The Impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. WAN Market

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

  • SD-WAN improves network performance, saves costs, and helps organizations remain agile. Thus, adoption has increased, especially since the onset of COVID-19.
  • SD-WAN treats the home environment as a branch of the corporate network. For this reason, it will play a key role supporting the post-pandemic, remote workforce.

COVID-19 greatly disrupted the U.S. WAN market. Virtually overnight, the pandemic forced businesses to support a distributed, remote workforce while ensuring continuity. COVID-19 underscored the importance of agility and the need to carefully choose a WAN deployment model. Service providers have responded well to the crisis, but their ability to address long-term impacts is unclear. Continue reading “The Impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. WAN Market”

IBM Pivots Toward Partner Ecosystem for Its Go-to-Market Strategy

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • IBM has made a major change to its go-to-market strategy, focusing on developing its partner ecosystem and deploying its direct sales resources to engage the largest accounts looking for integrated solutions from IBM. 
  • This move is likely to result in more partners building specialization and expertise around IBM solutions. 

IBM held its Think Summit Australia & New Zealand in February 2021.  While hybrid cloud, AI, and digital transformation remained the key themes, the company also shed some light on the changes to its go-to-market strategy, particularly its investment in developing the partner ecosystem known as PartnerWorld.  IBM recently announced an investment of USD 1 billion in its partner ecosystem, with the aim of driving more sales through channel partners.  The investment is part of IBM’s new go-to-market strategy.  The company is simplifying its sales model by reducing the number of customer groups from 50 to just two.  IBM direct sales will utilize the IBM Garage to engage top-tier customers.  The rest of the IBM client base will be served by channel partners, which means significant opportunities for these partners. Continue reading “IBM Pivots Toward Partner Ecosystem for Its Go-to-Market Strategy”

Already Over the Edge (Computing)

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

  • Edge computing is a real thing, but distorted and extended beyond reasonable use cases by FOMO.
  • Smart edge computing plays are not generalized, but specialized, and they do not play on hype.

The first conversations around the concept of edge computing were both interesting and enlightening. The basic idea was that compute resources needed to be closer to the actual workload in situations where real-time or very near-real time decisions need to be made. Latency could not be tolerated, so cloud or even corporate data centers were out of the question. Examples given were automated materials handling, manufacturing, and – of course, technology marketers’ favorite old trope – self-driving/automated vehicles. All but the last example sounded perfectly reasonable and lined up with customer needs, both today and tomorrow. Continue reading “Already Over the Edge (Computing)”

Microsoft and HPE Bring Advanced Data Processing and Cloud Computing to Space Station

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • HPE’s SBC-2 computer system on the International Space Station will enable advanced data processing in support of space-based research, while connecting to Microsoft’s Azure cloud on Earth.
  • Despite SBC-2’s potential, the new computer system will be vulnerable to the same environmental challenges as its predecessor.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Microsoft have joined forces to combine the potential of HPE’s edge computing technology and Microsoft’s cloud computing capabilities in outer space. HPE’s Spaceborne Computer-2 (SBC-2) system – soon to be deployed on the International Space Station (ISS) – will enable many new activities on the space station that require advanced data processing. It will also connect via satellite to Microsoft’s cloud data centers on Earth for more demanding requirements. However, despite the potential offered by SBC-2, the new computer system will be vulnerable to the same environmental challenges as its predecessor. Continue reading “Microsoft and HPE Bring Advanced Data Processing and Cloud Computing to Space Station”

Should Network Underlay Still Matter to Enterprises?

G. Barton
G. Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • Network underlay matters less than it used to, but should not be ignored by enterprises.
  • Overlay network technologies offer many benefits, but cannot cure all potential network problems.

SD-WAN has seen significant adoption in the enterprise network services market in very little time. The reason is that it allows enterprises to unify previously disparate networks while also delivering increased network management and control, security, and application performance benefits – even over internet connections. One of the ways this is accomplished is by deploying overlay networking technology which combines software control systems and network tunneling techniques that are agnostic of the physical infrastructure over which the data is carried. The reality is that these finer details matter a lot less to enterprises than factors such as reliability, performance, and service/application availability – and rightly so. Continue reading “Should Network Underlay Still Matter to Enterprises?”

Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL): Key Takeaways for the Local Enterprise ICT Market

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • The Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint, MyDIGITAL, addresses key gaps across different key technology stacks such as cloud, 5G, and cybersecurity.
  • The initiative will accelerate digital transformation in the country; promote wider collaborations between vendors, service providers, and enterprises; and drive the enterprise ICT market.

The Malaysian government launched the country’s digital economy blueprint, called MyDIGITAL, which provides a comprehensive 104-page plan to accelerate the usage and adoption of technologies across the public sector, enterprises, SMBs, and consumers. While there are several other digital initiatives in the country (e.g., Jendela, National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan [NFCP], National Policy on Industry 4.0, National 5G Taskforce, Public Sector ICT Strategic Plan, and many more), MyDIGITAL outlines thorough plans with timelines and expected outcomes that glue all the other initiatives to drive the country’s economy through digital technologies. The next section discusses several key takeaways for the local enterprise ICT market. Continue reading “Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL): Key Takeaways for the Local Enterprise ICT Market”

Philippines on the Cusp of Cloud Revolution

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

  • While the Philippines is a rapidly growing cloud market, hyperscalers have not yet announced any plans for a Philippines region.
  • However, digital transformation, increased cloud usage, edge computing, and growing international connectivity offer opportunity for Philippine vendors to work with hyperscale providers.

GlobalData expects the Philippines to be a strong market for growth in cloud-based services that serve the enterprise (including IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS) as well as the consumer segment (e.g., streaming video, social media, and e-commerce). Based on our GlobalData Market Opportunity Forecasts to 2024: ICT in Philippines (August 28, 2020), enterprise spending on cloud services will grow from USD 1.8 billion in 2020 to USD 2.6 billion in 2024. Furthermore, cloud-based service usage is booming in the consumer segment as well, with social media and content streaming growing rapidly. Based on our Philippines Mobile Broadband Forecast (December 24, 2020), streaming mobile video users will grow from 53 million in 2020 to 80 million in 2024, while mobile social media users will grow from 75 million to 80 million over the same period. Continue reading “Philippines on the Cusp of Cloud Revolution”

Tech Services Providers Tackle Sustainability

Summary Bullets:

R. Bhattacharyya

• Corporate initiatives to promote greater environmentally responsible polices have become increasingly important to a broader audience in recent years

• Accenture and Salesforce plan to bring to market services that help enterprises better track and measure progress in implementing sustainability initiatives, including those related to diversity and governance.

Initiatives that promote environmental sustainability have been making headlines. In the fall of 2020, the state of California declared it would ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars and trucks starting in 2035. At the end of January President Biden announced plans to replace all federal government vehicles with electric vehicles. And two days later, GM made front page news by announcing that it would stop manufacturing gasoline and diesel fueled cars and SUVs by 2035.

While announcements in the automotive space command widespread attention, efforts to promote greater sustainability are quietly being implemented in other industries as well, including the technology sector. Technology services providers have taken a two-pronged approach to promoting improved sustainability. As a first step, they have vowed to reduce their own carbon footprints, with many French IT services firms assuming a leadership role. Atos, a French IT services provider, has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by 50% over the next five years, and to reduce the carbon emissions it influences by 50% over the next ten years. Similarly, France-based Capgemini has committed to being carbon neutral no later than 2025 and to be net zero by 2030. These IT services companies plan to reduce business travel, increase the use of renewal energy, utilize hybrid and electric cars, scrutinize supply chains, and participate in initiatives such as reforestation.

The second, and complementary, part of technology providers’ strategies is to help customers reduce their carbon footprints. For example, Capgemini uses AI and analytics to help companies analyze and optimize energy consumption and implement logistics solutions that reduce fuel consumption. Atos is making significant investments in sustainability and expects that decarbonization activities will generate a 1% revenue increase for the company in the three to four years post COVID-19. In 2020 the company acquired EcoAct, a 160 person strong carbon reduction strategy consulting firm. Atos plans to work with EcoAct to launch a global Decarbonization Excellence Center in H1 2021 and will work with customers on decarbonization assessments and roadmaps for achieving carbon neutrality, and will offer digital solutions that decarbonize business processes. Continue reading “Tech Services Providers Tackle Sustainability”

Cable Companies and Smaller Mobile Operators Progress on the IoT Services Front

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Comcast, Cox Communications, and UScellular all launched IoT businesses in the 2016-2018 time period.
  • While the big mobile operators get most of the deals, these ‘alternative’ providers continued to improve their portfolios and gained new IoT customers in 2020.

2020 was a mixed bag for IoT services as COVID-19 tamped down some opportunities while spawning others, especially in the areas of healthcare, building management, and remote operations. While new services were launched by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, there are other service providers in the mix. MVNOs such as Sierra Wireless and KORE offer increasingly industry-specific IoT connectivity and platforms, using aggregated cellular connectivity from top mobile operators. In addition, several cable companies and consumer-oriented cellular providers also launched IoT services or full-fledged business units in 2016-2018 to further monetize their networks and offer added value to their business customer bases. In 2020, they added platform capabilities, launched services for new verticals with wide-ranging solution partners, and gained a sprinkling of new customers. Continue reading “Cable Companies and Smaller Mobile Operators Progress on the IoT Services Front”

API Management’s Rise to Power

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • ALM technologies are being consolidated with API management, as enterprises seek improved management of business transformations.
  • Google illustrates API management’s growing importance via announcement of Apigee X’s new consolidated architecture.

API management’s ALM features are coming into focus, increasing the cloud’s value chain for companies tasked with accelerating digitization. Updated API management solutions are being infused with security, networking, and intelligent automation, moving beyond the management of API traffic and helping ops teams address new pain points including the detection of malicious intent and identification of anomalies, among other workflow automations. Continue reading “API Management’s Rise to Power”