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Edge is the new centre



Over the next decade, the Internet of Things (IoT) holds the potential to deliver US$11-trillion in new business activity each year, according to Hewlett Packard Enterprise. To capture this potential, it says,  organisations need to implement an Intelligent Edge, an architecture that is fully connected, secured, distributed and autonomous – and now available in South Africa.

“The edge has emerged as the new center of the digital universe, opening up opportunities for organisations to create new digital experiences and gain competitive advantage,” says President Ntuli, managing director of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, South Africa.

How effectively organisations enable the edge within their operations is set to redefine competitive advantage for decades to come.

To scale the Intelligent Edge across their value chains, organisations need solutions that, “secure and simplify deployment and management, converge operational technology with IT, and also address lack of skills and funding,” says Ntuli.

To this end, Hewlett Packard Enterprise recently announced ground-breaking innovations that will enable customers to deploy the Intelligent Edge  in  everyday operations.  

Hewlett Packard’s new edge solutions, research labs, and Intelligent Edge adoption acceleration programs “equip customers to create unique digital experiences, leveraging analytics and machine learning while adapting to changes in real-time,” says Ntuli.  

Hewlett Packard’s new offerings and programs include:

  • Major enhancements to Aruba Central, the only cloud-based platform that unifies network management, AI-powered analytics, user-centric service assurance and security for wired, wireless and WAN at the edge;
  • Integrations and new turnkey edge-to-cloud solutions, delivered with ABB, Microsoft and PTC, enabling real-time intelligence and control in industrial environments;
  • The Intelligent Edge and IoT Center of Excellence (CoE) and Labs. Part of Hewlett Packard Labs, the CoE develops and commercialises new capabilities and technologies, accelerating customers’ and partners’ Intelligent Edge journeys.

A unified cloud-based platform is essential to simplifying edge infrastructure security and management for the mobile, cloud and IoT era. Siloed network management solutions, for example, create complexity and increase remediation time. To accelerate IT operations and allow IT professionals time to focus on innovation, Aruba is making significant enhancements to Aruba Central, “allowing customers to enable the edge from a single point of control,” says Ntuli.

Similarly, since turnkey edge-to-cloud solutions enable real-time intelligence at the industrial edge, “the Intelligent Edge demands an intricate interplay between sensors, actuators, networks, applications and infrastructures from edge to cloud,” says Ntuli. Moreover, this interplay needs to occur in harsh environmental conditions, including intermittent network connectivity and lack of qualified on-site staff. To simplify, accelerate and secure the successful deployment of edge technology, “Hewlett Packard has developed pre-integrated turnkey edge-to-cloud solutions in collaboration with key industry partners.”

The integration of ABB Ability Smart Sensor technology with Aruba access points, the Secure Edge Data Center for Microsoft Azure Stack, and Fast Start Condition Monitoring, are all examples of industry collaborations, “designed to help clients reduce the cost and security risk of deploying edge technology while increasing the speed and reliability of the technology once operational”.

This investment in partner ecosystems and future technologies aimed at accelerating Intelligent Edge adoption will also, “drive knowledge-transfer to Hewlett Packard channel partners, accelerating market adoption of the Intelligent Edge,” says Ntuli. Collaborative research programs will also assist the rapid commercialisation of Intelligent Edge technologies by, “simplifying edge-to-cloud management and operational technology-IT convergence.”

Initial enhancements for Aruba Central 2.5 have been available since July 2019. Hewlett Packard Edgeline IoT Quick Connect has been available since July 2019. The Secure Edge Data Center for Microsoft Azure Stack is currently available with both IEC and UL certification. The integration of ABB Ability Smart Sensor technology with Aruba access points will be available at the end of 2019, along with Fast Start Condition Monitoring.

Says Ntuli: “By dramatically simplifying, securing and accelerating the deployment of the Intelligent Edge, these exciting enabling innovations will equip South African organisations to capitalise on the universe of opportunities opened up by the IoT, redefining competition for decades to come.”