Kathy Gibson reports from Huawei Connect in Shanghai Intel and Huawei recently signed a strategic partnership to drive the global adoption and standardisation of 5G by creating an industry reference architecture.

The two companies are collaborating on a number of other projects as well, as the cloud era demands increased connectedness and an open technology ecosystem.

Guo Ping, deputy chairman of the board and rotating CEO of Huawei, points out that every modern ecosystem will be become interconnected – and complicated.

This means enterprises have to be more open and flexible, to build ecological advantage for the future. “Advantages will come from what companies do internally as we as from external factors.”

The ICT industry needs to build a new ecosystems, Ping says, and it needs to be open, dynamic, welcoming of new companions, diverse, exogenous, with the ability to manage external resources, and with symbiosis or shared successes.

Just as the survival of species is down to their ecosystem, the future of the enterprise relies on a combination of competitive and ecological advantages, Ping says. At some stage, organisations needs to suspend competition in order to collaborate.

“A bigger pie is better than a bigger piece of a shrinking pie,” Ping says, enumerating Huawei’s philosophy around the cloud. “We will leverage our core competence as well as our base of customers as the base for increasing the size of the pie and generating a community of common interest. We will emphasise what we can leverage, and collaborate with external resources.

“We want to grow from a big company to a great company. This will be achieved by moving from closed development t co-operation across the value chain and ultimately co-operation across the ecosystem.”

The second concept, says Ping, is that managing co-operation is more important than managing competition. “We need to build new ecological advantages and re-invent ourselves. It is difficult to make the change, but co-operation leads to shared success.”

The third concept is benefit sharing. “Benefit sharing is the driving force behind the evolution of the ecosystem,” Ping says. For instance, Huawei has implemented a benefit sharing scheme with employees, which has helped to build a strong and dedicated workforce.

The company intends to now extend benefit sharing to supply chain partners, strategic customers and developer’s partners.

The company is also undertaking industry alliances, business alliances, building open source communities and the development platform.

Huawei is already a member of the Internet Industry Consortium and the 5G Industry Accelerator.

As far as commercial alliances go, Huawei is a member of the Open Telekom Cloud in Germany with Deutsche Telekom; it has signed an Industry 4.0 agreement with SAP; has a Safe City initiative with Hexagon; and has a number of strategic alliances covering device, network and cloud with Intel.

Huawei has always actively supported the open source community and supports OpenStack, Open-O, CarbonData, ONOS and Open Container Initiative.

Meanwhile, Huawei has launched a developer enablement plan to build a development ecosystem.

Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, adds that in the era of Internet of Things (IoT) where everything is connected and data-driven, customers are no longer looking for just a platform or individual set of parts. “They want experiences, a complete solution – much more than has been offered before,” he says. “We believe that to offer these complete experience requires collaboration between multiple companies.”

Intel is working closely with its partners to foster these ecosystems.

“We believe we ae moving to a world where the boundary between the physical and logical is eroding where computing will be ubiquitous. And everywhere you go the data will flow out of the device. In this world, everything is connected.” This future has huge opportunities for companies that truly embrace digital transformation, Krzanich says.

“And all if this requires the cloud. Those that embrace the could word will prosper and grow; those that don’t will suffer an fall behind.”

But as the world becomes more digital, no activity happens in isolation – everything has a connection and its data flows between one location and another.

“Everything is connected to the cloud, which gathers the data, where it is interpreted and we can gain valuable insights that lead to better user experiences,” Krzanich says.

“At Intel we describe this relationship – between the things that are connected, the cloud, and the experiences – as one virtuous cycle. It is built on a set of technologies that reinforce through continuous feedback loop.”

Intel is aligning every segment of its business to this cycle, and is forging relationships with other technology companies that allow it provide complete ecosystems. “We recognise that no single company can provide solutions for all of the smart connected world across all segments of the system, and that is why we are working with our partners to push the ecosystems.”

These ecosystem span the full value chain, from the edge, where the devices live, to the network that ties them to the cloud, and the cloud itself

Data fuels the cloud, Krzanich says, and developers have an opportunity to create value by analysing and interpreting the data coming from devices.

Intel recently launched its Curie module that streams and processes data in one tiny piece of silicon. It has built-in sensors, a pattern management systems and the Knowledge Builder cloud tool that lets it be trained to identify specific movements.

This means a lot of compute and analytics can be carried out on the module without the requirement for any connectivity.

Connectivity is still required for data aggregation, additional analytics and the ability to feedback information or instructions, though. Krzanich believes that today’s networks are built on people’s devices.

This means that there is a flood of data about to come – by 2020, each user will produce about 1,5Gb of data per day, and organisations will be crating even more. A 5G network is going to be necessary to carry these unprecedented volumes of data.

“It’s why we are creating ecosystems through strategic partnerships,” he says. “So Intel and Huawei have been working tighter on a broad range of 5G solutions for the Internet of the future.

“Huawei is a leader in this area and, by using Intel technology, it is building an end-to-end 5G infrastructure,” Krzanich says.

“Together, we are building an industry reference system to accelerate 5G adoption and to drive standardisation.

“I’m really excited we are able to collaborate with Huawei and other industry partners, and believe that together we can transform the network as we move into the cloud of the future.”

To reach 5G potential, a flexible cloud that adepts to different workloads is also needed, Krzanich adds, and Huawei has been working with service providers to do this.

“The new networks have to be software-defined, flexible and cloud-enabled. Service providers are making this future a reality, and I am proud of our collaboration with Huawei supporting China Mobile’s Open Cloud.”

Huawei is also a member of Intel’s Trusted Analytics Programme (TAP) that is designed to promote big data analytics; as well as the Snap programme that works of data consolidation; and the Intel Builders Programme designed to help developers in a variety of areas.

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