Analysis, Editor's Picks, Technology, Webinar

Wi-Fi 6 set to transform the future of connectivity 

CPI Media Group have conducted a whole series of virtual webinars over the last number of months for enterprises across the entire IT ecosystem. In our latest webinar, we partnered with Huawei and 4sight Technology to find out how Wi-Fi 6 is set to transform the future of connectivity.

The session was moderated by CNME Editor Mark Forker and featured in-depth and detailed insights into Wi-Fi 6 technology from IT leaders such as Diaa Ahmed Bassiouni, Channel Director – Enterprise Business Group, Huawei, Saurabh Jain, Channel Solutions Director – Enterprise Business Group, Huawei, Han Ruo Lei (Victor), Solutions Manager, Huawei Enterprise Business Group; Chris Barnard Vice President, European Infrastructure and Communications, IDC; Anil Misri, Sales Manager, 4sight; and Tajinder Pal Singh, Sales Manager, 4sight.

The first speaker was Tajinder Pal Singh, Sales Manager, 4sight who gave a brief insight into what the company does and detailed its relationship with Huawei. 

“We’ve got a dedicated sales, pre-sales and delivery team in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We’re the sister company of leading systems integrator Alpha Data – and are the 5-star IT partner for global ICT vendor Huawei – and we’ve also got customers from a number of industry verticals such as telecoms, hospitality and government,” said Singh. 

His sentiments were echoed by his colleague Anil Misri, who is Sales Manager for 4sight in Dubai. 

“We have a huge partner ecosystem within 4sight which is part of the Alpha Data Group, and Huawei is one of the leading OEM’s that we’ve aligned ourselves with. We’ve conducted many successful partnerships and projects with them in the UAE – and we have a huge team that works on deployment and on migration services, and we have a proven track record of success over our fabled 40-year history here in the Middle East region,” said Misri. 

Diaa Ahmed Bassiouni, Channel Director – Enterprise Business Group, Huawei, was next on the agenda and he documented the latest technologies and innovations being developed by Huawei and highlighted the role of its IP club. He highlighted some of the phenomenal success the Chinese vendor has enjoyed both globally and in the Middle East over the last number of years. 

“Huawei is one of the world’s leading ICT players, and in 2019, we generated a revenue of $123 billion. The company is split into three different business units, which is consumer, carrier and enterprise. Our commitment to innovation is undisputable and can be demonstrated clearly when you examine our investments and spending in R&D,” said Bassiouni. 

He then talked about Huawei’s role in driving digital transformation for enterprises all over the region and disclosed its four key cornerstones required for DX.  

“The first cornerstone is modernization and innovation. We’re bringing the latest technology to market to improve our productivity. The next step is virtualization and automation service delivery that ensures a smooth implementation of our solutions. Having the latest technologies does not mean that you’re leveraging the best out of what you’ve purchased. Then next step is AI and we’re leveraging AI to maximize the benefits from the solutions – and last but by no means least is end-user digital collaboration that is a necessity in order to deliver the best in customer experience,” said Bassiouni. 

Saurabh Jain, Channel Solutions Director – Enterprise Business Group, Huawei, delivered the first presentation of the webinar, and he focused on the key drivers of digital transformation and spoke of how Huawei’s intelligent network technology is complementing this requirement across the industry. 

“In a recent report compiled by Gartner it said that 85% of enterprises will complete digital transformation by 2021, and 100% of the businesses will be ‘cloud-ready’ by 2025. There are three main challenges for ICT transformation across multiple industries that must be answered by the network solution to fast-track digital transformation. Is the network capable of serving the business value? There has to be business-centricity. Does the network guarantee business continuity? There has to be SLA assurance. Is the platform agnostic and open? You have to have an open digital platform as 30% of enterprise interactions will originate from open ecosystems by 2021,” said Jain. 

Jain proceeded to then expand on the unique capabilities and benefits of Huawei’s Intent-Driven Network. 

“Huawei’s IDN solution leverages a simplified network broadband infrastructure to achieve not only wider access, but ubiquitous connectivity for simpler management. The network gradually moves from the SDN automation network towards the autonomous driving network, and IDN adds the intelligence to the network on the basis of automation and takes a small step towards autonomous driving,” said Jain. 

The Channel Solutions Director for the global ICT leader then highlighted its flagship Huawei AirEngine Wi-Fi 6 product. 

“Huawei are global leaders in wireless network technology, and we keep innovating in order to keep providing the best-in-class services for enterprises. Huawei has launched a whole range of AirEngine Wi-Fi 6 products that features lightning speed, and this is empowering enterprises to be in a position to really scale their infrastructure. Powered by the AirEngine Wi-Fi 6 digital enterprises develop a high-quality wireless network that is needed for new applications such as AR, VR 4K and 8K videos that will ultimately pave the way for a fully wireless campus era,” said Jain. 

Chris Barnard, Vice President, European Infrastructure and Communications at IDC, delivered a very comprehensive and detailed insight into the key networking trends that he sees emerging over the next 12 months, provided a global outlook and forecast on Wi-Fi 6 technology and how digital transformation is putting the network to the test. 

“Digital transformation has been shaping the industry for the last five years. Organizations understand that they need to shift their business from a traditional way of working to a way of working that is ‘digitally-centric’. In a survey we recently conducted we found that 79% of CEOs on the Middle East face significant pressure to deliver a successful digital transformation strategy. The world we live in today, is what we call the 3rd platform, which essentially is a world shaped by cloud, big data and analytics. On top of this 3rd platform we see organizations leveraging digital technologies to build what we call the next-generation digital transformation initiative,” said Barnard. 

According to Barnard, Wi-Fi 6 will fundamentally reshape the wireless landscape and said that IDC fully expects it to become the de-facto standard within the next four years. 

“One of the key aspects of the overall WLAN market is the importance of having the ability to centrally-manage Wi-Fi implementations. Today, we see about 25% of implementations being cloud managed and we project that this will grow to about 40% by 2022. There has been a lot of discussion regarding the role of Wi-Fi 6 versus 5G, but at IDC we see them as being complementary of each other as each is suitable for different use-cases, and we don’t see competition between them. However, we do see the need for a significant amount of education required in the industry, especially when it comes to business use-cases and business advantages that more intelligent networks will deliver,” said Barnard.

Attendees at the webinar were then treated to a live testing demo of the world’s fastest Wi-Fi 6 real-world performance which was conducted by Han Ruo Lei, Solutions Manager, Huawei Enterprise Business Group, and Saurabh Jain who had earlier delivered a presentation on intelligent networks. 

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