'Huawei Connect 2017' captures attention of high tech-savvy people

Guo Ping

SHANGHAI-CHINA/KUWAIT: The biggest conference of the year 'HUAWEI CONNECT 2017' organized by Huawei, a China based-giant global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, has captured the attention of international high tech-savvy people, including many companies as they successively trumpeted several huge announcements during three-day event. Held at the New International Expo Centre in Shanghai, the international attracted around 27,000 people from various part/provinces of China including Beijing and from various countries around the world. According to Huawei, attendees included mainly professionals, leaders and analysts who are all hungry of many technological advancements/innovations, including the Huawei vision to building one of the five global clouds to power the future of business.

With a commitment of spending $500 million in the next five years to support digital transformations around the world, Huawei's enterprise service strategy is focused towards positioning Huawei as an industry cloud enabler across diverse industries.

"Cloud is the most needed technology for governments and enterprises," said rotating CEO, Guo Ping, Huawei. "Huawei is very committed to building a cloud platform to support customer business needs and innovation. Our business model is not to monetize user data. We do not develop applications or touch the data in our public clouds. We provide technologies and services to help users monetize their data," he added.

Digitization strategy

At the event, Huawei launched "Connection+Cloud", the dual drivers of its digitization strategy and enterprise network solutions for smart connection of everything. The strategy and solutions help enterprises accelerate their transformation to the cloud by providing comprehensive network connections, and network management that is more intelligent in all scenarios, such as access, WAN, data center, and interconnection.

The company also took the opportunity to release six new innovations into the market, discussing solutions designed to help enterprises with digital transformation. They included innovations in hardware, software, data, connection, architecture, and hybrid cloud.

The major focus was on the Huawei Cloud, which the company described as the cornerstone of the intelligent world. Huawei believes that with the development of technologies, societies are experiencing a tangible Matthew Effect when it comes to innovation. Because of this, clouds around the world will begin to converge, becoming more and more centralized.

The result will be a small collection of global clouds, powered by the biggest companies on the planet. Huawei is committed to developing one of those clouds with a number of partners.

"Increasingly, innovation will take place in the cloud," said Joy Huang, Vice President of Huawei's IT Product Line. "Huawei Cloud is committed to being an enabler of the intelligent world, delivering continuous innovations of technologies and capabilities that help customers succeed in their digital transformation."

Huawei also released the new-generation intelligent cloud hardware platform - Atlas. Positioned for scenarios such as public cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), and high-performance computing (HPC), Atlas rides on the advantages of key technologies. The suite includes heterogeneous resource pooling and intelligent orchestration to deliver new levels of hardware resource utilization and adapt more flexibly to service demands. As the result of Huawei's Boundless Computing strategy, the Atlas platform makes Huawei well positioned to steer the infrastructure resource pool revolution.

Huawei enterprise network products and solutions have been widely used in more than 100 countries and regions around the world and are accelerating enterprises' digital transformation based on Smart Connection of Everything. To date, 197 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, and 45 of the top 100 enterprises have chosen Huawei as their partner for digital transformation.

Huawei revealed its latest enterprise service strategy designed to support companies undergoing cloud transformation. Huawei is committed to becoming an industry cloud enabler and a strategic partner to customers across diverse industries by investing $500 million in the development of cloud-based professional services, a cloud platform and cloud ecosystem. This will provide customers with end-to-end cloud transformation service solutions enabling them to build, use, and manage their cloud platforms effectively.

Smart services for enterprise cloud transformation

Sun Maolu, President of Technical Service Department for Huawei Enterprise Business Group, said: "With the emergence of a 'Cloud Only' era, Huawei is adopting a long term cloud transformation service strategy to support our enterprise customers in their journey to the cloud. Our services strategy centers on the concept of 'Grow with the Cloud' and becoming an industry cloud enabler. More specifically, Huawei's enterprise services will focus on four key areas including cloud innovation, creating a digital platform, supporting smart operations and enabling businesses.

To drive this strategy forward, Huawei will continue to increase its investment in the development of service solutions and Global Service Centers (GSC), as well as tools, platforms and verification labs for professional services. In the next five years, we will also focus on research and development of industry clouds, increasing our annual investment by more than 50 percent. In addition, to meet enterprise demand for ICT talent in the cloud era, Huawei will provide a new certification scheme to train ICT architects, ICT developers and industry-specific ICT experts. By 2021, it is estimated that more than 150,000 cloud and industry-specific ICT professionals will have been certified by Huawei."

End-to-end industry cloud transformation solutions

As enterprises embrace cloud transformation, they will face a new set of challenges across strategy, planning, requirement analysis, business integration, application system evaluation, technology selection, roadmap design, deployment, operations & maintenance (O&M) management, and information security.

According to Xu Jingbin, Director of IT Technical Service Department for Huawei Enterprise Business Group: "With a track record of industry cloud solution delivery, Huawei works closely with our partners to develop end-to-end industry cloud transformation services that cover consulting, assessment, planning and design, migration, disaster recovery (DR), security, and O&M. As business continuity is critical during complex cloud migration, Huawei provides a sophisticated migration process with 4 stages and 17 steps, and professional migration tools developed in-house, which have helped more than 1,000 customers migrate their businesses to the cloud smoothly and efficiently."

Artificial intelligence

On the sidelines, Kuwait Times also spoke to several Huawei senior officials including Alaa Elshimy, managing director of Huawei's Enterprise Business Group in the Middle East region in which he explained some of the innovations/advancements they unveiled during the conference. "We are happy in our several big announcements in the conference; we are now recognized as one of the top five big cloud players globally in the coming 3-5 years; the second one is incorporating artificial intelligence (in smart cities) in the enterprise segments; some of them are appearing in robots. For example, in the coming years, shopping trolley will not be pushed by human shoppers any more. The trolley will follow the shopper instead. The trolley can be commanded as well; and while the trolley is moving around, it has the capacity to stop or go whenever humans or anything is about to block his way. Those are just examples of artificial intelligence that will be in the market pretty soon," Elshimy said.

He said the products are ready but they are now in the process of finalizing how and what applications could be used for these products. "Self-driven cars are already there, they are launched, it is in the testing process, and they are improving it, and to improve, they are using Huawei technology. So the applications are being studied to make the product available to the masses. We are working with several companies in manufacturing cars so that self-driven car will be ready soon," he added.

Asked if the technology advancement now should be blamed for lack of jobs for people. "I don't think so. Centuries ago, they invented electricity and the light bulb, they said, it's bad; now, they are the most important invention ever. So I believed the same, this time, technology is blamed but time comes it will be understood," he explained.

Elshimy said that challenges facing now is the affordability and priorities but for the competency and manpower issues, the region is so rich. "We should really pay attention to the technology being offered today," he said.

Biggest market

While the biggest market of Huawei is still the home-country China, the second biggest market of Huawei is the European region followed by the Middle East. "If we look at the other players, they are not rated well and some of them are closing down especially in the SMB segments. It is mainly because the shift of users. Before we sell and use hardware but nowadays, it was completely reversed to software; we are focusing in all; in the cloud area we have a complete portfolio for the second year in a row. We are ahead of Apple now," he said.

Success story

Joe Kelly, Huawei Senior Technology Spokesperson treated the Middle East media group with the success story and growth of Huawei during a visit to its headquarters in Shenzhen-China. He said the continued rise of Huawei can be attributed to the entire team of company's 180,000 people who are collaboratively working hard to share their experiences/expertise for the company's continued growth and success. "We increased our investment in the Research and Development department (R & D) last year to$16 billion. In 2016, Huawei's revenue grew by $75.1 billion," he said. The media group had also the privilege of visiting the OpenLab at its headquarters in Shenzhen. Huawei launched a new, integrated partner program that will include all of the company's global solution partners. To facilitate this, in 2017, Huawei is investing $250 million in partner programs, including $70 million in co-marketing. The new Huawei Solution Partner Program incorporates independent software vendors, independent hardware vendors, systems integrators, and consulting partners. The number of Huawei OpenLabs, innovative spaces in which Huawei and partners can collaborate and test new solutions, has grown from five to 16. By 2020, there will be 24 OpenLabs. Additionally, over 100 solutions have been released by Huawei Solution Partners, and are now available in the Huawei Marketplace. The new program announced will bring together all solution partners previously working with Huawei in separate programs run by its Enterprise Business Group, Carrier Business Group, and the Products and Solutions unit.

Pipe strategy

Huawei follows a 'pipe strategy' in which the company focuses on the flow of data - transmission, storage, distribution, and display. Huawei builds business-driven ICT infrastructure; at the same time, it works with a trusted ecosystem of solution partners who make innovative use of the infrastructure. To support this ecosystem, Huawei remains committed to investing in partner enablement, training, and go-to-market success.

HUAWEI CONNECT 2017 is all about platforms and ecosystems, focusing on practical application and hands-on experience. This year's event brings together members of the vast global ICT ecosystem in an interactive exhibition hall over 20,000 square meters in area, 30 percent larger than last year. Over 60 sponsors, 10 industry organizations, and 130 joint solution partners are participating in the exhibition, and around 1,000 partners have joined Huawei at the event. Major partners in attendance include SAP, Accenture, China soft International, HGST, Intel, Microsoft, Centerm, and Infosys. They will jointly showcase their latest progress and best practices in ICT technology, and participate in a broad range of activities during the event, including keynotes, booth exhibitions, sponsor events, and technical sessions.

HUAWEI CONNECT 2017, Huawei's flagship event for the global ICT industry, is held at the Shanghai New International Exhibition Centre from September 5-7. The theme is Grow with the Cloud. Huawei will be exploring how to realize new growth through digital transformation together with its customers and partners at this global platform for open collaboration.

By Ben Garcia and Agencies