Kathy Gibson reports from CeBit in Hannover – Huawei plans to set up an OpenLab in Johannesburg this year, as the company commits to investing $200-million in seven new facilities in 2017.
OpenLabs have proved to be an effective way for Huawei to work with partners and customers in developing new solutions.
Victor Yu, president: industry marketing and solution department at Huawei Enterprise Business group, points out that Huawei has bucked the trend of flat IT sales over the last couple of years.
“Huawei Enterprise business group has seen 455 growth, and has many opportunities,” he says, adding that IT infrastructure has become more important than ever in the world of digital transformation.
“The platform plus the ecosystem is the core, Yu says. “Our strategy now is focusing on the platform and building the ecosystem. So we work together with global partners and local partners, who have knowledge of the vertical industries.”
OpenLab is where Huawei and its partners work together to develop joint solutions, backed by the resources from Huawei’s global footprint and skills, combined with the R&D brought by the partners.
Customers are also closely involved in specifying and designing solutions, which ensures that they are completely relevant to the customer’s environment.
Yu cites a case study where the OpenLab in Mexico worked with Soflex, a software vendor that provides systems for emergency services in Argentina.
The traditional way of providing systems was to use fragmented architecture which took time to set up and configure.
At the OpenLab, Huawei and Soflex developed an integrated system in one box. With the new solution, installation went from two days to 20 minutes; performance was increased 40% and operations and maintenance (O&M) cost was reduced by 50%.
Other examples include a solution for retro-fitting CCTV cameras with intelligence in Singapore; a power grid solution in Suzhou, China, and a collaborative R&D cloud for the automotive industry.
OpenLab is endorsed by global software developers like SAP, system integrators like Infosys and telecommunications operators like Deutsche Telekom.
“Challenges within a future smart society cannot be tackled alone, they demand co-operation within the ICT industry and with relevant partners,” says Yu. “The global OpenLab programme will bring together global and regional business partners to boost industry innovation capabilities, and by supporting the greater good of the industry we aim to generate more opportunities for all ecosystem players.”
Commenting on its collaboration with Huawei, Rolf Schumann, senior vice-president and global GM: platform and innovation at SAP Cloud Platform, says: “Since 2012, SAP and Huawei have established a strategic alliance, which is based on our complementary software and hardware, and we have co-operated to develop SAP HANA joint solutions and go-to-market (G2M) strategies.
“Huawei has established five global OpenLabs that target the enterprise market and have a complete set of equipment to provide potential customers and partners with integrated ICT platforms, enabling joint innovations and proof of concept.
“SAP believes that these OpenLabs can accelerate co-operation with Huawei in various fields, including Industry 4.0, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and business-to-business (B2B) cloud.”
Infosys has had an alliance with Huawei since 2014.
Umashankar Lakshmipathy, senior vice-president and regional head: EMEA cloud and infrastructure services at Infosys, comments: “We have co-operated extensively with Huawei in finance, the IoT and cloud data centre solutions, as well as go-to-market (G2M) strategies.
“Huawei’s OpenLab in Suzhou provides partners with a leading ICT platform that enables joint innovation of banking and smart stadium solutions.
“We hope that our joint innovations with Huawei can be expanded to the entire world through Huawei’s OpenLabs in other regions, such as South Asia and the Middle East.”