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October 27, 2017updated 09 Mar 2018 3:24pm

Cloud Wars: Can AI be the ace up Huawei’s sleeve?

Huawei has a vision to move into a digitally connected world in the future, utilising AI, Automation and Cyber Security in one place - but there's more to digital than just the technology.

By April Slattery

Huawei continued its attempts to move the goal posts in the digital world at the Eco-Connect conference in Berlin, as the Chinese networking giant pushed its ambition to become a global cloud player.

Held at Berlin’s CityCube, Vincent Pang, President of Huawei West European Region, made it clear his intention for Huawei to become a big name in the cloud world, but did stress that they would need some help in the form of partners.

Selling the ethos with slogans such as “Huawei is connecting to a digital world” and “go digital, go cloud”, Pang described his vision for the future connected cloud.

In trying to pitch a unique selling point for Huawei’s cloud strategy, Pang emphasised that the approach would differ to the likes of Microsoft Azure, AWS and Google who mainly focus on storage.

Huawei Eco-Connect 2017: Digital Skills connect a Digital World

Vincent Pang, President of Huawei West European Region.

“Cloud computing isn’t only about computer storage, networks and data, but also about AI, big data, security and IoT,” said Pang.

Huawei’s cloud proposition sees the use of data analytics, automation and cloud network combined to form an intelligent network. At the hear of this will be AI.

However, it seems that Huawei cannot complete its cloud strategy without the help of others, with Pang emphasising how partners will be a key element in successfully deploying connected cloud services.

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“We need to work together to provide an end-to-end solution for SMEs organisations and customers. We want to build a global alliance.”

“Cloud isn’t for a single player. To make a difference in the digital world you need to team up with partners around the world, to reach a wider audience.”

Partners that Huawei are working with range from educational institutions such as University to global businesses like Microsoft, DHL and Orange Business.

Each partner offers a different opportunity, education allows Huawei to train and bring digital skills to the developers of the future and partners like DHL take on the expertise in networking and data centre applications to effectively digitise into the future.

Introducing a Connected Cloud with all those elements brings new competition to the cloud world. Joining up intelligent elements with effective cloud storage it helps businesses quicken their transformation progress, enabling them to compete in the current fast-paced digital industry.

Connecting those services brings a complete network connection that’s much more intelligent than what is on offer today, from the likes of Azure, Oracle or Google.

Therefore, having a more intelligent network service creates an infrastructure that has the capacity of storage networks but AI intelligence to increase business efficiency for operations and take on more opportunities much  more effectively.

AI is connected with the cloud by analysing users’ behaviour using data analytics to predict how cloud is going to be used, which will create network automation. The aim of doing so is to create an effieint cloud that can help the business grow if the needs change, which wil be recognised through data and AI.

Other speakers at the keynote session included Van Geest who discussed the importance of AI computing, making it clear that technologies such as AI, Quantum Computing and Automation shape the future in al industries.

“Everything is AI driven, or at least influenced. AI determines the possibilities and user experience, hardware is no longer priority,” van Geest said.

AI plays a major part in the digital world and transformation of a business, which is why it is important to ensure the correct measures are taken to build a digital future with the right skills.

Another area Pang discussed feeds into this theory of AI being bigger than hardware, but understanding it will be key to deploying it.

Pang made the point that what will drive the economy and digital age forward is by conquering the digital skills gap that is continuously widening, around Europe and the world.

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“We have a huge skills gap. We need to train more people to change the way we live,” said Pang.

In order to close this gap, Huawei is working with over 20 universities around Europe. These include the University of Manchester and University of Cambridge to develop digital skills ready to deploy in the working world.

Huawei Eco-Connect carries on to day two today, where we expect to see more partnering around Europe and the world to deliver Huawei’s strategy to be a global cloud company.

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