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Industry Enablement Platform: Building a Comprehensive Intelligent City Ecosystem

By Chang Aiping, Platform Operation Department, Marketing & Solution Sales Department, Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

During the digital transformation process of governments and enterprises, collaboration, sharing, and openness between all levels are key. Therefore, a platform is required to achieve collaboration and sharing, to streamline service processes and share service data, and to transmit information flows.

Gartner analyst John-David Lovelock said that in 2019, as companies are turning to the pay-per-use model, Software as a Service (SaaS) will boost companies’ software spending by 8.3 percent year on year. As a result of digital transformation, IT services will grow by 4.7 percent from 2018. As more and more enterprises start to adopt cloud computing, expenditure on data center systems will increase by 1.6 percent compared to last year.

Meanwhile, according to Gartner’s global survey on CEOs, 63 percent believe that they will change their current business model and promote digital transformation within the next three years. Collaboration between IT and business is key to ensuring that digital projects can create value for enterprises.

Against this backdrop, Huawei has developed an industry enablement platform based on its infrastructure capabilities combined with emerging technologies such as cloud computing, big data, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The platform aims to build a comprehensive ecosystem for cooperation that helps governments at all levels improve communication efficiency to enhance the management mechanism, provide open and transparent information, and offer convenient and efficient services. It helps cities achieve digital transformation and intelligent construction, and ultimately stability.

Who Does the Enablement Platform Help?

The enablement platform’s success is determined by the success of its customers. Meanwhile, customers’ success depends on vendors having years of experience in service fields and mature service application systems. The enablement platform benefits these professional service system vendors as it aims to make full use of their accumulated experience and capabilities in the professional business domain.

Professional service vendors have capabilities in a particular field, but they often lack capabilities in other fields. Therefore, the enablement platform allows professional vendors to streamline business processes and data in the siloed system horizontally while enriching platform capabilities vertically, and providing strong support for service innovation.

During the reform of the government department system in China, new government organizations, such as the government service data management bureau and emergency management bureau, were set up. These new organizations have issued unified construction tasks and specifications for service system construction; the application construction must be planned systematically, and the application implementation must be standardized and regulated in the same way. In this context, the platform can centrally manage the construction of business applications — achieving consistent planning and placing similar constraints on the development of business systems.

Industry Enablement Platform and Industry Services launch at HUAWEI CONNECT 2018

How Does the Enablement Platform Enable?

  • Data Enablement: Transferring the Value of Data to the Application Developer

If data can be compared with the oil in cities, then the siloed service systems built by governments are similar to oil fields. Commodities are only valuable in trading, and the value of oil can only be realized in its energy form. Therefore, we have to figure out how extract the oil from these oil fields. This has become a major problem for all levels of government. The difficulties come from policies, regulations, rights, security, and technology — each of which forms a barrier.

The enablement platform facilitates data convergence, extracting data from siloed systems, and aggregating the data into a data lake. In addition, data can be processed, analyzed, and mined to form valuable information. Data value is transferred to application developers by providing data services externally.

Data enabling capabilities include collection, aggregation, governance, development, data lake, data theme connection, and service. The purpose of data enablement is to enable various types of data to flow so that they can create value.

  • Application Enablement: Accumulate Business Assets and Facilitate Application Development

Application enablement aims to accumulate core service assets based on the construction of service application systems, so that service vendors can reuse related assets when developing service application systems and form consistent application construction specifications.

From the perspective of software development, an application system includes service objects, processes, and presentation. Can the content be accumulated to form reusable assets when an application system is constructed? From a technical perspective, this is certainly feasible. Application development vendors also have requirements for reusing related capabilities, because this can help them quickly establish application systems in related service fields.

The major challenge the enablement platform faces is finding ways to accurately accumulate reusable core business assets without involving core business applications. The key to solving this problem is to provide an ecosystem that can gather core business assets of global applications to promote the transaction of application assets. This provides the consumers of such assets with a range of business applications; it can also expand the scope of business applications; and it provides potential transaction opportunities for asset producers.

Application enablement accumulates an abundance of application assets based on the preceding modes to drive exponential ecosystem growth. The ecosystem’s robust growth also needs to consider the impact of many factors, but the core factor is the application asset accumulation of core service application vendors. Huawei’s industry enablement platform has accumulated service capabilities and assets of 6 business objects, 2 applications, 12 connectors, 31 adapters, more than 800 Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and 69 User Interface (UI) components from previous projects. These business assets are still being expanded and enhanced. We believe that with the development and accumulation of customer services in the future, we can provide more application enablement services.

  • Integration Enablement: Provides Multiple Integration Modes for Intelligent City Construction

Integration enablement allows data integration, message integration, and application integration when faced with a huge number of service systems and complex service networking. The enablement platform supports multiple integration modes. During the construction of a digital Intelligent City system, the platform functions as an integrated central system to provide integration capabilities, break down the silos of service systems, eliminate isolated information and data, and implement the smooth transfer of information and service processes, data convergence and sharing. The essence of integration enablement lies in the diversity of integration methods and the applicability in complex integration environments.

  • Development Enablement: Empowers Application Developers

The digital transformation of governments requires the development of multiple application systems. Because the development languages, environments, application system UI styles, and system versions are different, it is difficult to consistently manage the design, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance of an application system. To solve these problems, the development enabling module provides a set of development specifications and environments for development, testing, debugging, deployment, release, and version maintenance. It can develop and deploy applications online while conveniently and efficiently upgrading and maintaining application versions.

The enablement platform provides ‘fertile soil’ for ecosystem growth, while development enablement empowers developers, allowing them to unleash their imagination in application system construction.

Vision: Be a Creator in the Digital Era

Huawei’s industry enablement platform has registered more than 6,000 developers and accumulated over 150 industry suites, and it supports the application development of more than 20 partners. The platform plays an important role in more than 50 projects, such as Shenzhen government’s big data, Zhangjiagang, Vanke, and Shenzhen Airport projects.

In the future, Huawei’s industry enablement platform aims to build a complete, healthy ecosystem and develop diversified application systems.

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