April 28, 2011
Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. 's North American R&D team will be instrumental in the company's enterprise strategy, which will emphasize newer technologies such as mobility and the cloud.
At least, that's the point of view espoused by John Roese, the vice president heading Huawei's North American R&D. Light Reading didn't get into his talk at an analyst conference in Shanghai this week, but Roese had already explained some of his ideas during Huawei's Silicon Valley celebration earlier in April. (See Show & Tell: Huawei Turns 10.)
Roese talked mostly about his ideas for where Huawei should take the technology. Enterprise sales, in particular, are going to be a big push as Huawei strives to become a $100 billion within 10 years. (See Huawei Aims for $100B Annual Revenues.)
Huawei has lots of money to devote to R&D, and that lets the company tailor its research to newer product requirements. After all, companies like Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) have the more mundane stuff pretty well nailed down, Roese said.
One item near the top of his list, for example, is to find bigger ways for the enterprise to exploit cloud services. "We have a big belief distributed IT is going to be the game for several years. How do you take the locality out of services and functions and deliver it as a service?" Roese says.
The problem is that Huawei has catered to telecom, not enterprises. Roese has been trying to build enterprise know-how by hiring people from places such as IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), Sun Microsystems, and his old employer, Nortel Networks Ltd.
Roese wants to take an approach whereby the boundary of the cloud extends into the enterprise, rather than being completely owned by somebody else. He thinks that's the way to overcome concerns about security and loss of control.
"You can shove the cloud into the enterprise, which is what many cloud providers and over-the-top players are trying to do, and while it might make its way into the enterprise, it will never be accepted or desired, and it will always be considered an alien entity," Roese says.
Of course, this approach is going to create new problems. "There's a huge opportunity to rethink how policy management is done, not just in terms of policy servers in the carrier world and policy servers in the enterprise world, but what do you do when you when you mix these two worlds together? That's a whole new space, this idea of federated policy or extended policy," Roese says.
All this cloud work is going to be done in conjunction with Huawei's telecom arm, because Roese sees chances to contribute something on that side as well. The company's SingleCloud initiative, developing components for all sorts of clouds, will include a project to create cloud-provided OSS, an idea being pursued by Telcordia Technologies Inc. and others. (See Telcordia Puts Next Gen OSS in the Cloud.)
Mobility is another of his top priorities for the enterprise. "There's this really strange phenomenon that when you leave the four walls of your enterprise, the services start to decline. That's an artifact of the current ecosystem," he said. But he's convinced that CIOs would like for the enterprise to become more mobile.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading
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