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Summary

The Huawei Analyst Summit (HAS), held in Shenzhen, China, over April 11–13, highlighted Huawei’s latest innovations, business practices, and solutions in domains including cloud services, video, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence (AI), and digital transformation. Huawei also discussed its strategy in these fields.

Huawei to spin off cloud unit

A year ago Huawei said it would invest $1bn in expanding its cloud business, and at this year’s HAS it expanded on its commitment by announcing plans to create a separate cloud business unit. The new unit will be the company’s fourth business group, after carrier, consumer (devices), and enterprise.

In particular, the vendor highlighted its interest in public cloud services, where it says it will invest heavily in building an open and trusted public cloud platform. Eric Xu, currently Huawei’s CEO under its rotating CEO roster, said at the event that Huawei has been pushing its new public cloud platform both independently and by partnering with operators in some countries, such as Deutsche Telekom in Germany. He said that Huawei needs to first become a digital company itself in order to lead telcos down the path toward digitalization. “We face the exact same issues that operators face,” he added. “The key is to take action, not to have a discussion.”

Ovum believes that security concerns are among the main inhibitors behind the adoption of public cloud services. An integrated ecosystem involving vendors, governments, and trusted CSPs that can provide a semi-white-labeled service could be beneficial to all parts of the proposed ecosystem.

AI as a technology enabler

Huawei sees AI as an enabling technology to increase the value of its existing products, not as an independent industry, so it won’t develop an AI business, Xu said.

It is Ovum’s view that if service providers, vendors, and businesses fail to plan for the potential impacts of AI, their solutions risk becoming obsolete overnight when AI-powered startups appear in their domain. AI-centric cloud-based solutions can replace, augment, or assist existing business solutions, presenting a whole spectrum of possibilities.

Appendix

Further reading

"Video tipped to join voice as the next ‘basic’ service, giving the bundle a boost," TE0009-001628 (April 2017)

"MEA operators can grow despite regional challenges, says Huawei," TE0015-000428 (February 2017)

Author

Tareq Masarweh, Senior Consulting Analyst, MEA

tareq.masarweh@ovum.com

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