Huawei's SA OpenLab to focus on safe city, smart grid solutions

12th May 2017 By: Schalk Burger - Creamer Media Senior Contributing Editor

Information and communication technology multinational Hauwei has launched an OpenLab in South Africa that will focus on safe city and smart grid technologies, says Huawei South Africa deputy CEO Alex Du.

The research and development laboratory is one of seven Huawei OpenLabs that will be opened this year and will provide a formal environment for Huawei to work with various industry partners in South Africa to create innovative solutions and promote the development of a robust information technology ecosystem.

The Huawei Johannesburg OpenLab will focus on the development of advanced analytics for police and power grid operations, as well as on power-related Internet of Things systems and the integration of Huawei’s communication module into local smart metres.

The laboratories are “open” because a co-creation and revenue sharing model will be used. Products and services will be developed and distributed in collaboration with other industry partners, he explains.

The OpenLab programme is aligned with Huawei Enterprise Business Group’s “Platform and Ecosystem” strategy and is centred on collaborating with partners and customers to develop innovative, differentiated and leading industry-specific solutions that enable open, elastic, flexible, and secure platforms to drive enterprise digital transformation, he explains.

Huawei Enterprise Government and Public Utility Sector, Global Industry Solutions department VP Edwin Diender emphasises that the OpenLab leverages existing partnerships and initiatives, such as Huawei’s work to provide municipalities with safe city systems, and encourages the formation and development of new partnerships.

“The laboratory will test and customise a broad range of solutions, such as the multimedia image sharing system being developed for emergency services, under the umbrella of safe cities and smart grids. Making cities safer will lead to smarter cities, but safety is, and should be, the first priority,” he says.

The OpenLab will also facilitate the faster adoption of technologies by many public and private organisations in various applications, owing to the availability of best practice standards and proven successful uses. This will also help government organisations to digitally transform themselves, and accelerate the broader e-government shift, he adds.

The Labs share innovations between them and will improve technology sharing from around the globe, like manufacturing technologies from Germany or Internet of Things technologies from Dallas, emphasises Du.

“The Lab is an open, flexible, resilient and secure platform where we can cooperate and build solutions for the ecosystem that help customers to achieve higher commercial success. It will facilitate a digital transformation ecosystem to support the implementation of joint innovations and expand the ecosystem in terms of industry alliances, business alliances, developer platforms and open-source communities,” concludes Du.

“We hope the Huawei OpenLab will create a new model for joint innovation. Subsequently, we would like to invite partners to work together with Huawei in this initiative,” says Huawei Enterprise Business Group Southern Africa energy sector director Stan Qiu.

“Huawei will provide the data centre facility, hardware and software infrastructure and technical team while the partners will contribute ideas, products and human resources. By working together, we 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 for all ecosystem players,” he adds.

Huawei is committed to cooperating with its customers and partners in building ICT platforms featuring Cloud, Pipe, and Device collaboration to create symbiotic, vibrant and sustainable ecosystems. Huawei will continue to work with its partners to explore new ways to address digital transformation challenges in the new ICT era.

Story highlights:

* Huawei launches its South Africa OpenLab, which will provide a platform for cooperation with industry partners and clients to develop new and innovative solutions.
* The OpenLab is part of Huawei’s international ICT ecosystem strategy that aims to bolster the broader ICT environment and adoption of digital systems.