6/28/16

Huawei Rotating CEO Eric Xu Discusses O&M Transformation in a Fully Connected Era

Xu Shares New Ideas at Huawei User Group Meeting 2016

The eighth Huawei User Group Meeting (HUGM) opened today at the World Expo Center in Shanghai, China. The meeting embodies Huawei's commitment to staying customer-centric, improving customer satisfaction, advocating a quality-first culture and craftsmanship spirit, and creating greater value for customers through its leading ICT solutions.

This event brings together more than 750 guests from leading operators, with attendees discussing how they can improve network quality, user experience, and operation and maintenance (O&M) efficiency. Specifically, topics include ways to transform network construction, O&M, and services; perspectives on industry development; and successful business experience.

In his opening speech, Huawei Rotating CEO Eric Xu said, "Supporting secure and stable network operations is one of Huawei's social responsibilities. Networks and IT systems will soon be fully cloudified and connected. By 2025, there will be 100 billion connections worldwide, and the data traffic and coverage of networks will be beyond our imagination. Faced with complex network environments, Huawei will remain committed to providing customers with high-quality products, solutions, and services, and addressing challenges together with them."


Huawei Rotating CEO Eric Xu said that supporting secure and stable network operations is one of Huawei's social responsibilities

Xu explained how Huawei aims to strengthen cooperation with customers in five areas to make the most of opportunities in a fully connected era. The five areas are: building the Joint Product Definition Community (JDC); jointly optimizing the Issue to Resolution (ITR) process; using Big Data for smart O&M; addressing network challenges brought about by All Cloud; and jointly discovering approaches for talent transformation.

Huawei equipment and solutions are currently running on over 1,500 networks worldwide to serve one-third of the world's population. These networks are operating securely and reliably, with over 100,000 customers directly using or maintaining Huawei's equipment. As customers have been using Huawei's equipment for a long time, they may have encountered different problems and have unique needs as well as ideas for addressing the problems. Xu offered suggestions, saying, "Huawei has studied how online communities address problems and built the Joint Product Definition Community, where Huawei users from across the world can join the community and directly express their needs or improvement suggestions for our products. This is a good engagement model, allowing us to rapidly improve product quality and better meet users' network needs."

Concerning O&M efficiency improvement, Xu suggested that the ITR processes of Huawei and operators should be optimized and integrated to facilitate smoother and more efficient communication and issue resolution. He added that machine learning and Big Data analytics technologies should be adopted to improve service quality as well as the accuracy and timeliness of fault prevention, demarcation, location, and root cause analysis. These technologies will go a long way towards boosting end user experience and network competitiveness.

Cloud computing is currently transforming networks, just like IP technologies did in the past. Following the emergence of the All IP concept, in April 2016 Huawei laid out the All Cloud concept. All Cloud involves the cloudification of equipment, networks, services, and operations. Regarding O&M issues and challenges caused by All Cloud, Xu said, "Software-defined anything (SDX) is the biggest value – and the biggest challenge – created by All Cloud. SDX brings greater agility, though agility may mean that a network will be difficult to manage."

Xu expanded on his ideas by using the example of alarm indicators becoming obsolete. He said, "For existing network equipment and functions, software and hardware are coupled, as are hardware maintenance and managed services. Using alarm indicators is one of the most common O&M approaches. However, as the functions of certain network elements are achieved through software, software and hardware will be decoupled. Then there will be no alarm indicators for a particular service because it no longer has any piece of hardware to go with it. In such a case, how can we locate faults? Which part of the network has gone wrong: the hardware or the software? Though alarm indicators may seem unimportant, the fact that they are set to become obsolete hints at a huge, underlying transformation. This poses tremendous challenges to the traditional decades-long O&M models and practices where software and hardware are coupled. My hope is that Huawei and operators will take immediate action and work together to address these challenges."

Xu said he thinks that talent transformation is crucial for addressing the O&M challenges brought about by All IP and All Cloud, adding that this transformation would not be easy. He suggested that Huawei and customers work together to change traditional theory-based training models and adopt practical approaches to explore the skills models and training methods required for future talent. These measures will be vital to the success of talent transformation.

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