Quick Quantum Quips: Quantum systems become increasingly accessible

Welcome to TBR’s monthly newsletter on the quantum computing market: Quick Quantum Quips (Q3). This market changes rapidly, and the hype can often distract from the realities of the actual technological developments. This newsletter keeps the community up to date on recent announcements while stripping away the hype around developments.

November 2020 Developments

Access to quantum systems and vertical-specific use cases is beginning to emerge in more commercially available ways. While quantum computing has yet to achieve economic advantage, these developments are necessary next steps toward this goal.

  1. IQM Quantum Computing (IQM),a quantum hardware startup based in Finland, was selected to produce Finland’s first quantum system. The company committed to delivering a 50-qubit system by 2024. IQM has a geographical advantage in the quantum computing market because it is located in Europe and there are few vendors on the continent investing in quantum hardware. IQM’s partnership with Atos on quantum provides IQM with increased visibility into the European Union.
  2. Zapata Computing closed its latest round of funding, a series B round that raised $38 million. Comcast’s and Honeywell’s venture capital arms both invested in this round of funding, with Honeywell as an existing investor and Comcast as a new addition. The investments in quantum computing from vendors working in adjacent fields demonstrate the value quantum computing can provide. TBR believes Zapata’s software capabilities are some of the most mature in the industry, making it a valuable long-term partner to Honeywell in the quantum computing market.
  3. Duke University has begun expanding its existing quantum computing facility at its Chesterfield location in Durham, N.C., adding 10,000 square feet. The expansion will be completed by March 2021, and the facility is one of five in the U.S. gaining support from a $115 million grant by the U.S. Department of Energy. Duke University’s quantum computing efforts focus on trapped-ion quantum systems. The systems in development at Duke will be purpose-built to solve specific problems.
  4. AlgoDynamix unveiled a behavior-forecasting use case for financial services customers underpinned by D-Wave quantum annealing technology. This offering is consumed as a cloud service and is significant in the quantum computing market for two reasons, according to TBR. First, it is a very specific vertical use case that leverages quantum computing technology. Second, it demonstrates that a quantum-specific vendor partnering with a vertical-specific vendor can create very practical applications in the greater quantum ecosystem. The analytics of this use case are SaaS-based and do not require customer-specific data to be leveraged, making onboarding new customers to the offering relatively simple.
  5. Honeywell unveiled a 10th-generation 10-qubit quantum system named System H1. The computer leverages Honeywell’s quantum charge-coupled device (QCCD) trapped-ion technology, which is a differentiator in that the QCCD makes it easier to upgrade the system throughout its lifetime. This enables existing customers to take advantage of system advancements as they are developed. System H1 can be accessed as a cloud service either directly through a cloud API or through partners including Microsoft Azure Quantum, Zapata or Cambridge Quantum Computing. All access to System H1 is billed as a subscription service.

If you would like more detailed information around the quantum computing market, please inquire about TBR’s Quantum Computing Market Landscape, a semiannual deep dive into the quantum computing market. Our upcoming version, publishing in December, will focus on the software layer of quantum systems. You can also sign up for our webinar on the topic, which will be held on Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. EST.

SAP and Ericsson in Egypt: Thriving in an expansive environment

Ericsson and SAP anticipate further expansion in Cairo

Ericsson has also leveraged this environment to support its global strategy, by tapping local talent in the fields of artificial intelligence, software development and digitalization. “It is the existence of the required competent engineers, with various backgrounds and capabilities, that makes it very attractive to operate in the country,” an Egypt-based Ericsson executive noted. Ericsson has been operating a digital services hub in the country to serve the Middle East and Africa region. The Ericsson executive stated, “Since we are covering the Middle East and Africa, Arabic is an advantage for working in Arab countries.

Egyptian professionals have relatively better English communication skills as well to add on top. Plus, Egypt provides reliable telecom infrastructure that can help different engineers to communicate and engage remotely with colleagues and customers.” According to Ericsson, the environment has been very encouraging to do more and serve on the global level as well. The Egyptian government has a strong focus on the ICT sector, is making more spectrum available to operators to improve mobile broadband experience, and has the aspiration to introduce 5G. In Ericsson’s estimation, Egypt is a firm believer in building a connected society and smart cities and is already executing on a solid national artificial intelligence strategy.

Notably, in October Ericsson announced the shipment of the first AI-enabled software developed at its Artificial Intelligence & Analytics Hub in Egypt to be used by Ericsson’s customers globally. According to the press release, “The AI & Analytics Hub has accelerated the execution of Ericsson’s focused strategy in Egypt by using AI and automation technologies to create data-driven, intelligent products and services.”

Looking ahead for SAP, Mansour explained that she hopes to hire more resources in digital marketing, digital sales, presales and services, and, if SAP’s management approves, to establish more partnerships with the headquarters of companies serving the region. For Mansour, a true coup would be to convince the Egyptian talent currently employed in Germany to return to Cairo and help “regain historic leadership of the region.” Potentially accelerating that effort would be SAP’s continued success with SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (S/4HANA) implementations and expanded opportunities with IoT, analytics and other emerging technologies. Ericsson’s Egyptian future, according to its executives, depends on ever-increasing internet connection speeds, recruitment of local talent, and support of a wider array of Ericsson products and services.

Building on the company’s legacy in Egypt, which dates back to 1897, when the first Ericsson telephony equipment was introduced in the country, connecting Alexandria to Cairo, Ericsson believes 5G will be next significant step. Ericsson executives noted that the Egyptian government “took proactive steps in launching 4G in the country … a testimony that the country realizes the importance of technology in building economic development. From a technology point of view, [Ericsson is] ready to switch on 5G on the existing 4G networks, so it is all a matter of getting the 5G license in place. [Ericsson’s] focus area now is to offer the latest solutions and technologies to existing customers for their 4G networks while working together on paving the way to launching 5G.”

Earlier in 2020, TBR spoke with Egyptian officials about the country’s continuing efforts to build a robust alternative for companies looking to outsource their IT services operations. As part of a follow-up, TBR also connected with SAP (NYSE: SAP) and Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERIC) executives to understand why both technology vendors have chosen to expand operations in Cairo. The following reflects those exchanges and TBR’s ongoing analysis of offshore IT services centers.

Webscales will ultimately become more like competitors than partners to operators to capitalize on 5G-era opportunities

Webscales are not the telco’s friend

The Big Nine have various initiatives underway that will disrupt aspects of the telecom business model and pose a direct threat to operators’ existing connectivity businesses and their ability to capitalize on new value created from 5G.

Though webscales are posturing like they want to partner with telcos on new opportunities, they actually need to disrupt telcos’ core business (i.e., providing connectivity) to realize their digital ecosystem goals.

Webscales ultimately need to become more like competitors, rather than partners, of telcos because they need access to new types of data, and realizing their digital lifestyle goals will require them to take control over the network rather than be beholden to telcos. Both of these needs are satisfied by owning greater portions of the network.

Webscales already own significant portions of long-haul transport, cloud data centers, SD-WAN and communications platforms globally, and TBR believes the next step will be for webscales to take over the mobile core and the last mile of the network. This is already occurring in the enterprise network domain, but TBR expects webscales will increasingly delve into the consumer domain as spectrum is increasingly democratized and key technological advancements make it much easier, faster and cheaper to build and operate greenfield networks.

The webscale companies (hyperscalers or internet content providers) covered in TBR’s Webscale ICT Market Landscape invest in ICT and related digital infrastructure to drive their core businesses, which can include, but are not limited to, advertising, cloud services, e-commerce, financial services and media. In some cases, webscale companies will also invest in and provide telecommunications services, such as broadband access, to accelerate their digital businesses. This report focuses on the nine webscales (the Big Nine — Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Baidu, Facebook, Microsoft, Rakuten, Tencent) that TBR believes will own the largest, most comprehensive end-to-end digital ecosystems in the digital era. Additionally, the report includes key findings, market size, customer adoption, operator positioning and strategies, geographic adoption, vendor positioning and strategies, and acquisition and alliance strategies and opportunities.

The Big 9 will own and control the value chain in the digital era

The Big 9 will own and control the value chain in the digital era

Drivers and Investments

The Big Nine’s underlying goal is to provide a seamless, end-to-end digital experience to end users that will maximize webscales’ value capture in the digital era.

Webscales already own significant portions of long-haul transport, cloud data centers, SD-WAN and communications platforms globally, and TBR believes the next step will be for webscales to move into the mobile core and last mile of the network.

Webscales need access to network data, which they will obtain through partnerships with telcos or outright ownership of the network.

The webscale companies (hyperscalers or internet content providers) covered in TBR’s Webscale ICT Market Landscape invest in ICT and related digital infrastructure to drive their core businesses, which can include, but are not limited to, advertising, cloud services, e-commerce, financial services and media. In some cases, webscale companies will also invest in and provide telecommunications services, such as broadband access, to accelerate their digital businesses. This report focuses on the nine webscales (the Big Nine — Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Baidu, Facebook, Microsoft, Rakuten, Tencent) that TBR believes will own the largest, most comprehensive end-to-end digital ecosystems in the digital era. Additionally, the report includes key findings, market size, customer adoption, operator positioning and strategies, geographic adoption, vendor positioning and strategies, and acquisition and alliance strategies and opportunities.

3 ways hybrid engagements will change consultants’ innovation & transformation centers

Join Principal Analyst Patrick M. Heffernan, Senior Analyst Boz Hristov and Analyst Kelly Lesiczka as they detail three key forces shaping the way IT services vendors and consultancies adjust their innovation and transformation centers to the new reality of hybrid engagements. With over 50 on-site visits to these digital experience centers prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Patrick, Boz and Kelly bring firsthand understanding of how these centers have been designed, staffed and operated as well as what changes customers can expect from these centers going into 2021.

Don’t miss:

  • What the best-prepared consultancies did to shift to all-virtual engagements, and how quickly they will evolve to a hybrid model
  • How clients’ expectations changed before the pandemic, and what new demands will emerge in 2021
  • Why hybrid engagements at innovation and transformation centers signal a shift to hybrid consulting

HPE continues to evolve technical solutions for a dispersed workforce

HPE’s VDI portfolio is not new but is increasingly valuable to its customers as remote work looks like a more permanent situation than initially anticipated

As of April HPE had rolled out a series of VDI solutions that enable customers to adapt to the growing workforce and garnered a significant number of new customers. This week’s announcement at Workplace Next rides the momentum that highlighted use case-specific VDI offerings, allowing customers to customize their experience based on the type of worker and the size of the remote workforce. With these inputs, HPE can optimize newly designed VDI configurations that are dependent on each type of worker and customize pricing, billing and delivery.

Kaddoura explained that customers “need access to their data centers in a very secure way, and in a highly cost-optimized way as well,” and highlighted GreenLake as the cloud that can be implemented in a customer’s data center, colocation facility or edge. Additionally, she noted that what HPE has done is “brought together the best of our Pointnext Services, our software management layer, as well as HPE’s rich portfolio of hardware to create that cloud experience.”

While the announcement of HPE’s GreenLake virtual desktop cloud services was the banner topic woven throughout the event’s discussions, HPE’s rich ecosystem of partners was highlighted as key to optimizing the rollout of these latest features. For example, in addition to offering VDI from Citrix (Nasdaq: CTXS), HPE can now include VMware (NYSE: VMW) Horizon as well as NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA) virtual GPU (vGPU) technology for more cumbersome workloads. The extension of HPE’s partnership with Wipro was also announced, enabling delivery of hybrid cloud and VDI solutions “as a Service” through HPE GreenLake.

Yadavalli expanded on the partnership between Wipro and HPE explaining how the relationship will allow Wipro to leverage HPE GreenLake across its managed services portfolio, offering a pay-per-use model that is subscription based and easily consumable. The aim, said Yadavalli, is to “bring hyperscaler capabilities to customers on-premises or on hosted infrastructure,” which will enable customers to “fast track their workplace transformation efforts by eliminating the need for upfront capital investments and provisioning costs while enjoying the benefits of on-premises control, security and compliance.”

On Nov. 10 HPE sponsored Workplace Next, a series of discussions on the trends and impacts of the reimagined workforce as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, featuring a cross-industry panel of experts and executives. During the virtual broadcast, business leaders from various industry roles, including human resources, real estate, healthcare and manufacturing, discussed not only the workplace challenges and trends resulting from the pandemic but also highlighted the opportunities a remote work mandate have unveiled. HPE is a prime example of an enterprise that has addressed the challenges of remote work internally while reorienting its portfolio of solutions to enable as seamless a shift as possible for customers. Additionally, with the discussion of the reimagined workplace as the backdrop, HPE notably leveraged the event to announce expansion of HPE GreenLake VDI cloud services, which included several updates to its workforce strategy for the digital economy.

Despite complexity and market challenges, CSP spend on NFV/SDN will grow at a 32.4% CAGR from 2019 to 2024 to nearly $147B

Key Insights

NFV/SDN spend will scale through the forecast period as leading CSPs broaden their transformation initiatives and as other CSPs begin their transformational journeys.

Operators will increasingly invest in virtualized network solutions, including vRAN and virtual network cores, to reap the full benefits of 5G.

The pool of vendors capable of aiding telecom operators in their network transformations is growing as cloud service providers and Japan-based vendors join the fray.

TBR’s NFV/SDN Telecom Market Forecast details NFV and SDN trends among the most influential market players, including both suppliers and operators. This research includes current-year market sizing and a five-year forecast by multiple NFV and SDN market segments and by geography as well as examines growth drivers, top trends and leading market players. TBR’s NFV/SDN Telecom Market Landscape includes key findings, market size, customer and geographic adoption, operator and vendor positioning and strategies, and acquisition and alliance strategies.

NFV and SDN are transformational technologies, and even leading CSPs are in the early stages of evolving

Despite market and complexity challenges, CSP spend on NFV/SDN will grow at a TBR-projected 32.4% CAGR from 2019 to 2024 to nearly $147B

NFV/SDN spend will increase at a CAGR of 32.4% to $146.9 billion between 2019 and 2024, compared to nearly flat overall communication service provider (CSP) spend (capex plus external opex) for the global market. NFV/SDN spend will scale through the forecast period as leading CSPs broaden their transformation initiatives and as additional CSPs begin their transformational journeys.

5G will be a key catalyst that will push more CSPs to adopt and broaden their NFV- and SDN-related initiatives. COVID-19 will serve as a catalyst for digital transformation, which implicates NFV and SDN, as operators will increase investment in the technologies to improve network cost efficiencies long term and support shifting data usage trends arising from the increased number of work-from-home employees and remote learners. Rakuten, along with China- and U.S.-based CSPs, will be key drivers of the spend increase in the early years of the forecast. TBR expects lower-tier CSPs in developed countries and key CSPs in emerging markets will ramp up NFV/SDN spend in the later years of the forecast period, driving continued spend growth in the overall market.

Most CSP spend on NFV/SDN to date has been on virtual machines, but this will increasingly transition to container-based and cloud-native, microservices-based spend through the forecast period as CSPs continue their evolutionary journeys.

TBR’s NFV/SDN Telecom Market Forecast details NFV and SDN trends among the most influential market players, including both suppliers and operators. This research includes current-year market sizing and a five-year forecast by multiple NFV and SDN market segments and by geography as well as examines growth drivers, top trends and leading market players. TBR’s NFV/SDN Telecom Market Landscape includes key findings, market size, customer and geographic adoption, operator and vendor positioning and strategies, and acquisition and alliance strategies.

Enterprise interest in 5G has greatly increased since the pandemic began, pulling forward adoption timelines

Global 2000 companies and governments will drive the vast majority of spend on private 5G infrastructure

Global 2000-sized companies and governments have the scale, financial resources and technical acumen to handle the complexity of 5G and realize its full benefits. TBR estimates over 90% of private 5G investment will stem from these entities through mid-decade, at which point network slicing, solution maturity and lower price points will enable SMBs to participate more pervasively in the 5G opportunity. TBR expects most SMBs seeking 5G will leverage public infrastructure for their needs as the cost and complexity of private 5G will be too much for many of these smaller companies to handle.

Leading enterprises intend to fundamentally transform their operations by converging IT and operational technology with 5G, edge computing, AI and machine learning, and IoT.

Manufacturers and governments are expected to be among the largest investors in private 5G networks through mid-decade.

Software upgradability of private LTE systems to 5G will enable some enterprises to accelerate their migration to 5G

A large portion of the global private LTE install base is software upgradable to 5G, which will hasten some enterprises’ move to 5G, but the timing of these upgrades will be contingent on 5G device readiness.

TBR expects leading enterprises will upgrade their private LTE systems starting in 2021 as compatible devices and 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) features from Releases 16 and 17 become available. This upgrade cycle is a key factor in why the private 5G market size will be able to scale in the early years of the forecast period.

TBR’s Private Cellular Networks Market Forecast, which is global in scope, details private cellular network spending trends among enterprises and governments, particularly as it pertains to 5G. The report includes current-year market sizing and a five-year forecast of the private cellular networks opportunity by vertical, by provider type and by region.