Reflections From HPE Discover 2017

Eveline Oehrlich

From June 4 to 6, 2017, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise hosted an analyst summit in hot Las Vegas as part of its HPE Discover 2017 event. After a five-year journey of splitting, spin-merging, and getting smaller, CEO Meg Whitman and her staff took stage announcing their strategy and innovations to 9,000 attendees ranging from partners and customers from all over the world. This calls for some reflections about HPE’s journey, its past achievements, and its current focus areas and will help us understand where HPE is heading in the future.

I have been following HPE for almost 11 years and had a chance to meet Meg Whitman in September 2016 in Boston right after the company acquired SGI. I have seen HP split into HPE and HP Inc., creating two powerhouses and then again spin-merge its services teams into CSC (now DXC) and HPE Software into Micro Focus, which should be finalized by September 1, 2017. Meg has created four new companies out of one giant company, with each focused and poised to innovate, add value, and deliver outcomes to its installed base and new customers. In the past 12 months, HPE grew both organically and inorganically via good (and attractively priced) acquisitions such as Aruba Networks, 3Par, SGI, Nimble Storage, CloudCruiser, and Niara — all purposeful and aligned with two of its key strategies, supported by the 25,000-strong PointNext service organization.

HPE is clearly focused on all verticals and large enterprises of the world that face challenges in transforming towards a digital business all at different speeds. The spin-merging of HP Enterprise Services into what Meg calls its “cousin” DXC allows it to be even more partner-open, and the new GM Ana Pinczuk is eager to march her PointNext organization along HPE’s solutions as well as create additional competitive advantage with new service offerings.

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Reflections On Huawei’s Analyst Summit 2017 — Past, Present, And Future

Dan Bieler

In April 2017, Huawei hosted its annual Analyst Summit in Shenzhen, China. Huawei’s financial year 2016 was remarkable as the group grew revenues by 32% to US$ 75 billion, making Huawei the largest global network solutions vendor by revenues, way ahead of its traditional competitors Cisco, Nokia, and Ericsson. This calls for some reflections about Huawei’s journey, its past achievements, and its current focus areas. This will help us to understand where Huawei might be heading in the future.

I have been following Huawei for over 10 years. Over this short timeframe, I have seen Huawei grow into the largest global telco network infrastructure vendor, becoming a leading global smartphone manufacturer, migrating from a low-cost hardware manufacturer toward an innovative product developer, ramping up its service capabilities, moving into delivering products and services to the enterprise segment, and pushing into software development.

These achievements underline that Huawei has achieved an awful lot since rising from its humble beginnings as a producer of phone switches in Shenzhen in 1987. For years, its core competitors have underestimated the capabilities and determination of Huawei to succeed. At the Huawei Analyst Summit 2017, I picked up three key focus areas for Huawei in 2017:

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Fix Your Mobile Foundations To Make The Most Of Bots, Agents, VR and Other Emerging Tech

Thomas Husson

Emerging consumer technologies such as bots, intelligent agents, extended reality, connected objects, and IoT will not replace mobile — instead, mobile will be the key to unlocking these new touchpoints.

Facing limited budgets, marketers feel pressure to prioritize much-hyped new consumer-facing technologies over their foundational mobile work. Jumping directly to the latest shiny objects of VR, IoT, etc., without first implementing a proper mobile foundation is a costly mistake, as marketers will not be able to effectively scale innovative technologies beyond a small testing audience. With over 5 billion smartphones forecasted to be in use worldwide by 2020, mobile will play a key role in activating adjacent connected experiences.

That’s one of the key messages of my new “2017 Mobile And Technology Priorities For Marketers” report written with my colleague Jennifer Wise.

In the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to sit down with many of our clients across different industries. A marketer at one of the largest CPG brands told me they currently had 18 chatbot pilots across the world! The Chief digital and customer experience officer at a global insurance company told me conversational interfaces is his top priority for the next 3 years. The SVP e-commerce and marketing at a global travel brand think extended reality will become a key differentiator. Beyond, these anecdotes, our quantitative survey among marketers, shows that:

  • 6% use intelligent agents regularly and 18% are piloting or planning to use them in the next year
  • 5% use bots regularly and 40% are piloting or planning to use them in the next year
  • 3% use augmented reality regularly and 30% are piloting or planning to use AR in the next year
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Bosch Connected World 2017 – Lessons From IoT Practitioners

Dan Bieler

With Paul Miller

In March 2017, Bosch hosted its annual internet-of-things (IoT) conference, Bosch Connected World (BCW), in Berlin. Since last year, the event has doubled in size, attracting 2,500 attendees from businesses and vendors. This jump reflects the growing interest in IoT. The number of attendees, however, also highlights the relative immaturity of IoT compared with bigger technology themes. Despite being smaller than events such as GE’s Minds + Machines or Mobile World Congress, BCW has established itself as a premier IoT event, as it has a very distinct “IoT practitioner” feel to it. We took away some key observations for IoT practitioners from the event:

  • To succeed in IoT, you must build and participate in open ecosystems. No vendor or end user can plan, build, and run end-to-end IoT operations that address the entire customer life cycle. This message comes through loud and clear at all the IoT events that we attend, be it IBM’s Genius of Things or GE’s Minds + Machines, and it was repeated by all the BCW speakers. The notion of coopetition was tangible, with Bosch emphasizing its partnerships with IBM, Software AG, Amazon, GE, SAP, and many more. Also noticeable was that all ecosystem participants are grappling with what it means for the shape of their business and their relationship with the customer.
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Mobile World Congress 2017: Observations Regarding The Main Enterprise Themes

Dan Bieler

Recently, the largest annual get together of the mobile industry, Mobile World Congress (MWC) took place in Barcelona. In my opinion, the biggest themes at MWC in 2017 that are relevant for enterprise customers were the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), platforms, collaboration, and connectivity. These themes underline how mobility is becoming part of the broader digital transformation initiative. I discuss this shift in this separate blog and report. MWC provided several valuable insights for business and technology leaders to align their mobile to their digital strategies:

-> Not everything that claims to be AI is true AI. Many vendors that claimed during MWC to be AI-proficient are in fact able to deliver true machine-learning solutions to generate transformative customer and operational insights. Most solutions that were branded as AI at MWC rely on preprogrammed responses and statistics rather than machine learning.

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AI's Emerging Role In IoT Highlighted At IBM Genius Of Things Event

Dan Bieler

Photo: Bergman Group

IBM hosted an artificial intelligent (AI) event at its Munich Watson IoT HQ, where it underlined its claim as a leading global AI and internet-of-things (IoT) platform providers in the enterprise context. AI and the IoT are both very important topics for enterprise users. However, there remains some uncertainty among enterprises regarding the exact benefits that both AI and IoT can generate and how businesses should prepare for the deployment of AI and IoT in their organizations.

One year into the launch of its Munich-based Watson IoT headquarters, IBM invited about one thousand customers to share an update of its AI and IoT activities to date. The IBM “Genius of Things” Summit presented interesting insights for both AI and IoT deployments. It underlined that IBM is clearly one of the leading global AI and IoT platform providers in the enterprise context. Some of the most important insights for me were that:

  • AI solutions require a partner ecosystem. IBM is well aware of the fact that it cannot provide IoT services on its own. For this reason, IBM is tapping into its existing partner ecosystem. Those partners are not only other vendors. IBM’s ecosystem partnership approach embraces also customers such as Schäffler, Airbus, Vaillant, or Tesco. The event demonstrated how far IBM has matured in living and breathing customer partnerships in the IoT solutions space. For instance, IBM’s cooperation with Visa regarding secure payment experiences for any device connected to the IoT is an example of a new quality of ecosystem partnership.
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IoT Software Platform Wave Evaluation Helps Firms Navigate The Complex Solution Landscape

Michele Pelino

As businesses pursue digital initiatives, I&O execs must assist their line-of-business colleagues with addressing software, security, data, and business analytics integration complexity associated with deploying these IoT solutions. Digital opportunities to use IoT include:

  • Building connected products. Product manufacturers are creating smart, connected products to differentiate their offerings and generate new revenue streams as well as ecosystems for other partners to participate in and create their own value.
  • Transforming operational processes. Businesses across many vertical markets are using IoT-enabled use cases to transform supply chain processes, enhance inventory management and operational processes, and track and monitor asset performance
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VMware Is Evolving As A Powerful Provider Of Cloud-Based Offerings

Dan Bieler

With Lauren Nelson

We recently attended VMworld 2016 Europe in Barcelona. The event, which attracted about 10,000 visitors, has established itself as an important destination for anyone with an interest in virtualization-related topics. In many respects, the event was over-shadowed by the VMware-AWS partnership. However, the event also provided us with several additional impressions. We felt that there were several encouraging signs pointing to how VMware is progressing as a business within Dell Technologies, in particular, VMware is:

  • Developing its ecosystem of partners. The event was a good example how large VMware’s ecosystem has grown over the years. Most major systems integrators, IT firms, software houses, and telcos were present. In discussions with management, it was obvious that VMware fully understands the need to partner with a wide range of providers to address the business requirements that enterprise customers have. We expect VMware to further strengthen its ecosystem activities.
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Boost Digital Business With The Internet Of Things

Charlie Dai

The rise of mobile networks, improved wireless tech, and rapid sensor innovation over the past 10 years has enabled companies to use internet-connected sensors and actuators to improve business operations and transform products. The ever-increasing number of connected devices is opening up new business models and new opportunities for both tech vendors and end users; as a result, IoT is becoming an essential cornerstone of the business technology agenda. Enterprise architecture professionals must define a holistic IoT software architecture to navigate through the complex technology landscape.

I’ve recently published two reports focusing on how to architect the IoT software stack. These reports analyze the heat maps and trends around IoT adoption in China and introduce Forrester’s IoT technology stack reference architecture. They also show EA pros how to achieve strategic business outcomes and unleash the power of digital business by analyzing the IoT practices of visionary Chinese firms. Some of the key takeaways:

  • Successful IoT initiatives yield substantial business value. Outstanding IoT initiatives achieves strategic outcomes, such as competitive differentiation, customer experience enhancement, and asset performance optimization. Chinese companies have successfully launched IoT initiatives to establish their digital business in various industries, including energy, automotive, logistics, and manufacturing.
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Blockchain’s Potential For IoT Solutions

Dan Bieler

“IoT is not a feasible concept without a solution that allows for the direct interaction between machines and devices. Blockchain is a technology that can help to unlock this piece of the puzzle.”

Matthew Spoke, CEO, Nuco

Blockchain technology and the IoT both are currently catching the imagination of many interested stakeholders — for good reasons. For IoT to come into its own in the long run, devices sooner or later will have to communicate directly between each other. More than that, they must also be able to initiate further action without waiting for external instructions.

Blockchain can potentially add many benefits to IoT scenarios. Both — IoT and blockchain — are based on decentralized, distributed approaches; in combination, they potentially offer huge benefits from operational efficiencies to revenue generation. While these benefits will not emerge overnight, business and technology leaders need to acquaint themselves now with the possibilities as well as the challenges of blockchain technology in the IoT context, because:

  • Conceptually, blockchain technology is a good match for IoT scenarios. IoT applications are by definition distributed and call for devices to interact directly with each other rather than via existing centralized models.
  • Blockchain has the potential for improved IoT features, cost-efficiency, and compliance. Blockchain is not an end in itself, but forms the basis for applications, including potentially smart contracts, which support specific IoT processes.
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