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管理 - CEO访谈

慧与科技CEO:中国科技企业“仍然需要西方的教育”

By David Z. Morris 2019年11月05日

慧与科技的CEO安东尼奥·内里称,中国的科技企业要成为美国公司真正的威胁,或者要成为全球科技领袖企业,还有很长的路要走。

慧与科技(Hewlett Packard Enterprise)的CEO安东尼奥·内里称,中国的科技企业要成为美国公司真正的威胁,或者要成为全球科技领袖企业,还有很长的路要走。

“问题在于,在制造业之外,到底有多少创新?”本周?#37038;堋?#36130;富》杂志采访时内里说道,“我认为,中国在科技上总体落后一到两个档次。”

慧与科技2015年从惠普拆分出来,主营业务是向企业用户提供服务器、存储和软件等产品和服务。内里1995年加入惠普呼叫中心,他成为慧与科技掌门人已有两个年头。他?#26434;?#31454;争对手做了评估,之后作出了此番评论。在云计算领域,慧与面临亚马逊和谷歌的竞争,但内里认为这些公司主要是数据存储提供商,而慧与的切入点是更综合性的“边?#23548;?#31639;”服务。

边?#23548;?#31639;背后的理念其实非常简单直?#21360;?#30446;前,许多分析和人工智能科技,比如语音识别,是通过将数据传送到中央服务器进行运算的方式运作的。但出生低微却平步青云的内里,却预测说越来越多的这种处理将发生在“边缘?#20445;?#38752;近数据的来源。

由于边?#21040;?#28857;更接近于用户终端装置,可以加快资料的处理与传送速度,减少延迟。潜在的应用包括基因研究和金融服务。?#26434;?#36825;些领域来说,敏感信息如果传输到异地云服务器,将减少安全性。另外,内里还指出,边?#23548;?#31639;可以协助一些比如制造业或自动驾驶的工作,这些领域里传输速度是至关重要的。

慧与科技侧重于开发基础设施,以便将边?#23548;?#31639;与传统的云服务连接起来。去年,内里在边?#23548;?#31639;上下了大注,在未来4年里投入40亿美元用于研发。

这笔投入要有大产出,还有待时日。最近一个季度,慧与科技的整体营收同比下降了7%。智慧边?#23548;?#31639;部门,这一专注于移动和无线网络的部门的营收也下降了3%。

但有许多潜在的边?#23548;?#31639;应用预示着公司收入的增长。内里预测,在边?#23548;?#31639;领域的投资,将会在2020年开?#25216;?#21040;收益。

内里的扩张性投资计划,以及数十亿美元的股票回购和分红,让投资者情绪高涨。慧与科技的股价在最近两年营收下降的情况下相对稳定。

内里也能快速地消解与传统硬件商的竞争,如戴尔和联想。

?#26434;?#20013;国的竞争者,内里认为它们主要是“价格低,把一切都商品化”。在成为CEO前,内里还是慧与总裁时,他曾宣布慧与科技将撤离“商品化”的服务器业务,部分原因就是来自中国低价竞争的压力。

内里表扬了中国试图实现科技自给自足的努力,但他又说,“现实是,他们还是需要西方继续教他们,给他们赋能。”

这?#36824;?#28857;比较特别,因为很多人害怕中国科技和人工智能会挑战西方的领导地位。但有些专家确实也与内里观点一致,即怀疑中国领头能力,特别是在中国着力发展的人工智能领域。

慧与科技的边?#23548;?#31639;战略中,包括了高度专业和高利润的硬件项目。比如,慧与为美国国家航空?#25945;?#23616;的阿耳忒弥斯计划,定制了一台超级计算机,用于将人送到月球以及送到火星,慧与甚至还在国际空间站安装了一台超级计算机进行本地化实验数据处理。

由于数据传输中的延迟,云技术在太空中特别不适用,这造就了内里所说的“你能想象到的最远的边缘运算”。(财富中文网)

译者:宣峰

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri said Chinese tech companies have a long way to go before they become serious threats to U.S. firms—or become global tech leaders.

“The question is, how much innovation is really happening, as opposed to just manufacturing?” Neri said during an interview with Fortune this week. “I think they’ll always be one or two technologies behind.”

The comments came as Neri, now into his second year at the helm of HPE, assessed the competitors arrayed against him. In cloud computing, HPE faces off against Amazon and Google. But Neri considers those companies as primarily data storage providers, in contrast to HPE’s push into more comprehensive “edge computing” services.

The idea behind edge computing is straightforward enough. Currently, many analytics and artificial intelligence technologies, such as voice recognition, work by sending data to centralized server farms for processing. But Neri, who famously rose through the ranks after joining a Hewlett Packard call center in 1995, predicts that an increasing amount of that processing will take place at the “edge,” nearer where the data is collected.

Potential applications include genetic research and financial services, where sensitive data could be less secure if it's sent to an off-site cloud server. Neri also said that edge computing could help with tasks like manufacturing or autonomous driving, in which speed is paramount.

HPE is focused on developing infrastructure that will connect ‘edge’ cases that are reliant on local data processing to the conventional cloud. Last year, Neri put a big bet on edge computing, pledging $4 billion in R&D spending over four years.

That bet has yet to show big returns. In its most recent quarter, HPE’s overall revenue was down 7% year over year. Revenues for Intelligent Edge, the unit focused on secure mobile and wireless networks, dropped 3% on the year.

But many potential edge computing applications appear poised for growth. Neri has predicted that returns on the edge computing investment will start arriving in 2020.

Neri’s aggressive investment in his plan (along with billions of dollars in stock buybacks and dividends) has already bolstered investor sentiment. HPE's stock price—it closed at $16.41 on Thursday—has been relatively steady over the past two years despite revenue declines.

Neri was also quick to dismiss competition from traditional hardware manufacturers like Dell and Lenovo. Instead, he emphasized that the growing complexity of business technology gave the advantage to companies providing tailored systems bundled with support services.

Then there’s the class of China-based competitors Neri calls “China Inc.,” which he says are “all about pricing, commoditizing everything.” As HPE's president just before becoming CEO, Neri announced that HPE would exit the “commodity” server business – in part under pressure from cheaper Chinese competition.

Neri expressed admiration for China’s push for technological self-sufficiency. But, he said, “the reality is they need the West to continue to teach them and enable them.”

That contradicts worries by some that Chinese tech and A.I. could challenge Western leadership. Some experts do share Neri’s skepticism that China can take the lead, especially when it comes to China's efforts in artificial intelligence.

In contrast with Neri's views about China Inc., HPE's edge strategy includes focusing on highly specialized and high profit-margin hardware projects. For example, HPE built a custom supercomputer for NASA’s Artemis project to return humans to the moon, then send them on to Mars, and even installed a supercomputer on the International Space Station to process experimental data locally.

Because of delays in sending data, cloud technology is particularly impractical in space, making it what Neri called “the farthest edge you can imagine.”

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