Presented by Huawei

Huawei Digital Platform – The foundation for a digital South Africa

Huawei has released its Digital Platform, a suite of systems developed to facilitate its own digital transformation.

Speaking at the company’s recent EcoConnect event in Johannesburg, Huawei Enterprise South Africa managing director Alex Du said they’ve found that only about 10% of an organisation’s physical operation technology (OT) systems are actually sensed.

There is no model or digital abstraction for 90% of the information that real-world physical systems generate, Du said.

Huawei Digital Platform changes this equation, allowing businesses to capture more of their OT data and undergo a true digital transformation.

The platform has been put through its paces within Huawei, having been developed to aid the company in its digital transformation.

“Huawei was started 30 years ago. It was never a digital-native company,” said Du.

It is also a complex organisation with three distinct business types: serving other businesses, offering consumer-oriented products, and serving individual people.

Huawei also has over 180,000 staff and over 150,000 partners in 170 countries.

Additionally, there are over a thousand applications in more than 70 data centres around the world and it has had to contend with legacy systems based on aging architectures, siloed applications, and no real-time OT service perception to speak of.


Using its Digital Platform and applying its digital transformation principles, however, Huawei was able to sustain double-digit growth, Du said.

It was able to do this without significantly increasing the number of employees at the company – Huawei’s staff complement only grew by 2.3% from 2015 to 2018.

As its digital transformation progressed, Huawei saw its app rollout time improve from 6-9 months to 1-4 weeks, while its inventory cycle went from an average of 7 days to 1.2 days and its delivery efficiency increased by 30%.

“A unified digital platform was so important to the transformation,” Du said.

The platform is cloud-based and can operate in a multi-cloud environment whether public, private, or hybrid. It also supports an open architecture to allow the orchestration of data from other information and communications technology systems.

“It offers data convergence, enabling services synergy and agile innovation. The foundation of the digital world,” Du said.

AI and security also work across every operational layer of the platform, because there is never a siloed system anymore.


To truly execute a full digital transformation, though, you need super broadband with low latency and that supports advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, said Du.

Du added that Huawei is at least a year ahead in 5G developments, with 39 commercial contracts already in place. It has achieved the fastest speed tests over a 5G network and offers the only end-to-end 5G solution in the world.

Huawei was also the first to bring 5G technology to South Africa, he said.

5G technology will therefore allow businesses to adopt super-fast broadband, enabling their complete digital transformation, Du said.

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Huawei Digital Platform – The foundation for a digital South Africa