Though Huawei has evident competition on the individual fronts of enterprise, telecom and hyperconvergence business, the company claims that they are second to none when it comes to offering all of them in one platter.
According to Alaa ElShimy, Huawei banks on innovation and research to succeed in modern day business. “In 2017 we invested more than 13 billion dollars in R&D. We are in the 6th or 7th position while considering spend on R&D in ICT. Our objective is to push the growth needle of the business and bring value driven solutions to the customers.
Way to Huawei
For readers who do not know (which I am sure none are) Alaa ElShimy is the ex-Managing Director of Hewlett Packard Enterprise who joined Huawei in the year 2016. As curiosity struck, I asked him about the one binding factor that pulled him to the place where he is sitting today. He replied, “Sitting here, today, we are talking about a company that is designed for the future. We are talking about a company that has achieved more than 100% growth YoY in the Middle East region. For me, Huawei as a company has all the ingredients that makes it a horse worth betting on. Compared to other players, we entered the market late, yet, we have had the highest growth in comparison to others.”
Alaa says that the company differentiates itself from the other players in various unique ways. “The first as I said is our unique capabilities in offering solutions and services that cover the entire ICT spectrum which no other vendors offer today. Secondly, and probably the simplest and evident factor is our presence— we have an office in all the cities of the world. The customers and partners can thus have a Huawei resource person to go to on ground locally. The most exciting offering that we have is our BDII.”
BDII (Business driven ICT Infrastructure)
Alaa says, “We are proud to be an infrastructure ICT player, however when we go to market we look at it as different verticals. Some of our biggest focus verticals are Oil and Gas, Transportation, Government etc…. The term BDII means that we have subject matter experts coming from each of these verticals working with our ecosystem. Their deep driven expertise helps us in building an integrated solution and taking it to the customer, hence delivering the value that they desire and deserve.
On the transportation front, we have over 36000 kms of metro and train running on our infrastructure. When you have a train running at the speed of more than 150kmph it is difficult to keep the signal and connectivity up and running. Our subject matters help us in understanding these needs and catering accordingly. We also have done a number of projects with airports and aviation sector. Dubai Airport is also one of our customer and the list goes on,” says Alaa.
Since HCI has been the flavor and favored by the region since the past few years, Huawei has made sure that they are up to date with the offering. Huawei’s FusionCloud Private Cloud Solution uses cloud computing and Big Data technologies to provide resource pooling and full-stack cloud service capabilities, offering customers solutions in converged resource pools, hosting cloud, and hybrid cloud.
The company is also focusing heavily on its artificial intelligence offerings. “The public cloud of Huawei (available only in China and few other countries and not in the Middle East) has an Enterprise AI platform. We provide AI enterprise applications as platforms which customers can customize and use it as per their AI usage. With AI, we have been able to reduce human intervention in Huawei call centers by upto 60% as most of the time you are talking to machines.
Building a Long-Term Strategy
Alaa believes that from a portfolio, technology, presence and capability point of view Huawei deserves to be second to none globally. “Today, if you are an IT player or a telecom player, you cannot really provide an end-to-end solution. You have to be an ICT player to able to provide an entire spectrum of services that includes IoT, AI, smart city, smart grid etc because all these solutions come with a telecom component, a data center component, networking component etc and we are a company that has the right and a winning portfolio.”
Currently 80% of Huawei customer engagements are and business are done through our channel partners. My vision is to make it 100%. I would certainly want to engage directly with the top accounts to discuss our BDII strategy but the deal will be fulfilled through our partners only. Globally we grew 2% last year and our vision to double the growth YoY. In the next three to five years, I see Huawei as the No 1 ICT provider the world and all my aspirations are being driven in that way. I am riding on the fastest train in the Middle East region that is shuttling its way to digital transformation like no other.”