Nokia unveils Future X framework to help unlock “trillions” of industrial IoT dollars
Nokia has grouped its industrial IoT solutions into a new architectural framework and enterprise division, called ‘Future X for industries’. The strategy is designed to drive faster digital transformation of asset-intensive market sectors, and Nokia business within them.
The announcement comes as the Finnish outfit has also unveiled an alliance with Indian multinational Infosys to develop new IIoT solutions, and a contract with China Unicom to supply a private LTE network to a new BMW smart factory in China.
Specifically, Nokia cited manufacturing, logistics, transportation and energy, as well as governments and cities, and the customer verticals for its Future X focus. Nokia said it will help drive a new era of “productivity and human-machine interaction” that will unlock “trillions of dollars” of economic value in the next decade.
The architecture, developed by its Bell Labs business unit, incorporates four technology layers: applications, platforms, distributed cloud computing, and networking.
These layers variously cover technologies including edge computing, augmented intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and advanced LTE and 5G, protected with advanced security solutions. Security analytics is also bundled into the design and offer.
Nokia said just 30 per cent of organisations in the broad enterprise sector have been able to capitalise on digital technologies to yield productivity benefits, mostly from shifting and virtualising business support functions in the cloud.
These more digitally accomplished enterprises have come from “IT-centric” industries. It said in a statement:. “Traditional asset-intensive industries, comprising more than two-thirds of GDP in the US, have yet to experience the full benefits of this digital transformation.”
The company’s ‘Future X’ strategy, delivered by its new enterprise division, will seek to drive “dramatic productivity improvements across a wide range of industry sectors,” it said.
Marcus Weldon, president for Nokia Bell Labs, said: “Industry is driven by a constant quest for leading profitability, which in a dynamic marketplace requires maximum productivity. It is now possible for those in both the digital and physical economies to accelerate their digital transformations and realize unprecedented productivity gains.
“The Future X for industries architecture is designed to describe the essential foundation of this Industry 4.0 revolution, much as the Future X network vision we published in 2015 is serving as a blueprint for service provider network evolution.”
The manufacturing, logistics, transportation, and energy markets require interconnected systems that sense, analyse, optimise, and control actions across a broad range of assets, including machinery, tools and devices. Future X is a framework for “open, connected systems for each major industry”, it said.
The four layers in the Future X design are: business applications, for such use cases as predictive maintenance, workforce efficiency and safety, and asset optimisation, each geared towards specific verticals; digital platforms, for automation, analytics, operations, and network and device management; a multi-cloud layer, covering local clouds, edge computing, and hybrid clouds; and a high-performance networking layer, for both wired and wireless networks.
These layers will be coupled with a “defense in depth” cyber-security approach.
“When combined with richer human-machine interfaces (HMI), these capabilities will deliver intuitive, augmented and precise control of autonomous systems and manifestly more efficient digital operations,” said Nokia.
Nokia has invested heavily in technologies including software-defined networking for both data centre and SD-WAN applications, network automation and private LTE network technologies, distributed cloud orchestration, and advanced data streaming and analytics, including the acquisition of SpaceTime Insight in May.
The company has formed another enterprise business group to “consolidate a range of existing, fast-growing activities into one focused organisation”. The new unit reports to the Nokia president and chief executive Rajeev Suri.
The company has also expanded its effort to bring telco-grade networks to industrial customers. It has recently signed with Brazil’s Elektro for the deployment of a Private LTE network to strengthen power grid reliability and efficiency.
Nokia has supplied over 1,000 networks in total to industries including transportation, energy, public sector, healthcare and financial services, it said.