Huawei has an ambitious plan to service the SME market by revolutionising its distribution business. During the distribution business session at Huawei Connect, Huawei highlighted its strategy for the distribution business and launched 17 new distribution products. The company also further discussed the HUAWEI eKit, which it had launched earlier in the year, and since scaled to deliver to almost 50 countries, with 100 partners on board.
Huawei has looked to its channel as the pathway to build its SME business for quite some time. The company recognises the value of SMEs, given that they contribute 50% of the global GDP and 70% of jobs worldwide. As the same time, these companies struggle with digitalisation and finding a way to effectively participate in the digital age. This is what Huawei aims to address through HUAWEI eKit.
The challenges that SMEs face in engaging with the channel
SMEs can struggle with accessing technology from major vendors for several reasons, and consequently this can make adopting innovative technology challenging for them. These include:
- Understanding Needs: SMEs often have unique and diverse needs compared to larger enterprises. They require IT solutions that are flexible, scalable, and easy to use. However, understanding these needs can be difficult for the IT channel due to the lack of standardised IT infrastructure and processes in SMEs.
- Building Relationships: SMEs often prefer to work with suppliers who understand their business and can provide personalised service. This is an area that large vendors typically struggle with, because they cannot provide a direct level of service that the SME is looking for. However, the channel specialises in building these kinds of relationships, and for this reason channel organisations are always looking for vendor partners that can support their abilities to deliver seamless experiences to SMEs.
- Providing Tailored Solutions: Though they are resource-limited, SMEs often require customised IT solutions that cater to their specific business processes. Developing such tailored solutions can be resource-intensive for IT vendors, however distributors, integrators, managed services providers and other channel supports are often the only pathway SMEs have to the kind of tailored solutions they need.
How HUAWEI eKit supports innovation for SMEs
The concept behind HUAWEI eKit was developed to better support SMEs by providing versatile products and solutions that specifically meets their needs. This has been built off the back of over 30 years of experience by Huawei in digital transformation, and is a pure channel play, giving distributors the tools that they need to help those lower-level resellers and integrators effectively bring Huawei technology to their customers.
Essentially, it’s a sub-brand of Huawei that is specifically designed for the distribution market, that integrates policies, products, solutions, services, and digital tool platforms to build end-to-end enterprise digital solutions. It allows those smaller to adopt a broad transformation agenda, without requiring enterprise IT capabilities to deploy and maintain.
For those in the channel, HUAWEI eKit is an opportunity to present solutions that are easy to buy, sell, install, maintain, and manage. It’s the “one stop shop” approach, which is increasingly valued among small businesses that are constrained across both resources and capabilities, and really need IT to be a matter of set-and-forget.
HUAWEI eKit features a wide range of products across many product categories into this sub-brand, including intelligent collaboration, wired and wireless networks, IP + optical access networks, storage, and IT platforms. Across the first half of 2023, there were 31 products released within HUAWEI eKit. At Huawei Connect 2023, the company launched another 17, including eKitEngine S220 and S310 series, L2 and L3 switches that support full 10GE uplink and Perpetual PoE, eKitEngine AP160, a wall plate AP that is 8 mm thin and supports the unique DVFS technology; and other new products that support SAN/NAS hybrid storage.
By the end of the year, HUAWEI eKit will have more than 50 products with similar transformative potential available to distributors.
HUAWEI eKit in Action
A good example of the potential of HUAWEI eKit can be seen with the IdeaHub interactive display, one of the solutions available to the channel through the platform. Distributors can bring the IdeaHub S2-75 to their channel and the eventual end customer. This device is equipped with Bring Your Own Meeting (BYOM), HD immersive meeting quality, Wi-Fi 6 for direct projection, and ultra-low writing latency, easily adapting to mainstream cloud meeting apps.
It is being pitched as an ideal solution for boundless collaboration and communication to fit everything from regular meeting rooms, executive offices, and open office areas. Most beneficial of all for the SME is that it requires no technical skills to deploy.
Huawei's strategic move into the distribution business, guided by the principles of HUAWEI eKit, demonstrates the company's commitment to empowering SMEs on their digitalisation journey. With a wide range of innovative distribution products and solutions tailored to the unique needs of SMEs, Huawei is well-positioned to drive digital transformation across various industries.
As the digitalisation of SMEs continues to gain momentum, Huawei's dedication to its distribution partners and its comprehensive product portfolio will play a pivotal role in ensuring the success of SMEs in the evolving digital landscape.