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Leading the Innovation Curve

By Ajay Gupta Director, Product Marketing, Network Product Line, Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

Nobody could have imagined that, just six years after the Enterprise Business Group (EBG) was formalized within Huawei, Gartner, a world-leading technology research firm, would name Huawei as a ‘visionary’ company for their enterprise switching and wireless products. It has not been easy to gain mindshare of enterprise CIOs and other CxOs due to the vast sea of competitive options in the global marketplace. Still, Huawei has reached a pinnacle of recognition for their innovation that some companies can only dream of achieving.

Visionary Companies Shape the Market

Huawei has shown its ability to shape and transform the market with innovative products. Gartner analysts report that Huawei not only has demonstrated sustained execution in the marketplace but will also have clear, long-term viability. In addition, Gartner gave kudos to Huawei’s central strategy of providing End-to-End (E2E) campus networking and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) through its Agile Network solution.

In the book, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies , authors Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras note that so-called visionary companies take leadership roles in their industries, offer innovative products and services, and consistently outsmart rivals. Great companies not only maintain leadership but also constantly experiment. Let’s see how Huawei has fared with other industry analysts and publications.

Riding High in the Fast Lane

Fast Company, a highly regarded U.S. business and technology magazine, ranked Huawei the world’s 13th most-innovative company in 2016. According to the publication, Huawei is one of only a handful of large technology companies that dedicate more than 10 percent of their revenues to R&D.

“To be recognized by Fast Company for our efforts in innovation is truly an honor,” said Ryan Ding, Executive Director and President of Products and Solutions. “At Huawei, we’re committed to building a better connected world, and innovation is one of our core principles. This recognition is a positive affirmation that the innovation we’re trying to provide globally — building better societies, and connecting the unconnected — is being recognized.”

The monthly magazine notes that Huawei also commits 45 percent of its employees to R&D and cooperates with global innovators through its 16 R&D centers and 36 Joint Innovation Centers in countries including the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Sweden, France, Italy, Russia, India, and China.

Among Huawei’s facilities is the Paris Aesthetics Research Center, where French luxury brand designers work with Huawei’s engineers to align future fashion trends with technology. Huawei’s newest R&D center is the Max Berek Innovation Lab in Wetzlar, Germany. At this lab, Huawei and premium camera maker Leica are jointly researching technologies to improve the image quality of mobile device cameras. Huawei also has more than 10 open labs in China, Europe, and other locations, where it works with more than 600 partners. At the same time, Huawei has launched a USD 1 billion developer enablement program to support partners and application developers.

‘Best Brands’

Huawei ranked 72 in the ‘Best Global Brands 2016 Rankings’ released by Interbrand, a San Francisco-based global branding agency. This is the second consecutive year Huawei has climbed up Interbrand’s list. In 2014, Huawei became the first mainland Chinese brand to be recognized as a ‘Best Global Brand.’ In this latest report, Huawei moved up 16 spots from its ranking in 2015. What’s more, Huawei’s brand value, approximated at USD 6 billion, increased by 18 percent compared to the previous year. Interbrand’s annual report recognized Huawei as one of the fastest rising brands in the technology sector. Huawei’s significant progress is based on various innovative products, services, and solutions that can help build a better connected world.

Additionally, Huawei’s innovations have been recognized by the following organizations:

  • MIT Technology Review: Each year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s MIT Technology Review selects the 50 companies that best combine innovative technology with an effective business model. They identify 50 companies that are ‘smart’ in the ways they create new opportunities. Huawei ranked 10th on their list.
  • The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO): Huawei is a global leader in international patent filings, with 3,998 applications in 2015 alone.
  • The Boston Consulting Group (BCG): Huawei was ranked among the top 50 companies in BCG’s 10th annual listing of the world’s ‘50 Most Innovative Companies.’ The BCG list is based on a survey of 1,500 C-suite executives (high-ranking executive titles) who were asked to rank companies across industries and within their own industry. Huawei’s ranking is a marked improvement from a decade ago, when there were no Chinese companies on the list. Analysts say China’s presence is still growing.

Innovative Huawei Enterprise Solutions

Huawei’s enterprise business has reached a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of more than 30 percent thanks to increasingly more industry customers realizing added business value with Huawei products and solutions. Standout products include:

  • Enterprise wireless domain: The Huawei Agile Distributed Wi-Fi solution, including converged Wi-Fi and LTE technologies, was selected as a finalist for the ‘2016 Best of Interop Award.’ This innovation significantly improves wireless performance and addresses signal coverage problems in high-density environments — especially hotels, dormitories, and hospitals — without increasing customer investments. The solution also encompasses innovative breakthroughs in large-scale Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO), full-duplex antenna technology which features high bandwidth and multi-path fading cancellation.
  • Servers: Huawei EBG launched KunLun, the industry’s first 32-socket x86 server, which fully meets the needs of enterprises for core applications that require ultra-large memory.
  • Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence: Huawei developed the world’s first open source streaming processing library on Spark, the open source engine for large-scale data processing. Huawei also released the industry’s first deep learning-based ‘single-turn dialogue generation model,’ that will, for example, enable on-demand, automated service agents to better understand and mimic human conversation.

Consortiums, Industry Alliances, and Standards Organizations

Huawei’s enterprise investments and contributions also extend to professional groups. It has become one of the most influential companies in the OpenStack consortium and has set new directions for the Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), container, cloud management, and large-scale data center domains.

The ICT solutions provider helped establish several key industry alliances on NFV/SDN and NB-IoT to bring together industry players. In May 2015, ICSA Labs presented Huawei with the ‘10-Year Excellence in Information Security Testing Award’ — demonstrating that Huawei’s product security capabilities have been recognized in the industry.

By the end of 2015, Huawei had become a member of over 300 standards organizations, industry alliances, and open source communities — holding more than 280 important positions. It is a board member of IEEE-SA, ETSI, WFA, TMF, OpenStack, Linaro, OASIS, and CCSA. In 2015, Huawei submitted over 5,400 of 43,000 total proposals.

Envisioning the Future

There is no question that Huawei has come a long way; however, not everyone may realize the strides that Huawei has made to become a global player. Its success has extended from the carrier market, to the enterprise domain, and now the smartphone market.

Rising from humble beginnings, Huawei is a force to be reckoned with on the world stage. With focused strategies and effective execution, Huawei’s strong global position has paved the way for the company to continue as one of the most innovative and visionary companies to ever emerge from China.

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ICT Insights Issue 21 (03/2017)

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News

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Special Report

New ICT

Focus

Ecosystem

  • Leading the Innovation Curve Director, Product Marketing, Network Product Line, Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. By Ajay Gupta

Success

Core Competency

  • Blockchains in Mobile Networks Strategic Planning and Business Development, Wireless Access Department, and Sean Chen, Senior Director, Wireless Software Competence Center, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. By Ehud Langberg

Hands-On Technology

Analyst Corner

  • Three Steps to Digital Transformation Deputy Geographic Unit and Country Managing Director; Qiu Jing, Research Manager, Accenture Institute for High Performance; and Yu Jing, Research Specialist; Accenture Greater China By Wu Qi

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