Li Jun, Huawei Telepresence & Videoconference
I am General Manager of Huawei Telepresence & Videoconference Product Field.
2. So what takes up most of your time?
My main job is to provide our customers with products and solutions that meet their needs. At Huawei we have always strived to find innovative ways to meet our customers’ needs and work closely with our industry partners. This gives us a unique technological advantage in the field of video communications and means we are able to provide our clients with a full range of products and comprehensive solutions. At the same time, at Huawei we firmly believe in placing people at the focal point of what we do, providing customers with the best possible experience in terms of audio-visual quality, usability, integration and interoperability, safety, and security.
3. What would you say is the most important element of your job?
A deep understanding of our customers’ needs and the ability to respond to those needs quickly and effectively are the crucial factors for success that Huawei has mastered in the marketplace. In 2012, Huawei designed an innovative telepresence banquet solution for Hai Di Lao, a nation-wide hotpot chain. This solution enables Hai Di Lao customers to have dinner banquets with their families, friends or business partners from all around the nation as if they are sitting on the same table. This novel application of telepresence technology is a joint innovation between Huawei and the food service industry, and we customized our telepresence systems to be oil-proof, fog-proof and smoke-proof to better the experience of restaurant goers. This attracted a great deal of media attention and we received positive feedback from our clients. This is what we mean by meeting customers’ needs through people-centric innovation. Huawei offers viable solutions based on our customers’ needs.
4. How would you describe your business and its positioning in the marketplace?
Huawei has been researching and developing on videoconferencing products since 1993. It has 19 years’ experience in the field of video and audio communications. Currently, Huawei has 500 R&D engineers working on videoconferencing and associated infrastructure products. Huawei has submitted more than 600 patent applications for review, among which 200 have been granted. Huawei employees are also holding Rapporteur and Editor positions in a number of international standardization organizations such as ITU, MPEG, and 3GPP. In 2011, Huawei received two major awards from Frost&Sullivan – the Technology Innovation in Video Conferencing of the Year and the Leadership in Telepresence Market of the Year (APAC).
5. What are the key objectives of your enterprise?
As of the end of 2011, global bookings of Huawei videoconferencing devices have exceeded 130,000, with total telepresence system sales exceeding 2100 units. As a global mainstream videoconferencing provider, Huawei has sold videoconferencing products and solutions to over 45 countries and regions around the world, including developed countries in Europe and North America. In terms of global market shares, Huawei’s videoconferencing solution is ranked among the top three and telepresence solution among the top two by analyst reports.
6. What are the issues that will impact the achievement of your objectives – positively or negatively?
In terms of technology, broadband bandwidth upgrade and technological innovations create a better video communication environment. In terms of applications, users are becoming more and more accustomed to video communications and have increasingly high expectations, demanding high-quality, fast and safe video communications anytime and anywhere. All these issues will drive growth within the video communication industry.
Huawei is also committed to providing customers with even more flexible video communication: Huawei provides open and interoperable UC solutions that can be readily integrated with soft terminals, such as Microsoft UC system and Huawei eSpace. With these solutions, customers can enjoy IM, audio, video, and data communication through mobile devices, desktop terminals no matter if they are in professional conference rooms, at home, or in a coffee shop. Moreover, Huawei’s telepresence offerings support a comprehensive set of network access methods, such as IP, PSTN, 3G, radio, and mobile satellites. By providing customers with convenient ways to access networks, Huawei’s telepresence solutions help customers experience face-to-face videoconferencing and collaboration anytime and anywhere.
7. Should video collaboration / communication be viewed simply as part of unified communications, or should we think of it as bigger than UC.
Video communication is not simply a part of unified communications (UC). On the one hand, video communications systems are interoperable with UC systems, and telepresence systems can serve as core platforms integrating email, IM, calendar management and other collaboration applications. On the other hand, video communications has even wider applications. In vertical industry applications, it can transform and create new business models based on close cooperation with industry partners. At Huawei we provide our customers with TeleClassroom solution, TeleMedicine Solution, TeleCommand Solution, TeleCourt Solution, and other vertical-specific solutions, and we have won accreditation from government, financial institutions, educational organizations, healthcare providers, and other industries. All these have helped to widen the potential for the expansion of video communications.
8. What are the main challenges facing the video collaboration/communication marketplace today?
In fact, Huawei has already overcome a number of challenges in the field of video communications en route to providing our customers with superior communications experience. In 2012, Huawei showcased its next-generation telepresence product — the world’s first full-view telepresence system – at world-renowned tradeshows including CeBIT and Interop. There are several technological breakthroughs in full-view telepresence. There is only a 5.5mm gap between screen, and the telepresence system adopts patented co-optical center camera with panoramic HD imaging technology, giving users the shockingly immersive experience. At the same time, compared to industry standards, the full-view telepresence system on average requires 35% less bandwidth, 47% less energy consumption, and takes up 26% less space, resulting in an overall 30% reduction in TCO and creating a better experience through the use of energy-saving technology.
9. VC has been around for many years, and now HD desktop products are making substantial headway, yet it is said that the uptake of VC has always fallen short of what “the industry” believes to be its potential. Is this true, and if so, why, and do you expect that situation to change any time soon?
To achieve the goal of delivering products with superior user experience and straight-forward user interface, Huawei is committed to technological innovation to break through industry bottlenecks in different product fields. Huawei VP9050 is the world’s first touch control desktop terminal, providing customers with ultra convenient office technology. Huawei TP3106 is the first telepresence system in the world to support 1080p60 ultra high definition, easily achieving video in true-to-life dimensions and face-to-face communication. Huawei MCU8660 has the largest capacity of any media exchange platform in the world. In addition, Huawei has already showcased the world’s first full-view telepresence system, and will soon release the world’s first all-in-one HD video terminal, the TE30.
10. If the uptake of video conferencing and telepresence is indeed lower than its potential, what can the industry do about it? Is there a place for industry-wide, industry supported initiatives to drive the take-up of VC?
As video communication becomes more and more widespread, Huawei will release a cloud-based telepresence solution to meet our customers’ B2B, C2C, and B2C video communication needs, allowing them to flexibly participate and arrange meetings anytime, anywhere, and with any device, and providing service that change the way they do business, work, live and play. In this way, telepresence cloud solutions will expand the horizon of the industry eco-system.
11. What is it that drives you personally?
I am driven by the desire to keep pace with technological trend of the industry, constantly unearth new insights regarding our customers’ needs, provide them with products and solutions that meet those needs, and thereby achieve stable growth for the team.
12. What keeps you awake at night?
In the past what kept me awake at night was the jet lag caused by my frequent international business trips. But since Huawei deployed its telepresence systems globally, the ways in which I communicate with my team have been completely transformed. Team collaboration is easier and more effective, travel costs have been lowered by 1/3, and risks associated with business travel have been greatly reduced.
13. What are the most exciting developments you foresee taking place in the market over the coming 12-24 months?
With ongoing advances in video communication and the widespread adoption of PCs, tablets, smartphones and other types of video terminals, video communication itself has become deeply integrating into the services offered by enterprises as well as in our daily lives. The result has been a level of adoption of video communication technologies that is higher than ever before.