The intelligent world has three defining characteristics: All things have started having the ability to sense, all things are gradually getting connected, and all things are getting intelligent. The existence of these three defining characteristics depends entirely on advancement of ICT. In an intelligent world, devices are playing the role of the “feelers”, so to speak, in an all-sensing environment. Networks have started connecting everything, and the cloud is becoming the source of intelligence behind all things. These three elements form a synergetic architecture that promotes seamless interaction between devices, information pipes, and the cloud.

Today, we are in living an era of diversification and information explosion, where customer’s behavior is increasingly dependent on the Internet. The demand for an Internet-style user experience is exponentially showing an upward trend and it can be summarized as ROADS (Real-time, On-demand, All-online, DIY and Social) experience, paving the way to what we call Digital Transformation. It is becoming almost impossible for operators to continue running on traditional networks; resource sharing is impossible to achieve on legacy networks, agile innovation is limited; there is no flexible expansion; not forgetting complex and unstructured operation and maintenance routines.

Since 2012, Voice & SMS revenues have drastically reduced for all global carriers mostly due to the impact of unregulated OTT’s. All CXOs are constantly looking for new ways to generate revenue. In the last few years, IT/Cloud Services revenues have grown from 5% to 20%, new digital services emerge one after another, such as video, music, M2M, smart home, education, healthcare and etc. These are, today’s equivalent of traditional voice & SMS revenues except for the fact that the latter is declining while the former is exponentially booming.

However, the good news is that opportunities for new revenue streams in the digital world are looking promising and are literally at par with the traditional revenue. This shift in business is equivalent to the creation of new opportunities and emergence of a new digital economy with a myriad of openings in almost every industry. Cloud transformation is known as the enabler and foundation of this Digital economy.

The Cisco Global Cloud Index depicts clearly that cloud will even go bigger in the coming years with a CAGR of 25 % [2014 – 2019] for Cloud Data Centers and a growth of 44 % in cloud related services [IaaS, PaaS, & SaaS]. The African market will not miss out on this universal wave; with an estimated cloud opportunity of USD 197 M in 2015 as per a recent study from BMI Technologies and projected to grow by 3 fold towards 2020.

Cloud is enabling the Carrier Digital Transformation. With this innovation, the role of IT is gaining more and more mileage in the carrier space, by changing nature from support to a production systems, rendering the birth of services easier. Cloud enables Business Model Innovation helping carriers to provide cloud services at “a click”.  It enables telco architecture transformation and thus provides the option to build Unified Cloud Based Architecture by welcoming the ICT convergence to offer a catalogue of services to both enterprise and customer bases.

The pillar of cloud business is the underlying infrastructure [computing, storage, and network]. Today’s challenges lie in legacy Infrastructure which cannot be reinvented into new digital services, due to a lack of agility to accommodate transformation. The right choice of infrastructure is of paramount importance in driving the right digital strategy and its expansion. Converged resource pool, also known as converged infrastructure has given a new dimension to the adoption and enablement of digital services. Infrastructure scalability is no longer a show-stopper to such strategies, allowing the move into the cloud through adoption of various cloud-driven services, generating more revenue. The converged resource pool gives rise to the unified cloud architecture helping operators build efficient and agile cloud platforms that enable cloud computing for telecom services, internal IT services, B2B business, and innovative business. The unified cloud architecture is divided into the infrastructure layer, the cloud operating system and management layer, the cloud service layer and the cloud service composition layer. This concept is called ‘One Cloud’ and is known to be open, normalized and economical. One Cloud is entirely based on an Open Source Management Platform, with easy interoperability given its open API capabilities. It provides unified resource orchestration for IAAS and PAAS, thus allowing carriers to build their strategy in adoption of private, public, or hybrid cloud service. One Cloud is also known for being economical through utilization of resource pool infrastructure for efficiency and planning, while improving on resource sharing for handling high volume of transactions. Enterprise Market is a key strategy in the Carrier Business. One Cloud also allows carriers to step into B2B Cloud with flexible offerings.

How HUAWEI is changing the Cloud Industry?

Establishing the right ecosystem is one of the most important factors of cloud development. Normally cloud providers like Microsoft, Oracle, Huawei, and Amazon are not going to release a handful of clouds on their own. Some are infrastructure providers; some are applications/solutions providers. As an ecosystem enabler, HUAWEI aims to help all of our customer’s build all types of clouds and in doing so proactively contribute to the development of the cloud ecosystem as a whole. One of the many initiatives from HUAWEI pivots actively on the formation of industry alliances. Promoting openness, collaboration, and shared success, with the goal of making the pie bigger for everyone involved. In addition to industry alliances, HUAWEI is also forging strategic business alliances with key partners. Together, they develop solutions that help customers succeed. Huge investments have been made in developers, and actively contributing to open source communities and trying to draw in as many talented players to fully expose the value chain.

During the Global Analyst Summit in Apr 2017  Ryan Ding, HUAWEI Executive Director of the Board & President of Products & Solutions stated “Over the next 10 years, All-Cloud will become a major trend for Telcos. For them, moving to the cloud is not an option, it is a must. Video opens the doors to a trillion-dollar market.  Companies need to get their foot in that door now, not wait until tomorrow.”

The cloud era means greater connectivity, more sharing and more freedom. If we want everything falling into place, adoption of the cloud mindset is very important. We should start seeing things at the cloud level, from a higher, more strategic perspective. In a way, we need to get a better view from the cloud.