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Huawei Sees World of Global Cloud Alliances

Robert Clark
News Analysis
Robert Clark

Huawei has laid out its ambitions for its cloud business, revealing it expects to form a global cloud alliance with operators and is confident it can become a major global cloud player in its own right.

Opening the Huawei Connect customer event in Shanghai today, acting CEO Guo Ping said the company believed the cloud business would evolve along similar lines to airlines, with the formation of global alliances of service providers. (See Huawei Takes Aim at AWS, Google With Public Cloud Move.)

"It would be impossible for one or two companies to meet all the requirements of digital transformation," he said, explaining that each country has different requirements and rules on data sovereignty and other regulations.

"We expect in the future we could build a cloud alliance around the world.

"It would be comprised of members from different countries so that altogether they could provide global cloud services. That is the cloud alliance that we have in mind."

For example, given the existing partnership between Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)'s T-Systems division and Huawei, the best choice for a German enterprise wanting to operate in China would be to choose T-Systems International GmbH in Germany and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in China.

Speaking before 20,000 attendees at the company's flagship customer event, Guo said the biggest difference between the Chinese vendor and established Internet companies is that Huawei "does not monetize the data from its users. We monetize from our own technologies. That is why a lot of foreign companies come to China and are willing to work with us."

Guo said the world's cloud market would be dominated by a handful of global players and that Huawei believes it can be one of them.

He said clouds around the world "will begin to converge -- becoming more and more centralized. In the future, we predict there will be five major clouds in the world. Huawei will work with our partners to build one of those five clouds, and we've got the technology and know-how to do it."

Want to know more about cloud services? Check out our dedicated cloud services content channel here on Light Reading.

Huawei is investing heavily in cloud platforms and security, and tipping money into new fields like big data and artificial intelligence, he said.

The Chinese vendor used today's event to launch a suite of AI-assisted services called enterprise intelligence, including machine learning, AI training and reasoning, and services such as image and voice recognition.

Among the customers showcased at today's event are CERN, which has cut maintenance costs by two thirds after running Large Hadron Collider workloads on a DT-Huawei public cloud, and the Shenzhen Police, which said Huawei's solution had helped it to filter images of traffic violations ten times more efficiently than before.

Since establishing a new cloud business unit six months ago, Huawei claims to have released 40 new cloud services, increased its cloud user base by 238% and added 4,500 service features.

— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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9/15/2017 | 4:30:09 PM
Re: What the world needs is another Cloud Alliance
Yes, an interesting observation. Parts of the equation proposing the "cloud business would evolve along similar lines to airlines, with the formation of global alliances," might well be applicable but it's not quite a complete analogy I would think.
9/5/2017 | 6:26:14 PM
Re: What the world needs is another Cloud Alliance
But lately in telecom, the party doesn't really start until Huawei makes its entrance.
9/5/2017 | 5:30:41 PM
Re: What the world needs is another Cloud Alliance
Er, I'm not sure airlines is such a great industry to model yourself on. It is characterized by razor thin margins and frequent bankruptcies. The only companies that make any money are the ones who make the planes, the ones who own and lease out the planes (finance companies), and the airports. 
9/5/2017 | 11:19:12 AM
Re: What the world needs is another Cloud Alliance
Alliances do make a lot of sense, and the airline comparison might not be far off. Cloud infrastructure is becoming heavily regionalized, something that air carriers are keenly aware of. 
9/5/2017 | 9:47:55 AM
What the world needs is another Cloud Alliance
Huawei a bit late to the party.
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