NEC Launches Smart Enterprise, Globally
NEC is well known for its premises and cloud-based UC solutions, but the company’s overall expertise and global portfolio is much broader. The company recently launched a corporate branding message of “Orchestrating a Brighter World” to signal that enterprise solutions should not only offer efficiencies, but contribute to our overall safety and security.
NEC’s solutions span across enterprise, public sector, energy, and carriers. Its enterprise solutions include UC, logistics, distribution, transport, production management, and plant management. The company observes that technologies are crossing between these sectors. For example, SDN is integrating with UCC and biometrics which are integrating with retail and other verticals.
With this multi-disciplinary perspective, NEC offers its observations and definitions for the modern “Smart Enterprise.” Specifically, NEC has identified 10 strategic drivers that are empowering Smart Enterprises. NEC sees itself as a contributor and partner that addresses these drivers, but acknowledges the IT ecosystem is (and should be) larger than any one supplier. The 10 drivers are:
1. Ubiquitous Connectedness. This one will be familiar to the UC crowd, but the need to work from anywhere, anytime goes beyond communications to include applications and interactions. Always being connected puts more emphasis on presence and mobility. NEC fully expects mobile devices to overtake desktop devices soon, and believes mobile devices need to be fully integrated into operations.
2. Smart Virtual Workspace. Virtualization makes a lot of sense for servers and desktops. Virtualization improves business continuity and minimizes capital expenditures, operating costs, and risk of data loss. Virtualization also enables dynamic allocation and provisioning of resources. Public cloud infrastructure will complement private resources for overflow and less sensitive processes.
3. Collaborative Communities. Fueled by the flexibility of working anywhere, Smart Enterprises also need tools to work together efficiently and effectively. Audio, web, and video conferencing solutions reduces latency and drives productivity. Smart Enterprises facilitate knowledge sharing across disparate teams.
4. Open Philosophies. The word “Open” means more than supporting standards. We live in a globalized world, not just geo-politically, but technically. Flexible and resilient open architectures enable “best of breed in best of speed.” Emerging Open frameworks include OpenStack, Open SIP, open platforms, OpenFlow, and open source.
5. Modular Services. Smart enterprises utilizes modular services which enables granular control over purchasing and deployment options. Modular services are simpler to manage, recover, and monitor because resources can be distributed and balanced as needed - across physical and virtual domains.
6. Software Defined Anything. Software defined solutions, such as SDNs, separate control from the hardware processing which offers a more programmable and dynamic solution with centralized control. As solutions are shifting toward a software-centric model, SDx creates a service focused infrastructure that better supports user centric services.
7. Business Continuity. IT systems are no longer relevant to just part of the business, and must be protected from disaster, failures of any kind, and malicious activities. HA becomes critical, and can be accomplished with fault tolerant systems, virtualization, clustering, and proper professional planning.
8. Contextual Analytics. The information to make better public, private, and business decisions lies all around us. The key to harvesting this information effectively lies in data analytics. Enterprises are deploying Big Data projects to drive better business intelligence, product development, and customer service. This includes data from mobile devices, app usage, log files, social media, and email.
9. Sense and Sensibility. Cost reduction of sensors and performance improvements in processing technologies create an environment for cost effective data collection and information extraction across many domains. Sensing, location detection, pattern recognition, and data matching empower accurate and swift decision making unlike ever before possible.
10. Smart Society. Information and communications technologies are vital in ensuring energy efficiency, sustainable development, safety and security. Virtualization, power-efficient equipment and smart distribution networks help enterprises save power, while real-time collaboration saves time and reduces the costs and scope of physical transportation.
NEC is aligning its portfolio to address these trends, but not all of these drivers are addressed in its current portfolio of solutions. NEC customizes is solutions globally for verticals and regional differences. NEC facilitates Smart Enterprises in being always connected, with readily available business services, and with a suite of communications and collaboration tools that empower engagement both internally and externally. The company is aligning its offerings according to four values in order to optimize business practices:
- Business Agility: Empowering mobile workforces and adaptive IT.
- Cloud Delivery: Flexible deployment models that enable business growth.
- Collaborative Communities: Rich tools for collaboration across organizations and teams.
- Assured Services: Highly available, secure, and scalable infrastructure.
NEC employs over 100k employees and did about $30 billion in revenue last year. The company has a presence in 140 countries and has offered customers advanced technology for about 115 years. NEC recently demonstrated its latest collaborative technologies in a global analyst briefing. The company is also demonstrating how it leverages many of these identified trends via specific demonstration pods by specific verticals at the Enterprise Connect conference in Orlando this week.