Channel key to Huawei’s European strategy

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Huawei reiterated its commitment to the channel at its annual Huawei Analyst Summit, held in the company’s hometown of Shenzhen.

Speaking to assembled journalists from around the globe, Joy Huang, VP of Huawei’s IT Product Line, said: “The channel is very important, this is why our strategy is to be integrated.”

Expanding on Huang’s point, his co-presenter Fan Ruiqi, president of Huawei’s storage product line, said: “In each … country, we have at least one major channel, maybe [up to] three.”

“In the UK, [Germany], France, Spain, especially Western Europe, the channel is very important for our enterprise business,” Fan added.

Fan and Huang’s comments echo those made by the company’s rotating CEO, Eric Xu, in September 2015 at the company’s annual Cloud Conference, held in Shanghai.

While the use of channel and partners is strategically important for most companies selling into the UK and wider EU, Huawei has taken this to a different level than most.

While its consumer business uses standard retail channels, so its smartphones, smartwatches and, in the future, VR headsets, can be bought anywhere you would pick up an Android or iPhone, its enterprise business is almost exclusively predicated on partnerships.

To this end, the company has partnered with Deutsche Telekom in Europe – and Telefónica and China Telecom in Latin America and China – to deliver cloud services to companies throughout Europe. In these partnerships, it provides the hardware, while its partners use their existing customer relations and brand recognition to sell the product.

It is also using these partnerships to talk up “video as basic”, 4.5G and its smart cities initiatives, which all depend on good relationships and collaboration with telcos.

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Deputy Editor, primarily covering security, storage and networking for ITPro, CloudPro and ChannelPro.

Jane joined ITPro and CloudPro in July 2012, having previously written freelance for a number of business and finance magazines. She has also covered current affairs, including the student, public sector workers and TUC protests and strikes in central London while studying a Masters in Journalism at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Prior to becoming a journalist, Jane studied Applied Languages at the University of Portsmouth.