Huawei’s Rotating Chairman Guo Ping kicked off this year’s Huawei Connect event with his keynote Creating New Value with synergy across five tech domains, where these domains are Connectivity, Computing, Cloud, AI and Applications. It is not a secret that Huawei excels in these fields and Guo Ping could of course have showcased all these accomplishments and shine a bright light on all the exciting new tech coming up. But he did not for a very clear reason.
Huawei focusses on bringing value by investing in research and development at an unprecedented level, and by maintaining a phenomenal closeness to its partners and customers like no one else in the industry. This has always been an important factor in the success story of Huawei, but it has not been as clearly expressed before as in Guo Ping’s keynote. The way I experienced the keynote is that there is a very clear and much needed commitment from Huawei to its partners: we will continue to drive innovation to bring value to us all. “Us” and “we” are very common words in the communication of Huawei, and Guo Ping showed that this is not just a marketing thing. They really mean it.
Another very specific aspect in the communication by Huawei is that they always address their market as Information and Communication Technology. Not just 5G, not just Cloud. The full bandwidth of the markets of their partners. And when Guo Ping spoke about creating value, he spoke about creating value for that market, the global market of Information and Communication Technology.
As market leader for 5G, it is clear that Huawei is top notch in connectivity, but they do much more than that in network technology. Computing is a bit of the hidden champion in the Huawei crown. We see of course their notebook portfolio, but most people do not realize that their mobile devices are so powerful that they have become computers with a mobile connection. And still this is not everything with Huawei servers and storage solutions doing their jobs in datacenters around the world.
I must admit that I was not aware of the enormous Cloud portfolio until I joined the Huawei Analyst Summit out of curiosity earlier this year and the same applies to their AI offerings. AI which is by the way contributing to detecting and preventing COVID19 and powers to hunt for a vaccine. The fast-growing Huawei Applications universe goes of course far beyond its own Harmony OS and is the foundation of its Cloud and AI platforms. All this and more, aligned to bring value throughout the Information and Communication Industry.
I do not know about you, but when I see this combined power and potential, I have only one thought. Smart Cities! Why? Because these are the technology fields which we need as the core to build smart cities. And as my friend Edwin Diender puts it so elegantly: once smart city is no smart city. Think about the connectivity we need and the computing power for that. The smart devices to allow citizens of smart cities to interact wherever and whenever they need. The Artificial Intelligence to predict and analyze demand and availability and make the necessary adjustments in real-time. The cloud to make services available to everyone, no matter where they are, and allow deployment of new services in a split second. The apps to offer services and communication at all levels and fully integrated with the infrastructure and smart devices.
That takes a lot of technology and it should not be a surprise that these technology fields match with the vision and commitment of Huawei to bring new value with synergy across these five tech domains. Technology that will enable the realization of smart cities with for example tele-health. This pandemic has pushed tele-health forward by allowing people to visit a doctor without having to physically visit a doctor and there is so much more possible when we have the connectivity and smart devices seamlessly integrated with our environment and healthcare system.
We also enjoyed much more space for ourselves when there were less cars on the streets and we can enjoy that much more when our smart cities are able to optimize public transportation, and for example ride sharing by design. Let us assume that work-from-anywhere remains a part of our lives in one way or the other. Smart cities will be able to optimize traffic routes and electricity demand in real-time with AI.
Imagine the ease of booking a work-from-home day in your schedule and the AI that manages the office space automatically makes your flexible desk available for the others. What if not just you but 1,000,000 others in a smart metropole decide to work from home that day and the smart infrastructure automatically optimizes traffic routes, public transportation, and electricity demand. Even the restaurants and coffee shops will be informed and can adjust their schedule accordingly.
All this is possible, and all this requires smart infrastructure with fully integrated technology, and the computing power to make it happen. With Huawei’s Headquarters located in Shenzhen, China, one of the fastest growing smart cities in the world, I do not believe that the commitment by Huawei to provide new value by synergy in all technology elements that are required to make this happen is coincidence. It is a very smart and future orientated strategy combined with the clear commitment from Huawei we all have learned to appreciate “for and with our partners”!
In the past decade, the main focus in the ICT industry has been on the bits and bytes, and the pace of development. Maybe even too much focus has been on the technology itself. In a sense, the vision and mission statement by Guo Ping brings us back to where we all started. Providing value for our partners, enabling business and growth for our customers, and enabling people to be a part of our connected society. I like that. I like that a lot!