Global spending on public cloud services is projected to grow by 17.5% in 2019 to $214.3 billion, according to Gartner. Recent Gartner surveys suggest that cloud investments is in the top three of investment priorities by enterprises.
Gartner’s research vice president Sid Nag (photo left) believes this is just the beginning and that as enterprises accelerate the cloudification of their businesses, vendors will shift investments from cloud-first to cloud-only.
“As the cloud continues to become mainstream within most organizations, technology product managers for cloud-related service offerings will need to focus on delivering solutions that combine experience and execution with hyperscale providers’ offerings,” said Nag. “This complementary approach will drive both transformation and optimization of an organization’s infrastructure and operations.”
Huawei’s growing cloud ambition manifested itself last month with a big push into the lucrative AI market.
At last month’s Huawei Cloud Summit held in Hong Kong, the company introduced 48 new AI services (now available locally), a full-stack offering that includes its own AI development platform ModelArts, optical character recognition (OCR), natural language processing and video analysis.
He underlined Huawei Cloud’s six core advantages, namely: most intelligent, most cost-effective, neutral and reliable, most suitable for organizations in the public sector and big enterprises, most expansive ecosystem, and best-in-class service and support.
“These six core advantages are built on Huawei’s aggregated R&D efforts and its core value of realizing customer-centricity.”
Proof in the pudding
At the summit attended by over 1,000 customers, partners, industry practitioners and members of the academe from Hong Kong, Guangdong, and Macau, Huawei Cloud set out to prove that its AI expertise is far from untested by showcasing several real-life use cases from the mainland.
To date, it has completed over 200 AI-related projects across more than 10 industries.
Huawei Cloud claimed to deliver high performance at low cost, with offerings such as C3 and M3 compute instances, bare metal servers and object storage services. Each instance type provides different levels variety of different levels of computing power and is designed for different tasks within the cloud.
“We use this flexible computing power and algorithms when we work with customers and partners when implementing AI projects across a wide range of industries,” said Deng.
One such project was with the Shenzhen Traffic Police Bureau to improve traffic congestion in the city. The roads of Metropolitan Shenzhen are among the most congested in China, with an average of 530 vehicles per kilometer traversing through 600 kilometers of roadway.
To alleviate the problem, the bureau – with the help of Huawei Cloud – built an intelligent traffic control system that integrated big data, AI and video analytics in one package. The system has since helped reduced average congestion time by nearly 18% and average vehicle speed went up.
At the campus of Shanghai-based logistics company Deppon Logistics, Huawei Cloud helped in deploying AI technologies to build a smart logistics campus, which will realize smart energy management, campus security protection, employee facial recognition, etc. For example, Deppon Logistics deployed the OCR service provided by Huawei Cloud to recognize express orders, which not only improved recognition accuracy but also reduced management cost by 25%.
Growing Hong Kong’s AI ecosystem
During the summit, Huawei Cloud launched its AI Partners Club. The club is a global program in which the Chinese technology giant provides business, technical and marketing support to partners building AI solutions. The club also offers participating partners advanced training, consulting and incubation services.
“We are in Hong Kong, with Hong Kong, and for Hong Kong,” Deng said. “We join hands with companies across all industries to grow with intelligence.
According to Deng, 10 AI partners have joined its AI Partner Club. Most of them are companies specializing in deep learning, voice recognition, data analytics, as well as visual and voice data labeling for the healthcare, retail, education, and Fintech sectors.
Huawei Cloud is also bolstering Hong Kong’s AI ecosystem by shoring up interest in the technology among university students. This is in a bid to grow the pool of local AI talents to meet anticipated demand as more companies widen the use of the technology in their organization.
Indeed, Huawei Cloud recently organized for university students its first AI Developer Contest together with the Hong Kong Society of Artificial Intelligence and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks.
Huawei Cloud is more than ready to handle a surge of local AI projects by expanding its footprint in the city over the last 12 months.
“We are the first international cloud service provider to offer three availability zones in Hong Kong to support our customers’ global business with secure, scalable and flexible cloud services,” said Deng. Huawei Cloud currently has 40 availability zones in 23 regions, enabling users to access the same platform globally.
Blockchain and IoT cloud services
In addition to AI, Huawei Cloud also offers blockchain services to help Hong Kong leverage the unique characteristics of the distributed ledger technology: decentralized, irreversible and traceable in support of the city’s position as an international financial and logistics hub.
Huawei Cloud also offers IoT cloud services providing secure and trusted global access to more than 1,000 object models, helping enterprises to build a connected and intelligent world.
In explaining why Huawei Cloud is offering customers full-stack services built on cloud and AI, Huawei Cloud CTO, Zhang Yuxin (photo left) said: “Our vision is to join hands with our Hong Kong customers, industry partners, and academic associations to build a smart future for this vibrant city, as well as to drive technology innovation and business development throughout the Greater Bay Area.”