Huawei has shifted the spotlight to cloud services with conviction, beginning from 2017, as was made evident at the annual Huawei Analyst Summit 2017. The vendor highlighted the need for operators to resort to an all-cloud strategy to make the best out of the opportunities offered by digitisation. The other areas of focus were the growing popularity of video and ways to monetise it effectively to gain a lion’s share of a growing trillion dollar market; efficient use of artificial intelligence to enhance the value of the various solution offerings, and the progress in Gigabite services.
Over 500 industry analysts, media representatives, and opinion leaders across a range of disciplines gathered in Shenzhen, China for the 14th annual Huawei Global Analyst Summit (HAS). The analyst summit highlighted Huawei’s latest innovations, business practices, and solutions in domains like cloud services, video, the Internet of Things (IoT), AI, and digital transformation.
Eric Xu, Huawei’s rotating CEO, opened the summit with an insight into the company’s strategy. He said: “Huawei will remain committed to building more connections, enlarging data pipes, and driving digital transformation. By focusing on ICT infrastructure and smart devices, we will enable this intelligent world and drive its ongoing progress.”
Discussing how providing cloud services has already become a basic business model, Xu emphasises that beginning in 2017, Huawei will focus on public cloud services. “We will invest heavily in building an open and trusted public cloud platform, which will be the foundation of a Huawei Cloud Family. This family will include public clouds we develop together with operators, and public clouds that we operate on our own.”
Eric also drew attention to Huawei’s focus on R&D. He said that 14.6% of 2016 revenue was spent on R&D, in order to make the company more competitive, move the industry forward and drive advances in technology. The annual R&D investment going forward would be around $10-20billion.
William Xu, executive director and chief strategy marketing officer at Huawei, expanded on Eric’s keynote to discuss new opportunities brought about by digital transformation. “According to findings from the 2017 Global Connectivity Index, digitisation is gaining momentum around the globe. Investment in cloud computing is ramping up on a regional and national scale, and the cloud is seeing broader application. This will help industries go digital—and fast.”He added: “Cloud services will be the foundation for the digital transformation of telecom operators and all other industries. To respond to this trend, Huawei has established a Cloud Business Unit. We will be investing heavily in open platforms for public cloud. Working with partners, we will build cloud ecosystems. By helping operators migrate their networks and services to the cloud, we are working with them to serve customers of all industries, and to serve the digital transformation through cloud services.”
Xu explained how to help all industries go digital, Huawei must first digitise its key business processes. “We plan to spend three to five years turning Huawei into a digital company, exploring the depths of digital transformation, and defining best practices.” Externally, Huawei plans to digitise its customer engagement and sales processes to deliver a real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY, and social (ROADS) experience to five key groups of users: customers, consumers, partners, suppliers, and employees. Internally, functions like R&D, supply chain, and project delivery will be digitised and delivered as a service.
Giving the example of Huawei’s R&D cloud, Xu highlighted how Huawei has leveraged its global data centres to provide desktop cloud services for 100,000 employees, with 1.1 million virtual machines. Cloudification has led to reducing the time spent on each R&D activity by 50%; and doubling the R&D efficiency.
During last year’s summit, Huawei had made a commitment to advocate, promote, and lead the ‘All-Cloud’ evolution. Ryan Ding, executive director and president of products & solutions at Huawei, said that Huawei has successfully completed that and is now shifting its focus to getting all-cloud off the ground and driving commercialisation.
He added: “Beyond this, as we stand at the edge of a trillion-dollar video market, Huawei is also positioning itself as an enabler of operator and vertical success in their video businesses. Our All-Cloud and video strategies require the support of a symbiotic ecosystem. Huawei welcomes partners with open arms to collaboratively push for new growth in the ICT industry ecosystem.
William Xu and Ryan Ding both stressed on how Huawei is committed to helping operators develop video services to seize opportunities in the trillion-dollar video market. William gave the example of Deutsche Telekom which has launched new services like cloud, video, and IoT. For consumers, it has provided an NGTV service. In the enterprise market, it has launched Open Telekom Cloud, and now provides cloud services to Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, Bosch, and many other well-known companies.
Ding expects video to become a “new cash cow for telecom operators in the future”. Giving an example of how the industry is taking off, he pointed out that there were around 40 million IPTV subscribers in China alone in 2016.
Opportunities in emerging markets
William Xu drew attention to the fact that the emerging markets still have a growing, underserved user base, and the basic communication needs are far from being met. There are a total of 4.7 billion people in emerging markets, but 3 billion of them have no Internet access, and 800 million households have no access to broadband. The major obstacle to market development in emerging countries today is low returns on investment. The CAPEX and OPEX of operators remain stubbornly high.
Huawei has established industry alliances like the FTTx Alliance and Site Alliance to help alleviate the high cost of resources. He further pointed out the innovative technologies like EasySite and Mini OLT of Huawei to reduce the cost of network rollout. “We offer solutions such as wireless-to-the-x (WTTx) to help rapidly roll out home broadband networks. We have helped operators develop video and other services to increase their average revenue per user,” he added.
Huawei estimates that emerging markets will add 2 billion new mobile internet connections and 500 million new home broadband users by 2025.
Consumer business- banking upon user experience
At the summit, Huawei’s consumer business group focused on how it’s building an ecosystem on the basis of Huawei consumer cloud services, and its device strategies for the coming intelligent era. The number of Huawei Consumer Cloud Services users reached 210 million in 2016, spanning more than 200 countries and regions, according to Jervis Su, the president of consumer cloud business unit, Huawei Consumer BG.
With three major regional centres and 15 data centres across the globe, Huawei Consumer Cloud Services reaches users in more than 200 countries and regions. In 2017, Huawei Consumer Cloud Services will continue to deploy cloud services around the world, work alongside partners to provide users with a range of secure and high-quality digital cloud services, unleash its cloud capabilities, and lead the development of the industry.
MAJOR LAUNCHES AT HAS 2017:
By integrating with the systems integrator partners and vertical application development partners, the platform achieves unified scheduling and integration of all kinds of industry applications and data. Kevin Hu, president of Huawei switch and enterprise gateway product line said: “Ubiquitous connections, open cloud platforms, and social technology industry applications facilitate the digital transformation of enterprises, and are also a three-layer architecture advocated by Huawei for the All-Cloud Network. Huawei CloudApp Platform bears socialised industry apps, providing the ‘ All-online ‘ network cloud managed service experience, which achieves the deployment, acceptance, and operation and maintenance (O&M) of networks on the cloud, simplifying network management and lowering operating expense (OPEX) for enterprises. In addition to this, it also provides a wealth of mobilised apps that are designed for the varying demands of different industries, allowing users to achieve intelligent management of industries more efficiently.”
Network Value+ is a precision investment solution for carrier’s digital business. During the development of digital services, such as the video and enterprise private line (EPL), this solution provides carriers with network planning, construction, and evolution schemes targeting the full-service trend, ensuring effective investment and maximising network value.
Backed up by capabilities, such as valued user identification and precision planning, Huawei Network Value+ provides professional solutions for synergetic development of digital business, helps efficiently allocate limited resources, optimises network investment efficiency, and accelerates the full-service strategic process.
At the HAS 2017 Huawei Global Analyst Summit, Huawei announced the release of the eight-slot NE9000-8, the newest offering in its series of backbone routers. The NE9000-8 uses the same platform as the previously released 20-slot NE9000 product and at a smaller size. It offers a large forwarding capacity and a rich variety of service features and can serve as an interconnect node for a small and medium-sized data centre (DC) or a metro core node.
NE9000 is the centrepiece of Huawei’s Cloud Backbone solution. “With the release of the NE9000 series backbone routers, we provide an effective way to satisfy carrier requirements on capacity and flexible bearing for cloud services. This helps carriers create highly efficient networks that are capable of long-term sustainable development and assists in enabling their commercial success in the Cloud Era,” said Gai Gang, president of the Huawei router & carrier ethernet product line.