Huawei throws its weight behind storage and smart buildings as part of growing digital transformation rhetoric
It was a busy first day for Huawei at CeBIT 2017 in Hanover, with the company announcing a plethora of updates and initiatives all based around ‘the road to digital transformation’.
The day started with the unveiling of an all-cloud network architecture, designed to help enterprises along their transformation journeys by using technologies such as big data and machine learning in a range of industries.
This was followed by the company’s main press conference, which showcased announcements around its OpenLab initiative, a new storage service and a smart building partnership.
OpenLab goes global
The first piece of news was the announcement that Huawei will be upping its OpenLab investment, with 15 new centres set to be built over the next three years, adding to the five already operational in China, Germany, Mexico, Singapore and Dubai.
Seven new OpenLabs will be built in 2017, located in London, Paris, Moscow, Johannesburg, Cairo and Dallas. A further eight will be built by the end of 2019, translating to a $200 million (£185 million) investment.
The new OpenLabs will enable Huawei to work more closely with local partners to innovate and create technology-driven products for industries such as finance, transportation, energy, manufacturing and smart cities.
Victor Yu, President of Industry Marketing & Solution department at Huawei Enterprise Business Group, said: “Each OpenLab addresses the needs of its local market, and harnesses local talent and technology assets. We work with outstanding local companies to integrate their capabilities into Huawei’s global value chain and promote these capabilities across the world, helping to enhance the competitiveness of local ICT industries.”
Partners will, of course, be a key component of the OpenLabs. Vincent Pang, President of Huawei’s Western European region spoke of the need for businesses to work together in leveraging the future potential of digital transformation, adding that the company wants to “work with more partners from different verticals because we want to use the latest technologies and gain different understandings about the future of our lives and working”.
Huawei already boasts the likes of SAP and Infosys as key strategic partners and will be looking to build on this with its ambitious plan to create a “digital transformation ecosystem” that it hopes will lead the way in the next era of IT.
Next up was the launch of a Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS) offering that will help enterprises move to the cloud by delivering on- and off-premise storage services and intelligent data management.
We are all aware of the challenges businesses are facing when it comes to dealing with an ever-growing volume of data, but Huawei’s service aims to solve the problem by taking a ‘data on demand’ approach.
STaaS manages SAN, NAS and object storage in one central location and consolidates assets into resource pools, on-demand allocations and employs automated resource utilisation software to help enterprises reduce the total cost of ownership of their data.
“As cloud enablement continues to accelerate, there is no doubt that IT services will become a more prominent part of data centre operations,” said Meng Guangbin, President of Huawei’s IT storage product line.
“Our STaaS solution consolidates on- and off-premise resources and delivers standardized, automated, and on-demand data storage services to increase agility in enterprise cloud transformations.”
Michael Issa, senior director of storage product management at Huawei, added that the usage-based consumption model aims to “provide a consistent experience for enterprise workloads, whether on prem or on the Huawei-powered public cloud” by making data management a simpler, less siloed experience.
Making buildings smarter
Finally, Huawei announced a strategic partnership with Honeywell that will see the two companies bring to market IoT-based smart building offerings that will help to make buildings more sustainable, secure and energy efficient.
The collaboration will help city administrators build intelligent urban infrastructures by providing services in areas such as heating, lighting and ventilation through the use of data collection and analysis.
A fully connected system will integrate subsystems into one central management platform, bringing automation and intelligence to the likes of alarm management, work order management and facility maintenance.
Roger Woodward, EMEA managing director at Honeywell subsidiary Tridium took to the stage to describe how the partnership will look to address the challenges and opportunities that urbanisation offers by combining “our software and Huawei’s capability of providing the infrastructure to connect smart buildings”.
So all-in-all it was a busy day for Huawei. The company has made great strides in positioning itself at the forefront of the so-called fourth industrial revolution and will hope that these announcement mean it remains a force to be reckoned with.