At the first Global Professional Services Forum today (17 September 2014), Huawei announced its commitment to increase investment in professional services, fully supporting the transformation of CT networks and open digital operations for ICT.
Talking at the event, Dr. Leroy G. Blimegger Jr., senior vice president of Huawei Global Technical Services (pictured), stated that: “With user behaviour changes revolutionising the way digital resources are consumed, operators have to decide the steps to take to enable the evolution of network architectures, operation models and more effective industry collaboration.
“In the near future the network will become IT-centric, services will be digitalised and cloud based, and systems integration capabilities will become even more critical to help operators realize IT transformation.”
Blimegger explained: “Based on our SoftCOM strategy, Huawei has been working together with many global operators to match their strategic positioning to consumer demands, and to build capabilities primarily in five areas: consulting and systems integration; open digital operations; building of open cooperative ecosystems; traditional BSS/OSS to telco OS evolution; and big data and user experience management. Today we are announcing significantly increased investment into this.”
For Huawei, this increase in investment is spread over three years. It began with the development of two open labs earlier this year; one focusing on NFV – network function virtualisation – in Xi’an, China, and the second one for service provider operations in Ireland, Western Europe.
This increased investment will also fund the development of a system integration centre in North America, the launch of a telco OS platform integrating OSS and BSS in 2015, and the upgrade of a CT-based network operations centre to a full ICT-based application operations centre, which will fully support the transformation of CT networks and open digital operations for ICT.
Blimegger explained that to remain relevant to its mobile operator customer base it has to increase its ICT knowledge and experience. “We will retain our capabilities in the CT domain of managed services, customer experience management, customer support, network integration services and in-building coverage, but add those capabilities to the ICT domain.”
He noted that traditionally the company has not had people familiar with the ICT domain, but it is now adding staff with those skills and experience. He said that CTOs and CIOs do not speak the same language, but increasingly they will need to, or even see the roles combined into one.
“As the industry changes with SDN (software defined networks) and NFV the future mobile networks will see IT wrapped around a CT core, so we need to change how we think. We need to change our business and cost models to meet that change. But as well as the technical transformation of mobile networks, there will also need to be a transformation of mind sets and cultures before the organisation can be successful.”
Blimegger said that Huawei’s main focus is on developing systems integration capabilities and open digital operations. “Thanks to SDN and NVF the hardware will become more generic, but we need to ensure that the software is interoperable from end-to-end of the network. Networks will have to be very flexible and they will require the ability to change to meet customer demand in real time.”
He added that SDN and NFV will enable operators to steer traffic around the network without the need to invest in expensive hardware that might be sitting idle much of the time. “But for this transformation to happen, we have to think differently and ensure our service performance management solutions remain relevant in the new ICT world,” said Blimegger.
Huawei expects to see operators divide into three types in the future. Some will remain content to simply offer mobile network infrastructure – a pipe - and be a guarantor of that. Others will add a service platform capability on top of their network to become a business enabler allowing third parties to provide additional services. Finally, a third grouping will look to go beyond this and offer services themselves – be an experience provider offering content and applications.
Blimegger said Huawei’s goal is to build the key capabilities (the five focus areas mentioned above) that match these three groupings of operator strategy going forward.