IBM recently signed an agreement with Lenovo to help improve their customer experience by using their cognitive and blockchain solutions. This agreement is a continuation of the current IBM-Lenovo relationship which started in 2005. IBM sold its PC division to the Chinese company in 2004.
The demands for customer service has increased over the past decade, with customers expecting 24/7 connection and quick response times. According to IBM’s research, businesses spend $1.3 trillion on 265 billion customer service calls each year, where 50% of these calls remain unresolved. A recent report added that poor customer service is costing over $75 billion a year which has increased from $13 billion in 2016.
The agreement between Lenovo and IBM is multifaceted. Blockchain will be used to track the acquisition and logistics of critical hardware and software for Lenovo’s data centers. The other facets of the deal which are not blockchain-related include virtual assistants for tech support, a client insight portal and augmented reality for repairs.
Laura Laltrello, Vice President and General Manager of Lenovo Data Group, commented: “We are looking forward to working with IBM to take the next step with our customers to deliver a personalized and seamless experience that ensures we continue to deliver industry-leading customer satisfaction in data center support.”
The blockchain aspect appears to extend IBM’s supply chain initiatives. These include projects where the company has ownership such as IBM Food Trust and the joint TradeLens container shipping project with Maersk. Other client led efforts include the blockchain for tracing ethically mined Cobalt with VW, Ford and others.