Nokia unveiled its “Future X for industries” strategy and architecture designed to drive productivity improvements across a range of industry sectors.
It’s not an entirely new direction for the company. Nokia has been working with industries for a number of years and has already built more than 1,000 mission-critical networks across industry segments and around the world, according to Houman Modarres, director of Enterprise Marketing at Nokia.
“Lives are already better and safer” due to the networks that Nokia has built in sectors like air traffic control, manufacturing, transportation and mining, he told FierceWirelessTech.
However, this new effort accelerates what it's already been doing, he added. It's all based on an architecture developed by Bell Labs. As technologies like edge computing, industrial IoT, artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual/augmented reality and 5G mature, they can speed the digital transformation of industries, as well as governments and cities.
The company recently announced that it’s establishing a new Enterprise Business Group that consolidates a range of existing, fast-growing activities into one focused organization, reporting directly to President and CEO Rajeev Suri. That group is going to be led by Kathrin Buvac, Nokia’s current chief strategy officer.
There’s been some talk in the industry about the need to bring more industries into the 5G discussions. But what exactly is “Future X for industries”?
“It’s an architecture that gives industries a way to think about this transformation, a way to guide their thinking a bit,” Modarres explained. “It’s an open framework for the way they can think about this transformation” in a way that then zooms into their respective industry segments.
Nokia noted that it has made significant investments to support its industries focus in emerging technologies, including software-defined networking for both data center and SD-WAN applications, cloud orchestration, analytics and private mobile broadband solutions to enable IoT and multicloud adoption.
The company has been quietly ramping up its direct sales force the last couple years, which will be part of this new enterprise group. And it’s working with service providers and industrial partners, such as Infosys, a global provider of consulting, technology and next-generation services, to drive digital transformation in an array of enterprises and industries.
There’s probably over 100 utilities in the U.S. with which Nokia has done work in the last five-plus years to modernize their wide area networks (WAN) infrastructure. Now the discussion is moving from the WAN into things like that are much deeper, like private LTE, where they can connect smart meters and more, according to Manish Gulyani, vice president, Global Enterprise Marketing & Communications at Nokia.
“The networks are going much deeper with these kinds of customers and we’re seeing that across the board,” he said. As people want to connect more things in the IoT, the need for reliable connectivity increases rapidly, and that’s where a lot of the discussions are going, he added.