Alibaba Cloud Adds an Application PaaS Solution via the Terminus Acquisition

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • The acquisition of Terminus has given Alibaba Cloud an attractive application PaaS solution that it can take to market and help to boost cloud adoption in China.
  • The Terminus PaaS is evolving and it has a strong roadmap; the multi-cloud approach is a crucial factor when Alibaba Cloud extends the solution internationally.

Terminus and Its Application PaaS

Terminus is a Chinese software provider founded in 2012 with a strong focus on addressing the needs of retail, procurement, and the supply chain functions. The company was acquired by Alibaba, and its products are now offered based on Alibaba Cloud while retaining the Terminus product brand. The Terminus team remains intact and is driving product development, but tapping into Alibaba’s ecosystem, go-to-market machinery, and its infrastructure and technologies to accelerate business expansion. Continue reading “Alibaba Cloud Adds an Application PaaS Solution via the Terminus Acquisition”

More Collaboration is Required to Move 5G IoT from Hype to Reality

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

• 5G will not be about consumers, devices, and video but rather about enterprises, connected things, and platforms; however the industry is still in a hype phase.

• In order to move hype to reality, operators, vendors, and industry need to collaborate around solutions and virtualize 5G networks, open them up to APIs and co-develop from the ground up.

From people to things

From attending 5G Asia last week, which was held at the Marina Bay Sands Expo Centre in Singapore, it is clear that 5G will mean something very different to the world than 4G LTE. The defining attributes of the LTE era is bringing mobile video to the masses and bringing many online for the first time. While 4G was about mass market consumer access to videos and applications from anywhere, 5G will be more about enterprises and governments transforming how we live and work. This also means 5G will be about connected things, machines, buildings, and cities, rather than connecting people with smartphones. 5G will also be about the power of analytics driven insights and automation.

5G has not quite arrived

Listening to speakers from across the technology industry from telcos to vendors to integrators to government agencies to independent software suppliers, it was clear that 5G will be all those things, but it also became abundantly clear that today 5G is not there yet. The telco and technology industries have a lot of work to do before the potential of 5G can really be unlocked. Outside of a handful of MNOs in US, South Korea, Australia, and EMEA, there are very few networks live today and coverage is very limited. Further, what is being offered so far are simply handset plans, not the society-changer that some have billed 5G as. Much of the buzz around early launches is really just hype, and current 5G services are simply a slightly faster LTE. Continue reading “More Collaboration is Required to Move 5G IoT from Hype to Reality”

The Beginning of the SD-WAN Era in Malaysia

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • TM has been offering SD-WAN since November 2018, but Maxis’ launch of its service last month marked the beginning of the real competition.
  • More carriers, integrators and resellers are expected to join the bandwagon, driven by customer demand.

SD-WAN in Malaysia

SD-WAN is not new; it has been around in the market globally for several years, offered by various providers such as carriers, system integrators and value-added resellers. The ecosystem is maturing, with a growing number of vendors and new capabilities having been developed (e.g., multi-vendor interworking, overlay-underlay integration, more virtual network services, network-cloud convergence). However, the market is only beginning to gain momentum in Malaysia. Telekom Malaysia (TM), the fixed-line incumbent provider in the country, launched the service in November last year, offering its customers two vendor options. The provider has not been aggressive in the market with its SD-WAN services due to the risk of losing its business from the legacy data services (e.g., IP VPN, Ethernet, Dedicated Internet) as well as the lack of competition. While there are smaller telcos, value-added reseller and system integrators such as RedTone, ViewQwest, Netpoleon, LNS and BreitKom in the market, its major competitor – Maxis – only launched SD-WAN last month, while Time has yet to offer the service. Continue reading “The Beginning of the SD-WAN Era in Malaysia”

Q-loud’s Data Hub for Techem Is a Prime Example of Telcos’ Platform Business Aspirations

J. Marcus

Summary Bullets:

  • Q-loud developed an IoT solution for energy provider Techem, which it will deploy and operate.
  • Techem will offer IoT-enhanced smart building services to its customers in the real estate industry, leveraging Q-loud’s platform.

It seems like a pretty modest news item at first glance, a deal between a smaller German challenger in the IT and connectivity space and a specialist energy provider. Q-loud is the IoT unit of QSC AG, a business-oriented network operator and system integrator which has recently shifted its strategy away from traditional telco services for SMEs toward digital opportunities. The largest telcos in Europe, of course, are doing the same, trying to build new platform-based businesses. Some have made multiple acquisitions to get there (Orange invested EUR 1 billion in such acquisitions in 14 months), while the smaller QSC has taken a different approach: selling off a significant part of its telco assets to reinvest the proceeds in digital (the sale of subsidiary PlusNet earlier this year to EnBW Telekommunikation for EUR 229 million euros is funding development of its cloud and IoT businesses). Continue reading “Q-loud’s Data Hub for Techem Is a Prime Example of Telcos’ Platform Business Aspirations”

GlobalData Tracks the Evolution of the Enterprise IoT Platform Market

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• Over the past year, changes in the market have led to changes in GlobalData’s rankings of the top ten enterprise IoT platforms.

• While SAP leads the pack, IBM, PTC and AWS are close behind; each vendor has added capabilities. Analytics, edge processing, go-to-market plans, and integration with other elements of vendors’ portfolios contributed to higher scores.

GlobalData has just completed its analysis and rankings of the top vendors in the Enterprise IoT platform market. For the complete report see here – vendors included are Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Google, HPE, Huawei, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, PTC, and SAP.

Over the last 12 months, the enterprise IoT platform market has evolved; new capabilities were added by vendors, new partnerships established, changes were made in go-to-market strategies, and some vendors have largely dropped out of contention. The most significant example of such a change in direction was GE’s decision to sell off its Digital division last year, which included its Predix IoT platform, in spite of the fact that it was considered a strong contender in the manufacturing sector. For this reason we have eliminated GE from our analysis. Continue reading “GlobalData Tracks the Evolution of the Enterprise IoT Platform Market”

Are CBRS-powered Private Nets a Threat to Operators?

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• Operators and network infrastructure providers are vying to provide enterprises with “private” in-building networks that use cellular alternatives to WiFi (4G LTE and 5G), for advanced speed, reliability, security, and low latency.

• The supplier ecosystem for private nets is already crowded, and now Amazon and Google are among the applicants for 3.5 Ghz CBRS shared-spectrum management licenses. Enterprises can also apply for licenses themselves.

CBRS is a wireless technology that operates in three tiers: Tier 1 is used by the Navy, DoD, and by military satellites, while the other two tiers are for commercial use. Applicants can apply for: a Priority Access License (PAL), a non-renewable three-year license to use a 10MHz channel within the 3500-3650MHz portion of the band, in a limited geographical area. They can also apply for General Authorized Access (GAA), which is unlicensed, like WiFi, and provides dynamic allocation of available 100MHz channels so that access does not interfere with communications in the higher tiers. There are also applications for Special Temporary Authority (STA) to use the technology for testing purposes. Continue reading “Are CBRS-powered Private Nets a Threat to Operators?”

TM ONE Smart Services: End-to-End IoT Solutions Tailored for Local Needs

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • TM ONE leverages its wide ICT capabilities, research and development, and local knowledge to offer IoT solutions and gain a competitive edge in the market by addressing the needs of domestic enterprises.
  • However, the applications offered are limited and there are still gaps in its platform features compared to others in the market.

IoT in Malaysia and the Main Inhibitor

IoT has become a business need rather than a good-to-have technology. With benefits such as reducing operational expenditure, the technology is implemented by enterprises across verticals as a new solution or a replacement of the existing process. In Malaysia, the IoT deployment is growing, driven by the manufacturing sector, which accounts for over 80% of the country’s total exports and 23% of the GDP. However, overall adoption is still low, mainly due to the high solution cost and intangible business case, as revealed by a recent study done by GlobalData. For example, the labour and utility costs are low in the country, making it challenging for enterprises to justify the investment needed to implement IoT solutions. An IoT solution that replaces a human role needs to cost less than the minimum annual wage in the country (US$3,100) before the enterprise can start seeing the cost benefits. In another example, a solution that offers 25% of energy reduction from street lights offers savings of only US$20 per light, per year. While the benefits are proven and promising, the total investment required for end-to-end IoT solutions (connectivity, devices, platform, security and services) is often higher than the cost benefits a solution can offer in Malaysia. Continue reading “TM ONE Smart Services: End-to-End IoT Solutions Tailored for Local Needs”

At Last, We Can Bid a Fond Farewell to Microsoft’s Troubled Skype for Business Online

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Starting on September 1, 2019, Microsoft will begin onboarding new Office 365 users directly into Microsoft Teams, in essence removing the option for customers to run both Teams and the soon-to-be-retired Skype for Business Online.
  • Though somewhat extreme, this migration plan has been coming on for some time now, frankly ever since Microsoft introduced Microsoft Teams in 2017.

Via blog post earlier this week, Microsoft made the wholly unsurprising announcement that it would officially retire its long-term messaging solution, Skype for Business Online, on July 31st, 2021. Unlike many similar migration plans, where rival products can linger for years after closure, Microsoft does not intend to let Skype for Business Online slowly fade away. Continue reading “At Last, We Can Bid a Fond Farewell to Microsoft’s Troubled Skype for Business Online”

Video Analytics for Public Safety Will Require Digital Transformation

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

  • AI and machine learning-powered video analytics are revolutionizing the video capabilities of public safety departments, with solutions like Scene from Nokia and Appearance Search from Motorola Solutions-owned Avigilon leading the way.
  • Further integration into other public safety infrastructure will be critical to leverage the full potential of this technology, but that presents a challenge, as many critical communications systems rely on siloed radio networks.

Video analytics has been a hot topic for the past few years, but only recently have we seen larger-scale deployments in the public safety sphere. Government spend on these technologies is set to increase in the coming years, and plenty of vendors are readying their portfolios to meet this demand. While there is a wealth of small players specializing in this field, Nokia has developed its Scene Analytics platform and Motorola Solutions purchased AI-based video analytics company Avigilon in March 2018. Both these vendors have seen some significant return on these investments, with Nokia launching its Scene Analytics service in Belgium through security company Room40. Meanwhile, Motorola Solutions has a host of wins for its Aviligon service across public safety, logistics, and education, including the New Bedford Housing Authority in the US, Express Cargo in Ireland and Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. Continue reading “Video Analytics for Public Safety Will Require Digital Transformation”

AT&T and Verizon Compete to Offer U.S. Public Safety Solutions

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• AT&T positions its public safety network, FirstNet, not only as a highly significant win and lucrative opportunity, but also as the highest-performing, fastest, most secure wireless communications network for first responders.

• While Verizon may do less marketing, it remains a very strong player in the public sector, with its own benefits for first responders and a somewhat different approach to the market than its rival.

When AT&T won the FirstNet deal in 2017, it was seen as a major coup for the carrier and a big blow to mobile operator rivals. FirstNet is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce, authorized by Congress in 2012, with the mission to develop, build, and operate a nationwide, broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities. In 2017, after an open RFP process, a public-private partnership was forged between the federal government and AT&T. FirstNet agreed to provide 20 MHz of telecommunications spectrum and success-based payments of $6.5 billion over the next five years to support the network buildout; AT&T will spend about $40 billion over the life of the contract to build, deploy, operate, and maintain the network, with a focus on ensuring robust coverage for public safety. AT&T can also use FirstNet’s spectrum when it is not being used by public safety for other, commercial purposes but it must prioritize first responders over any commercial users. As of May 2019, AT&T had connected approximately 600,000 wireless devices to the network from 7,250 agencies, and offers FirstNet on Band 14 spectrum in 600 markets, roughly 50% of its eventual proposed coverage. The operator notes that 50% of these agencies are new to AT&T and were not just upgrades from existing customers. AT&T doesn’t just provide wireless connectivity to first responders (for both phones/tablets/fleets and IoT devices), but offers applications, specialized devices, enhanced security solutions, and satellite options. Flying Cells on Wings (COWS) were recently introduced, comprised of two tethered drones and a trailer equipped with a satellite dish and fiber connections, which are well suited to provide connectivity in hard to reach locations for emergencies such as wildfires and earthquakes. Continue reading “AT&T and Verizon Compete to Offer U.S. Public Safety Solutions”