"Open collaboration worldwide is a must." That's the view of Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei. As he puts it, it's impossible for one company to dominate the information market, and even more difficult for one company to provide everything one individual or enterprise needs.
Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud, and intelligent computing are affecting both our commercial and everyday lives. Service providers experiencing huge changes in customer demands are ramping up their digital transformation, which is impacting short- and long-term business models. However, because most industries are increasingly specialized, it's common that no single ICT company can solve all of the problems for every enterprise. Tech firms must engage in strategic partnerships to ensure successful and sustainable digital transformation. This drive for innovation is essential both for their own growth as well as that of their clients.
Huawei has a long history of collaborating with industry giants. Over the past decades, Huawei has worked with various organizations across multiple industries to develop solutions to common problems. One such partner is Intel, which has become an important partner in providing a wide range of solutions for customers. What's interesting about these tech giants is that they invest heavily in their research and development (R&D) departments, which are the catalyst for their cutting-edge technologies. Collaboration means both parties can work together to make and sustain quality hardware and software.
Let's take a deep dive into the history of Huawei partnerships.
Long-standing Collaboration with Intel Proven in Ever-evolving Product Series
The Huawei FusionServer series is one example of providing cutting-edge products on the back of mutually beneficial collaboration. In 2019, FusionServer was upgraded to FusionServer Pro to meet the requirements of intelligent data center transformation. Earlier this year, this product line was optimized again after all models adopted the latest Intel Cascade Lake Refresh processors. Now the full series of products and solutions--comprising rack, high-density, blade, heterogeneous, and mission-critical servers--all run at higher-than-high speeds, meaning there's a perfect choice for any customer scenario.
Over the past decade, Huawei has shipped over 4.31 million x86 servers, and this number continues to grow every year. Despite difficulties, 2019 was a successful year for Huawei, with server shipments of 746,000 units, which ranked No. 5 in the world. This demonstrates how any company can overcome any obstacle by exchanging knowledge and expertise with partners.
In recent years, Intel launched its Optane AEP memory, a first-generation data center persistent memory designed as an alternative to more expensive DRAM. Last year, Huawei adopted AEP technology into its mainstream product lines and its SAP HANA solutions, and it will introduce the second-generation data center persistent memory into more products in the future.
SAP and Huawei Develop Leading HANA Solutions
In 2012, Huawei became the first global technical partner in China of the software conglomerate SAP. In the following year, both parties jointly released the first certified Huawei SAP HANA appliance, which combines the SAP in-memory database platform with the Huawei Tecal RH5885 V2 rack server, a high-performance hardware platform.
In 2015, the companies established a joint innovation center in Shenzhen, and followed this with the roll-out of the high-end HANA system running on the Huawei-developed KunLun Mission Critical Server. This partnership is still going strong to this day, exemplified by the memorandum of understanding signing for the Galileo project in 2019. The potential for this collaboration is tremendous.
Despite the pressures from outside influences, Huawei worked hard in order to maintain its place as an industry leader. This success is based on extensive support from partners and clients, and, thanks to a stable supply of know-how, components, and deliveries, the collaboration is a two-way street.
Robust Supply Chain and Productions to Support Business Operations
What makes Huawei different from other peer vendors? For one, Huawei has a sustainable supply line--for both materials and products--thanks to operating its backup mode using stocked components. These parts were either sourced earlier or produced by the tech giant itself. What's more, Huawei is capable of independently running the entire manufacturing process, from tiny components to whole sets of equipment. By using an element management system, Huawei easily meets requirements across time zones and industry specifications. For the supply chains, Huawei has set up supply centers across the globe, facilitating business in Europe, Mexico, Dubai, Brazil, as well as in China. Despite the current global pandemic, the company offers a two-week delivery time for typical configurations in key regions to meet critical deadlines.
Huawei recently announced its further collaborations with Intel and SAP, including the upgrade of the FusionServer series that can run on the second-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors. These processors provide a balanced foundation for huge scale-out scenarios, enabling optimized performance, network, memory, storage, and fabric for workloads today and tomorrow. It speeds up AI processing, allowing enterprises to run applications with built-in AI or standalone frameworks.
Ren Zhengfei believes that open collaboration is the key to meeting the demands of society, as well as bringing new technologies to more people at lower costs. This cannot be done by any one company, and requires an in-depth, collective strategy. Collaboration is a tool to achieve this goal, and that's why Huawei is always open to working with new partners and expanding industry ecosystems.