NEC – Going Beyond UC to the Smart Enterprise

27 Feb 2017

At the NEC 2017 Global Analyst Meeting in Dallas, Shinsuke (Shin) Takahashi, President, NEC Corporation of America, explained NEC’s cultural transformation and the role its technology plays in helping society and making the world a better, safer place. The company is focusing on the value it brings in terms of:

  • Efficiency – realizing sustainable growth
  • Equality – closing the social divide and eliminating inequality
  • Safety – ensuring safety from individuals to countries
  • Security – serving society and the earth

It was refreshing to hear a global company like NEC focus on providing value to society, not just shareholders.

NEC’s vision is “Orchestrating a brighter world,” which involves solutions for its key vertical markets: state and local government, federal government, retail, hospitality, education, and healthcare. According to Joe Salisbury, VP Marketing & Communications, “Orchestrating a brighter world is part of our DNA and our focus as an organization. This starts with the Smart Enterprise.” The Smart Enterprise is based on integrating and combining the company’s UC technologies with its broader IT portfolio, and combines NEC mobility, fault-tolerant and high-availability server and storage, networking, and video solutions, as well as its biometrics, IoT, data analytics, and AI initiatives. Truth be told, we heard a lot more about these latter technologies than about UC during the conference. 
Salisbury explained how IoT, biometrics, AI, and analytics enable governments and businesses to collect data and make sense of it in order to make predictable statements that lead to better outcomes. For example, farmers can create better crops, cities can better manage their water infrastructure, and governments can better protect their citizens. This is a far cry from UC!

I spoke with Larry Levenberg, VP Sales, Americas, about the Smart Enterprise and how NEC is bringing in a variety of its technologies to solve complex problems.

As Levenberg mentioned, UC is core to the Smart Enterprise, but now NEC can bring advanced applications to organizations. NEC expects the Smart Enterprise will fuel the company’s growth going forward.

IoT is a huge area of focus at NEC, and the company is integrating IoT into its UC portfolio. I spoke with Ram Menghani, VP, Portfolio Development, about the role of IoT. Menghani also provides an update on NEC UNIVERGE Blue, NEC’s UCaaS offering, which remains an important part of the portfolio.

At the conference we heard about NEC’s biometric solutions, NeoFace Facial Recognition technology, as well as its AI technology called NEC the Wise, which is a single source of data collection and analytics. We’re living in exciting times, and while part of me is nervous about what all of this can mean, I’m looking forward to seeing how these new technologies will help to improve not just the way we work, but the way we live.


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