OpenLab to support digital transformation

April 28th, 2017, Published in Articles: EngineerIT


Delivering the keynote address at the Huawei South Africa Eco-Connect 2017 Alex Du, MD of Huawei Enterprise South Africa, announced the establishment of OpenLab in South Africa as part of 15 OpenLabs around the world. To date, the company has built and operates OpenLabs in five cities including Suzhou, China; Munich, Germany; Mexico City, Mexico; Singapore; and Dubai, UAE. These OpenLabs are facilitating joint innovation and solution launches with more than 400 partners across smart city, finance, transportation, energy, manufacturing and media sectors. Huawei plans to increase the number of labs to 20, representing an investment of $200-million over three years.

The new OpenLab will be based at the Vulani Office Park in Johannesburg, and will work with various industry partners to create customer-centric and innovative solutions that enable digital transformation while promoting industry ecosystem development. The first two joint innovation areas of the Johannesburg OpenLab will focus on public safety and smart grid solutions, which will feature the development of advanced analytics for both police and power grid operations, as well as power IoT and integration of Huawei’s communication module into local smart meters.

Alex Du, MD, Huawei Enterprise South Africa.

Victor Yu, president of the Industry Marketing and Solution Department of Huawei Enterprise Business Group, said that each OpenLab addresses the needs of its local market, and harnesses local talent and technology assets. For example in Munich, the company is working on joint innovation projects, conducting simulation tests and research on connected cars with German automotive enterprises.

The global OpenLab programme is aligned with the company’s “Platform + Ecosystem” strategy. This strategy centres on collaborating with partners and customers to develop innovative, differentiated and industry-specific solutions that enable open, elastic, flexible, and secure platforms to drive enterprise digital transformation. The focus is on facilitating a digital transformation ecosystem to implement joint innovations and expand the ecosystem in terms of industry alliances, business alliances, developer platforms, and open-source communities.

Gert Schoonbee, MD, T-Systems.

Huawei will provide the data centre facility, hardware and software infrastructure and technical team whilst the partner will contribute with ideas, products and human resources. By working together, they can enable new ideas to be verified more quickly, allow for more agile industry innovation and more efficient proof of concepts creation. The ultimate goal is to transform the lab into a customer experience centre and generate more opportunities.

In his keynote address, Du said that the company is committed to cooperating with its companies and end-users in building ICT platforms featuring cloud, pipe, and device collaboration to create symbiotic, vibrant and sustainable ecosystems. Huawei will continue to explore new ways to address digital transformation challenges in the new ICT era. He also alluded to a new partnership with T-Systems South Africa and the introduction of a locally based open stack enterprise cloud (OTC).

OTC is a simple, secure and affordable open stack public cloud platform that will deliver on-demand, pay as you go cloud services to enterprises. With the advent of industry 4.0 and the digitalisation of organisations, OTC will bring the best of global cloud innovation to South Africa and will enable South African companies to operate and compete on a global scale. Gert Schoonbee, MD of T-Systems, said the company is deploying OTC in South Africa, which will enable compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act. The two companies are planning to take customers onto OTC  in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Eco-Connect 2017 also featured four breakaway sessions focusing on government and public safety, transport, energy and finance. Each session dealt with the road to digital transformation with the focus on safe cities by creating smart cities.


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