I’m visiting Dallas, Texas this week, and I was lucky enough to have a meeting with Huawei Technologies’ Edward Qian and Steve Hill at the company’s U.S. headquarters in Richardson (a suburb of Dallas).
We spoke about a number of topics, among them IMS. Qian told me that IMS is definitely one of Huawei’s major areas of focus. However, he said, IMS is a journey, and it will not happen overnight. We agreed that IMS is clearly the trend, but Qian underlined some of the issues that might hold back the rapid adoption of the technology, namely a lack of terminal readiness, a lack of standardization (standards are still in flux), and a need for wireless operators to step up the urgency with which they converge circuit-switched voice to packet-switched.
In the end, it was clear that Huawei is trying to provide and end to end ecosystem solution to their customers.
Nevertheless, Qian and Hill told us that Huawei is prepared to work with partners for various elements of their ecosystem. They cited partners like Broadsoft, Sylsntro, Leap/Cricket, Nextwave, and BT among others. The company works with multiple vendors across the entire spectrum of products, from terminals to access to core and even server, OSS, etc….
I asked them to explain why Huawei was enjoying such rapid growth. Qian pointed out several reasons:
- Senior management had the vision to go global instead of staying focused exclusively on the Chinese market.
- We are very customer focused. We work very closely with our customers in order to learn their real requirements.
- A dedicated percentage of the company’s spend goes into research and development, which translates into the ability to quickly respond to customer needs.
- Innovation: When Huawei first appeared on the global scene they were considered to be a market follower. The company continues to increase the number of patents filed and has a program in place to incentivize engineers to think creatively to solve customer problems.
Once considered a “low-cost alternative” Hill wanted me to understand that for Huawei, cost is just one element of a successful offering. “Low cost is a part of the equation,” he said, “but focus only on cost sells the customer short. They’re looking for quality. We believe that’s what we deliver.”