“Data is the new oil,” Jacqueline Shi, Huawei’s President of Global Marketing and Sales Service, said during her presentation at the Huawei Connect 2022 event in Bangkok. This quote is a reference back to an article in the Economist in 2017, and has been popularized because it describes how data is similar to oil in that it’s only valuable when it’s gathered quickly, completely, and accurately, and then “refined” into something that can be used to generate power.
Huawei has always sought to be a leader in the data space by delivering the conditions that allow organizations to harvest data like oil, and as Shi outlined in her presentation, the company’s focus on the cloud is going to be core to its delivery going forward. For example, the company’s Lakehouse solution – its answer to the need to build data lakes to effectively leverage AI – was the underlying reason that the Bank of Communications won the Best Big Data Implementation at the recent 2022 Financial Technology Awards at Finance China 2022.
Huawei announced at Huawei Connect 2022 that it is building new datacentres to create new regions for its Huawei Cloud solution and bring these kinds of capabilities to more organizations. This includes Indonesia in Asia-Pacific, and now means that across Asia, customers can access cloud services with latency of less than 50ms through Huawei. This is critical for being able to undertake data-driven activities via the cloud in real-time.
Building with the channel
One of the core messages from the Huawei Connect 2022 event – as with all Huawei events in recent years – has been the importance of the channel to Huawei’s ability to deliver on the promise of its technology. Worldwide, the company now boasts 38,000 partners worldwide, with a particularly strong focus across Asia Pacific.
Huawei, as an infrastructure provider, relies on its channel to deliver services over the top and capitalise on the benefits of its technology. Cloud environments need applications to deliver value to the organisations, data needs to be carefully managed, and AI needs to be tailored to the business processes of the customer.
Huawei’s approach to its partners it to make its technology frictionless, Shi said. “We hope to share our practices in digitization over the past 30 years, and provide these capabilities for ease of use by our partners,” she said at Huawei Connect 2022.
One such example of this is a series of sPaaS solutions – KooMessage and KooSearch. KooMessage is an all-scenario messaging system that supports rich access across phones, tablets and smart wates, while KooSearch is a search engine for enterprise users that is driven by AI to better understand users’ intent.
These solutions become part of a value-adding solution that partners can access to deliver a better customer experience, Shi said, with more sPaaS solutions to come in the months ahead.
Building better clouds
As Zhang Ping’an, CEO of Huawei Cloud, said in his presentation at Huawei Connect 2022: "This is the future we are looking at: Everything on the cloud. Everything a cloud service. We build and take care of the infrastructure - the servers, storage, networks, redundancy, security, and all the rest - so you don't need to build your own data centres. With a local connection to our cloud, it takes just one click to get Infrastructure-as-a-Service. It's as easy as turning on a tap, at lower cost and smaller carbon footprint."
To further help facilitate cloud adoption and acceleration across the Asia Pacific region, Huawei also used its event to announce three key ventures:
- The Huawei Cloud Start-up Program: This has been designed to help start-ups with their cloud migration strategy.
- The “Go Cloud, Go Global” Program, which is aimed more towards smaller businesses in providing them assistance with taking their produces and localising them for a global audience.
- The Cloud Native Elite Club (CNEC) in Asia Pacific. This initiative has been running for two years within China and gives participant organizations the ability to develop standards for cloud native technologies, steer industry development, and propel the implementation of various scenarios of digital transformation.
Accelerating the pathways to AI
In 2018, Gartner made the prediction that 85 percent of AI projects will deliver erroneous results. It remains the benchmark cited to this day because it remains true that AI might be the machines that the data “oil” run, but when that oil isn’t properly refined, the damage that it can do to the engine can be irreparable.
AI can be difficult to deliver on for several reasons. The availability of having enough data and for ensuring that the data is of good quality, for example, undoes a lot of AI projects. Additionally, many organizations struggle to bring together the right expertise to properly manage the data. Skill shortages across Asia Pacific are severe, and that can lead to poor data strategy and governance.
The solution is not to avoid AI, however, because the value that it brings companies can be disruptive. Rather, organizations should find the right partners, both within the channel and from vendors, to ensure that they’re able to access the right technologies and fill the skills gaps that can be a roadblock to AI.
“AI is hard for enterprises to develop,” Shi, said in her presentation at Huawei Connect 2022. “We aim to make this development more accessible through ModelArts, the AI development pipeline of Huawei Cloud, which is a one-stop platform for data labelling, model training and model deployment.”
One of the major innovations that Huawei brings to its customers, Shi added, was the way that it addresses the challenges with labelling and training of models at that foundational stage. “Our Pangu foundation models are pre-trained, with hundreds of billions of parameters,” Shi said. “They have been used across pharmaceutical, finance, electricity and coal industries.”
Delivering results for financial services
The Huawei Connect 2022 event also highlighted how big data and the cloud was being leveraged to deliver innovation to the financial services sector. As one of the most highly regulated in the way it needs to handle data, financial services nonetheless have the need to make good and secure use of data and cloud platforms to deliver the kind of innovations to enhance the customer experience.
For example, with Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) in Thailand, Huawei Cloud is the foundation of the Digital Lending platform – a secure platform that can deliver load requests within five minutes, and meant that the bank was able to attract 45,000 customers, and issue credit of 204 million Thai Baht ($US5.5 million) within three months (read more about what Huawei is doing with SCB here).
As the Huawei Connect 2022 event highlights, the scaling of cloud operations is going to be core to the ability for enterprises, of all sizes, to meet the challenges of modern business. Huawei, for its part, is pitching its deep investment across the region, as well as its extensive partner network, as an opportunity to assist organizations in taking cloud migration and transformation and turning it into strategic innovation through the application of effective, targeted AI solutions.
For more information on the major announcements made during Huawei Connect 2022, click here.