovo laptop and will dominate the desks of all our employees.
It features an amazing 34-inch curved display with 21:9 aspect ratio and 3440x1440 resolution. And if that’s not enough - its colors are factory calibrated!
But this is not just a second display to use alongside the laptop. At the same time it is a slick docking station! It can power the laptop, extend its USB capacity, and connect it to a LAN network.
Some might say, with such equipment, all that remains is for all Ingsters to perform to the best of their abilities. But we are not standing still. Our IT department will keep anticipating the needs of the whole team and continue raising the bar by providing us with the latest and greatest premium tech.