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Huawei's ICT Nation Aims To Unite Partners, Vendors, CIOs In One Community

Joseph F. Kovar

Jane Li

Huawei this week unveiled ICT Nation, an initiative aimed at building a community of technology and channel partners to take advantage of opportunities caused by what it sees as the convergence of ICT, or information and communications technologies.

Should the ICT Nation initiative, which so far has received support from some solution providers but as yet no support from other technology partners, be successful, it could help Huawei gain a foothold in the U.S. IT market.

Joe Asady, CEO of Netfast Communications, a New York-based IT solution provider and Huawei partner, said Huawei's ICT Nation vision combines cloud on the back end and BYOD on the front, something that resonates with customers.

"Huawei has the technology it needs to build a community," Asady said. "But it needs marketing and branding. The Huawei brand needs to become a trusted brand. They need to tell their story. Forty-five of the top 50 carriers worldwide use Huawei, and they have so many awards and patents. Huawei also needs to educate CIOs and CEOs about its ability to help them achieve their business objectives."

[Related: Huawei: We're Still Building Our U.S. Enterprise Business, Channel ]

Huawei also unveiled a new member of its CloudEngine series of data center switches with the potential for scaling to a total switching capacity of up to 64 Tbps.

The ICT Nation initiative and switch were officially rolled out at the Interop conference, held this week in Las Vegas.

Jane Li, COO of Huawei Enterprise U.S.A., the Cupertino, Calif.-based subsidiary of China-based telecom and IT giant Huawei, said Huawei has relied on feedback from partners.

"Huawei has a broad product portfolio, but it knows it needs to understand solution requirements," Li said. "We've been studying that for the last couple years, and 2013 is the time we can really leverage what we have learned from partners and take advantage of growth opportunities."

Li said the market is transitioning from a focus on traditional server, storage, networking and security products to solutions that merge information and communications technologies, and Huawei is launching its ICT Nation initiative to build on that transition.

"ICT is not just a Huawei initiative," she said. "We need to rally a community of vendors, partners and CIOs to make this a global initiative."

Huawei is demonstrating a range of BYOD solutions, cloud data center solutions, and software-defined networking (SDN) solutions at Interop.

"For the past few years, the growth of wireless devices and tablets and the need for new infrastructures to manage that growth has been stressful for CIOs," Li said. "But with ICT Nation, everyone will be working together to find the right solutions."

NEXT: Partnering With Huawei Amid U.S. Security Concerns


Dave Harmon, president of HVE Connecxions, a Waxachie, Texas-based solution provider and Huawei partner that counts Huawei as a data center networking and virtualization customer, said he likes the ICT Nation philosophy.

"I remember back in the telecom space with Nortel and Fujitsu, and everyone was talking about convergence similar to what Huawei is saying about ICT," Harmon said. "We were talking about that single-pane-of-glass management."

Both Netfast Communications' Asady and Harmon said, however, that Huawei needs to overcome U.S. government concerns about potential security issues related to its China-based parent organization.

These concerns can be overcome, Asady said. He cited IBM's 2004 sale of its PC business to China-based Lenovo and the initial resistance to that sale.

"Now look at IBM's possible sale of its server business to Lenovo," he said. "And Lenovo ThinkPads are in use everywhere in the U.S. There are third-party companies in the U.S. who can certify that Huawei is not a security threat."

NEXT: Huawei's New CloudEngine


Li acknowledged that Huawei has yet to name other vendor partners for ICT Nation, but expects to name vendor, channel and end-user partners over the next few months.

In the meantime, Huawei is rolling out an integrated strategy that takes advantage of the company's wireless technologies, including its mobile phone and WLAN technology, to provide secure end-to-end solutions, effective mobile device management, secure application development and deployment, and environment-aware policies.

For the cloud data center, the company unveiled the CloudEngine 12816, a data center L2/L3 switch supporting up to 128 100-Gbps Ethernet ports, 384 40-GbE ports, or 1,536 10-GbE ports.

CloudEngine provides up to 2 Tbps per slot, with the potential for upgrading to a total system capacity of up to 64 Tbps, Li said. It also includes the ability to virtualize multiple switches into one logical switch or virtualize one switch into multiple independent logical devices.

PUBLISHED MAY 8, 2013

Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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