Huawei Asia-Pacific Innovation Day 2017: Key Takeaways

Guo Ping - Huawei Rotating CEO

I was an attendee at Huawei Asia Pacific Innovation Day 2017 that was held a few days ago in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The event turned out to be a deep dive into various aspects of digital transformation and smart infrastructure building that Huawei has been driving in the Asia-Pacific zone. The general perception that Huawei is a company that predominantly makes smartphones was dispelled and I got to see a plethora of key projects that were actually driving large scale transformation.

The keynote address by Mr. Guo Ping, Deputy Chairman of the Board, Rotating CEO, Huawei touched upon the various stages that a nation goes through when trying to transform into a digital entity.  He touched upon the fact that while the transformation starts with the strengthening and development of ICT Infrastructure, the key phases are the ones that subsequently follow. Namely, the physical and digital security building. While the best infrastructure will give you the right boost, the integrity and reliability of your industrial digitization process will for most part be very heavily depending on how secure your systems are physically and digitally. Security is not another feature but an integral part of the way that industrial transformation is thought about, He also emphasized on the the most important step in digitization which is the process of developing a “digital brain”. All these steps put together will make for a coherent digitization plan for a country.  He also explained in detail about how ICT will help Malaysia achieve economic goals, the key differentiation being in the areas of Industry 4.0, Smart Tourism,  Smart Education and Safe Cities.

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

The Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and Minister of Home Affairs, YB Dato’ Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi, also delivered a keynote speech at the event. He expressed his optimism about the future of digital transformation in the Asia Pacific region. He encouraged all APAC countries to communicate more and work more closely together to drive positive, sustainable economic outcomes.

Digital economy has become a major driver of economic development where ICT is playing a crucial role as an enabler of infrastructure building for digital economy. All industries are confronting a challenge as well as an opportunity posed by digital transformation. Huawei, the leading global ICT solutions provider, has been working with ecosystem partners to improve the quality of the country’s communications services contributing to Malaysia’s digital transformation. As a result of these efforts over the past 16 years, more Malaysians now benefit from high-quality and convenient communications services.

An old Chinese saying goes, “It is never easy to be a trailblazer”. If you are doing pioneering work, you are bound to encounter immense hardships and difficulties. Since its arrival in Malaysia, Huawei has maintained this pioneering spirit to move forward and make breakthroughs in the ICT industry. Huawei has joined hands  with local partners in constructing communications infrastructure, creating jobs, cultivating professionals, and contributing to local economic growth. This will eventually enable Malaysia to become a strong digital economy.

At the event, Huawei announced the construction of a new OpenLab in Malaysia, which will serve as an open, flexible, and secure platform for joint innovation with local partners. Huawei has built similar OpenLabs in Munich, Mexico, Dubai, Singapore, and China. Together, these labs support extensive cooperation between Huawei and over 400 solution partners globally.

Openness, innovation, collaboration, and shared success were the common themes of this year’s event. Tony Q.S. Quek, Associate Professor from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), spoke about Huawei’s Innovation Research Program, which funds joint innovation with universities. Professor Dr. Ong Hang See from Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) and YBhg Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, CEO of Malaysia Petroleum Resource Corporation (MPRC), presented real-world examples of the electric power industry and the oil and gas industry going digital.

Huawei Smart Policing

Mr Augustine Chiew, Global Public Safety Expert, EBG, Huawei gave one of the most interesting presentations of the day where he explained how smart technology coupled with an engaged and aware community can actually help build a safer city that leverage technology to monitor and bring down the crime rates and make life more peaceful. He spoke about a series innovations from Huawei that helped city authorities in China apprehend a criminal within roughly seven minutes of a crime being reported. The technology in this case ranged from HD CCTV Camera installations at vital places in the city to efficient cloud and community infrastructure that gave the underlying layer for the smart devices to utilize. For example a policeman taking a picture of a car’s license plate should be able to get all the data and metadata that are relevant to the car, it’s owner and history on his smartphone instantly using the smart infrastructure to help make quick and right calls on the field. He also gave a case study of a child abduction being solved in very quick time using the smart infrastructure. All in all, the future looks bright from a safe city angle with help from Huawei. This was an interesting session that the audience appreciated a lot.

As the day wound down to a final panel where the various aspects, best practices and challenges in various aspects of digitization and transformation were discussed, it became very evident that Huawei is not just a smartphone or a notebook maker, but a key stakeholder in almost every aspect of our collective digital future that is right around the corner. Huawei has stakes in everything from cloud solutions, ICT, smart infrastructure and  public safety. I will be following Huawei very keenly as a change maker in future technology going forward.

Disclosure: I am a part of the Huawei KOL Program and Huawei sponsored my trip, and stay in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia to attend this event. That being said, this is an unbiased post with complete editorial freedom with me.

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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