Mr. Yan Lida, President of Huawei Enterprise Business Group delivered a keynote speech in CeBIT 2016. Find out and see how the new ICT technologies revolutionize the enterprises.
Below is the full script
Today, I am going to talk about how ICT is transforming various vertical industries and Huawei’s vision.
I believe most of you know about this match. The AlphaGo defeated Lee Sedol 4:1 just one hour ago. Do you notice the difference? In 1997, Deep Blue defeated the chess master Garry Kasparov, which was remarked as the milestone for artificial intelligence. But since then, almost 20 years past, no computer program could ever beat any professional go players. Till recently, it changed.
Theoretically, to play go is much more complicated than playing chess. For each game of go, the number of possible moves is 10 to the power of 170. This number is even bigger than the items in the whole universe, making it impossible for the brute force search to be applied for designing the program to play a go. The diplomat team of Google has developed very clever strategies to reduce the complexity. But even though, was algorithm the only reason to win the game? The answer is no. Deep Blue used the mainframe, the super computer, but AlphaGo used the cloud computing. As they said, when AlphaGo plays with Lee, 1204 CPUs, and 176 GPUs are used. So Lee was not playing with one computer, he was playing with thousands of computers. So this is the power of technology evolution. It’s already far beyond the human’s boundary, and has greatly changed our lives as well as every industry.
Next, I am going to give you two real cases to see what those changes are. First, let’s look at the public safety. Public safety is a system requiring different agencies to collaborate with each other. When something urgent happens, the ambulance, the fire stations, the policemen need to work together. We often see the different agencies invest to build their private facilities. The issue here is not only the duplicate investment, the cost, but the systems are isolated. They are siloed systems. The data among the agencies cannot be shared.
The second case: When the Pope did his first visit in Africa, the challenges in front of the Kenya government is tremendous. In an area as small as 0.12 square kilometers, more than 300,000 people were gathering, and more than 10,000 policemen were dispatched to secure the safety. The even worse is that there are 10 agencies divided by 30 sectors who were involved for this mission, and they used different devices and different networks. The Kenya government upgraded their system. A visualized command center was established. The commander, who was sitting in the center, he can see all the resources on the map. So he can give orders or instructions to the field agency directly with the help of visualized tools. Another advantage of the system is that it is convergent. The cloud technology was introduced. All kinds of devices, no matter trunking phone, or the smart phone, or video surveillance, are connected to the cloud. And also the different agencies like the police, the firemen, the first aid are connected to the cloud as well. They are sharing this platform. Another feature is that, this is the first time an eLTE-based broadband trunking system was introduced. As you know, before that, the trunking system is voice only. The policemen communicated with each other, with the command center by those headsets which are voice only. But now, they can communicate with each other not only in voice, but also video, photos and emails. As a result, during this historic event, nobody was injured, and no complaint was received.
Let’s look at another industry — the news media industry. For this industry, time, accuracy, comprehensiveness are the key factors they consider. As we can see that, along with the evolution of video cameras, the volume of data grows exponentially, from the high definition to the ultra high definition, like 4K is very popular now, and 8K not far away, and even the virtual reality cameras we can see it on duty in nowadays. Such amount of data growth will give the impact for the whole system, from the data uploading, to the program editing, and the broadcasting as well.
Let’s look at this scenario. For example, a photographer from the field, he needs to deliver 1 hour of high definition footages. Normally there are three options. Option A, to upload with the virtual private network, it takes about ten hours in nowadays. And option B, use the express delivery, takes about 24 hours. And even, he can ask the company to build a temporary studio for him, so it takes about more than 10 days, we don’t even need to mention about the costs. Even inside the studio, the challenges are still there. Like the working groups sitting there, it seems they are isolated sitting on the islands. They use siloed systems, which makes it difficult for them to share the IT resources. Even the contents are very difficult for them to share with each other.
A revolutionary hybrid cloud solution was introduced to several of China’s famous TV stations. So this is the architecture — a public cloud, a private cloud, which will enable a lot of changes. Let’s take a look at that. The photographer who wants to upload his footages now he can use the wide area network acceleration technology to reduce the time from 10 hours to 1.2. And inside the studio, now the working groups are connected to the same private cloud. The resources inside this private cloud can be dynamically shared by the groups. And it is also much easier for them to share the contents.
This journalist just finished her interview. Now she can do the editing remotely on the public cloud. So the news can be broadcasted soon after her interview. So those are the significant changes that have happened due to the introduction of the new technology.
What are the enlightenments we can hear from these two cases? First we can see that ICT is becoming a core part of the production system. Many industries help introducing the ICT to reshape their production processes. And some industries now are planning to do that. So in the future, all the industry devices, all the user devices will be equipped with sensors, communication modules, which will allow them to be connected to the data center. So functionally, in the data center there will be two parts. One part is the real-time business platform, which enables the online production, the real-time collaboration. Another part is the Big Data analytics platform, which will provide the offline analysis and decision support.
Now we know that apart from human, capital, fiscal assets, data becomes a key or very important production element. So from the data generation to the data transportation, to the data processing, we believe this so-called Cloud-Pipe-Device architecture is crucial. We need the collaboration from the cloud to the pipe to the device.
Let’s look at the technologies behind this architecture. IoT, Internet of Things, is not something new. I believe this concept was raised about 20 years ago. And it had been up and down for several times. Let’s see what happened now? The cost of the chip set is dramatically down. The cost for the communication modules is down. And the size is smaller and smaller. And the power consumption is lower enough for the battery life can last more than 10 years. So now the vast deployment becomes realistic. But at the same time, if the network technology did not develop to today’s level, there is no connectivity available to connect billions of devices. The technology like SDN, the mobile technology like LTE 4.5G and even 5G in the future. Those are the technologies that will connect those devices to the cloud. So without the technology evolution of cloud, without the new technology of Big Data, we cannot process those ocean amount of data, and we cannot do the mining of the data. There is no value. So we believe no single technology can play the role. Only a set of innovative technologies together, they work together, will lay down the foundation for this new ICT era. So we believe now the ICT is entering a new stage. At the beginning, the ICT just helped us to do the office automation, and later helped us to optimize the business processes, but now it is becoming a core part of our production system.
So what will Huawei do for this new ICT era? Of course, technology innovations are very important, which is very important competence of Huawei. We invest no less than 10 percent of our revenue into R&D every year. During the last 10 years, we have invested more than 40 billion dollar for R&D, but our ambition is not limited to this. Based on the technology innovations, we’d like to create a platform, an open, flexible and elastic platform. And based on this platform, we’d like to create an ecosystem, which can be sustained as a win-win system for all the industry. So when I talk about platform, you may ask me, what do you mean by platform?
Let’s take mobile industry development as an example. Before smart phone, the phone makers, they developed the hardware, the software, the applications, everything, by themselves. But the smart phone changed the rules of the game. Nowadays, the smart phone makers they develop the hardware, the operating system, the user interface as a platform. Meanwhile, there are millions of application developers working on this platform to develop applications. This is the concept of platform. So similarly, we would like to create a platform that features openness, flexibility, and elasticity. This platform is open. We have had our full portfolio from components to the product level, even to the solution level, and open APIs. Until now there are more than 3000 open APIs that are now available for third party solutions, application developers to work on that.
So this platform is flexible. This platform can support various industries. The capabilities we offered, for example, like video, network, storage, computing and voice are encapsulated into 8 main scenarios like office automation, business process, etc. So application developers they do not need to care about the technology details. They can focus on the application development.
This platform is elastic. We offer the hybrid cloud to our clients. Just like yesterday, the Deutsche Telekom announced that the open telecom cloud collaborating with Huawei now commercially launched. The private cloud or the public cloud we offered is the same one architecture based on the open source, which is OpenStack. And because it’s one architecture based on the same open source, we enable our clients to migrate their applications among the clouds. In the future, we will even allow our clients to migrate from their private clouds, between their private clouds and third-party public clouds.
Based on this platform, we want to create an ecosystem. This is a picture that shows the positioning of Huawei in this ecosystem. So Huawei’s position is on the right. Based on the technology innovations, we dealt product innovations. We opened the API and software development case which will enable our partners, the system integrators, to develop the applications to meet the needs of end users.
In this ecosystem, we would like to help our customers to be involved as well. Why? Because they know their business requirements more than anybody else. So this is the scenario, this is the ecosystem we love to create and where Huawei’s position is in this ecosystem.
For this ecosystem we like to focus on three parts. One is focus on developers, one is for the partners, and finally, but not least, the international standards.
Last year, we held our first Huawei developers conference. In the conference, we had announced an enablement plan for the developers. The plan includes an innovation fund, a developer marketing fund. One billion dollar for the next five years. To enable our developers, we had set up open labs worldwide not only in China. Our open lab in Munich opened last year. There are many partners, developers now working in the lab. We have open labs in Saudi Arabia for the oil industry, and we have the open lab in Singapore and in Mexico. So there are many more coming on the way. We will provide the development support, the talent training, and Huawei certification. The developers are key for the ecosystem.
Partners. In the definition of our partners, not only the sales partners, but also the solution partners who can develop the vertical solutions together with us for our clients. There should be also the partners, the alliances like ACP, like Accenture. There should be our application developers like Hexagon for the safe city. These are the examples out of our 8000 partners today.
Unlike the telecom operating industry, I think the international standards of most industries are not enough. We even don’t have to mention that across the industries, We just lack of international standards. So for the new ICT to enable the transformation of the industries, we need to do more on the global international standards. Huawei now holds more than 170 key positions in international standardization organizations. And we are the top contributor for 18 dominant open source societies. But I do believe that there is still a long way to go.
Finally, I’d like to summarize Huawei’s vision: through leading new ICT, we would like to build a better connected world together with our partners, with the whole ecosystem. Thank you very much for your attention. Thank you!