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neXt Curve Insights – May 2023


Welcome to the May 2023 edition of neXt Curve Insights. This monthly newsletter is a compilation of articles, media, and news that have been curated by the research team at neXt Curve with contributions from partner analysts as well as business and technology leaders.

The goal of neXt Curve Insights is to provide our readers with a regular cadence of coverage of the industry and tech trends and events that matter with the intent of fostering constructive discussion and debate on the future of technology, innovation, and the continuous reinvention of enterprise, industry, society, and our lives. 

I hope that you find this edition informative and inspiring.

Leonard Lee, Executive Analyst of neXt Curve

Top Posts

Check out the top social media posts on LinkedIn by neXt Curve analysts, associates, and partners. Follow neXt Curve and Leonard Lee on LinkedIn and be part of the conversation. Click on the image to view the post.

I’m very glad to hear that kids who are using #chatgpt to cheat are getting caught by their teachers, receiving warnings and flunking grades.

Got #5G? After a couple of years of hype & nonsense crushing, it’s time to say yes.

I’m here in Times Square at the Nasdaq headquarters with Honeywell to attend their annual investor day. No, I’m not ringing the bell, but this is probably as close as I will get.

We are now three years in since material #5G networks (mostly NSA) started to be deployed around the globe. Believe it or not, in some markets, we (they) have come a long way with some coverage areas delivering some impressive performance and service quality, especially with new midband deployments.

So funny, I mentioned this several times about the Apple culture on IoT Coffee Talk. I might have even mentioned in on our Steve Jobs episode. The power and clarity of “no”. I know, it sounds so wrong, but it isn’t.

Cristiano R. Amon hits the stage here at Qualcomm‘s HQ campus in a surprise keynote for their inaugural #DXsummit. That’s digital transformation for those of you who don’t know.

Top Headlines

These are the hot headlines in the tech and industry media that neXt Curve has curated for your consideration and attention. Executive analyst, Leonard Lee, provides a brief analysis of each story. Contact, Leonard at for a briefing on the details of his take (clients only).  




Qualcomm to acquire Israeli auto-chip maker Autotalks

by Sheena K Thomas, Shubham Kalia, and Stephen Nellis of Reuters

May 8, 2023

“Qualcomm Inc said on Monday that it would acquire Israel’s Autotalks Ltd, a maker of chips used in crash-prevention technology in vehicles, as the U.S. firm looks to expand its automotive-related business.

The company did not disclose the terms of the deal but said Autotalk’s technology would be incorporated into its assisted and autonomous driving product, called Snapdragon Digital Chassis.

The company, which has credited the jump to its Snapdragon Digital Chassis product, competes with Intel’s Mobileye Global and Nvidia Corp for that slice of the market.

Autotalks makes dedicated chips used in the vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications technology for manned and driverless vehicles to improve road safety.”

It’s good to see Qualcomm expand its Snapdragon Digital Chassis to include V2X with the acquisition of Autotalks. This positions Qualcomm well in providing a holistic intelligent and connected car platform that can interface with intelligent infrastructures and the services they provide.

Outside of China, smart transportation projects have made little traction and are of low maturity level based on neXt Curve’s Intelligent Transportation System maturity framework

As Qualcomm helps automakers build cars that are essentially will cost justify investments in smart transportation infrastructure. Without the endpoint devices to capitalize on the services, the infrastructure investments won’t be justified. 

“During Microsoft Build 2023, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. displayed its latest innovations in on-device AI, including showing generative AI running on Snapdragon® compute platforms, as well as new pathways for developers building applications for Windows 11 PCs powered by Snapdragon.

‘For generative AI to become truly mainstream, much of the inferencing will need to be executed on edge devices,’ said Ziad Asghar, senior vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

‘Both cloud and device processing are needed to extend AI across the vast universe of devices and applications,’ said Pavan Davuluri, Corporate VP, Windows Silicon and System Integration at Microsoft.”

One of the key vectors of AI innovation is what is generally referred to as Edge AI. Qualcomm has been an important pioneer in bringing AI to a wide range of endpoint devices as well as edge infrastructures including the RAN (Radio Access Network) as exemplified by the company’s collaboration in bringing AI to Mavenir’s next generation of OpenBeam massive MIMO radio units (RUs).

Qualcomm is a pioneer of AI on smartphones and has driven the infusion of AI silicon on a new breed of smartphone-like PC devices with its line of Snapdragon chips. Enabling on-device GenAI is a logical step that will open opportunities for Microsoft to foster confidential and private AI on Windows PCs.

NVIDIA today announced that it is integrating its NVIDIA AI Enterprise software into Microsoft’s Azure Machine Learning to help enterprises accelerate their AI initiatives.

The integration will create a secure, enterprise-ready platform that enables Azure customers worldwide to quickly build, deploy and manage customized applications using the more than 100 NVIDIA AI frameworks and tools that come fully supported in NVIDIA AI Enterprise, the software layer of NVIDIA’s AI platform.

Manuvir Das, vice president of enterprise computing at NVIDIA said, ‘The combination of NVIDIA AI Enterprise software and Azure Machine Learning will help enterprises speed up their AI initiatives with a straight, efficient path from development to production.’

NVIDIA AI Enterprise on Azure Machine Learning will also provide access to the highest-performance NVIDIA accelerated computing resources to speed the training and inference of AI models.”

Nvidia is well positioned in the AI race largely due to their integrated and mature tooling, frameworks, and libraries. Over the short six months since the GenAI craze was ignited by the viral release of ChatGPT, Nvidia has rapidly created XaaS platform channels across a wide partner network including Microsoft. 

This announcement is merely one of many that have transpired at GTC 2023 last month. We can expect many more as Nvidia aggressively seeks to drive demand for their AI stack and chips in meeting early demand for GenAI projects as awareness and curiosity explodes as do the number of AI applications coming to market.

Nvidia’s partnering with Microsoft Azure to scale out their GenAI footprint and developer community makes sense. The integration of Nvidia’s stack with Microsoft’s MLaaS platform and tools could substantially reduce the cost, velocity, and friction of enterprise GenAI POCs. 

“Existing Open RAN solutions currently cannot support non-5G workloads and still deliver inferior 5G performance. They are mostly still using single-use hardware accelerators. This limits their appeal to telecom executives, as the comparative performance of traditional solutions delivers a tried-and-tested deployment plan for 5G. 

However, the NVIDIA Accelerated 5G RAN solution based on NVIDIA AX800 has overcome these limitations and is now delivering comparable performance to traditional 5G solutions. This paves the way to deploy 5G Open RAN on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware at any public cloud or telco edge.”

Nvidia is introducing another angle to the Open RAN accelerator race at a time when Intel has introduced its new Xeon Scalable processor with vRAN Boost, and a bevy of SmartNIC and accelerator card offerings are hitting the market from Marvell, Qualcomm, Nokia, Samsung Networks, and others.

The challenge that Nvidia faces with its 5G RAN solution is mindshare and how it is differentiating itself in the Open RAN accelerator race. Nvidia first announced its intent to enter the space back at MWC LA 2019 when the company announced its collaboration with Ericsson. Four years later, Ericsson is working with Intel. 

“Today we are announcing Arm Total Compute Solutions 2023 (TCS23), which will be the platform for mobile computing, offering our best ever premium solution for smartphones. TCS23 delivers a complete package of the latest IP designed and optimized for specific workloads to work seamlessly together as a complete system. This includes a new world-class Arm Immortalis GPU based on our brand-new 5th Generation GPU architecture for ultimate visual experiences, a new cluster of Armv9 CPUs that continue our performance leadership for next-gen artificial intelligence (AI), and new enhancements to deliver more accessible software for the millions of Arm developers.”

Total Compute Solutions (TCS) was an important evolution for Arm from its “heterogenous computing” phase that defined their brand for the past few years. TCS23, Arm’s third iteration of its systems-oriented roadmap and technology strategy.

TCS23 represents Arm’s transition to application-specific systems for heterogeneous computing that are optimized and tuned for system level performance. 

Our view is that TCS is increasingly an important driver of Arm’s IP and tech leadership with progress evidenced by MediaTek’s Dimensity 9200.

Chart of the Month - Retail Leadership

About six years ago, there was a lot of buzz about how Amazon was the retail “Death Star”. It was the height of the eCommerce thesis when Amazon was seen as the company that could do no wrong. It had recently acquired Whole Foods and made several of its original forays into brick n’ mortar retail. 

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Amazon experience a meteoric rise in its retail revenue and seemed poised to become the foretold Death Star of retail. Yet, other retailers proved resilient, especially large box retailers such as Walmart and Target who managed to do more than well during the pandemic downturn. 

neXt Curve Chart of the month - The Retail Landscape by 22' Global Revenue

In 2022, the retail landscape continues to be led by Walmart which has expanded its retail revenue to $601 billion having grown by 7.8 percent in 2022. The company captured 23.5 percent of the total retail revenue of the top 20 retailers by global sales according to the NRF

Amazon grew its revenue 6.7 percent in 2022 to hit a record $343 billion in retail revenue capturing 13.45 percent of the total global revenue of the top 20 retailers. This represents a significant increase in revenue share from 2017 when the company held only 4.2% of top 20 retailer revenue.

While Amazon has not proven to be a Death Star of retail, it continues to be an innovator in the industry. At the same time, it is clear that other retailers are innovating as well building out their multi-channel capabilities and proving they can keep the industry competitive and resilient.

Remember, e-commerce is just a channel. 

reThink Insights

Check out the articles and the research notes that neXt Curve published this month as well as press quotes by the media on topics related to our research agenda. 

Go to our neXt Curve reThink research portal for more content and insights associated with our research agenda.

neXt Curve Monthly Musings

Check out this month’s musings on all things in tech and industry that matter to technology and business leaders by neXt Curve’s Executive Analyst, Leonard Lee.

For real-time insights and commentary from Leonard Lee, follow him on LinkedIn and on Twitter.

The Future of Cloud Computing

During the early days of neXt Curve, we had several collaborations with IBM’s Institute of Business Value on the future of cloud computing and the key trends that we – with the collective thought leadership of Cristene Gonzalez-Wertz, Martin Kienzle, and Christophe Begue – collectively felt would shape it. Yes, this was six years ago! 

Key themes we talked about were edge computing and what IBM dubbed at the time as the “Cloud Continuum”, edge computing and the influence that 5G would have on the future of cloud.

What is the Cloud Continuum? It’s essentially what we refer to as hybrid cloud and the constellations of edge clouds that are proliferating outside of the hyperscale data centers thanks to cloud-native technologies making their way across the various edge environments. This is happening as edge infrastructures are being modernized and new ones are being built out. A great example is what is happening with the RAN (Radio Access Network) with vRAN evolving to a more cloud-like architecture often referred to as cloud RAN. 

Over the past couple of years, we have started to see a notable shift in the cloud narrative. We are hearing more and more ICT companies as well as leading cloud service providers talk about how a fraction (anywhere from 10 to 20 percent depending on source) of enterprise workloads and applications have been migrated to the cloud. Probably more importantly, more and more data and content are being generated at the edge – most of it will never reach the megaplex cloud. 

The post-pandemic inflations and a dramatic drop in IT spend over the last year has taught organizations that cloud is not cheap for everything and all purposes. During this period, it is apparent that CIOs put financial transparency at the top of their priority list making FinOps something that leading cloud service providers have to reckon as IT organizations optimize their cloud spend which is a matter that neXt Curve addressed years back in a collaboration with Cloud Spectator (link). We were ahead of our time. 

Consequently, we have seen YoY revenue growth of the leading cloud service providers level off over the last few quarters as enterprises rein back and rationalize their cloud spending. 

Those of you who have been following me and neXt Curve research know that we have been talking about the emerging dynamic that has brought about this era of hybrid multi-CSP cloud computing as well as my view on hybrid cloud DevOps. 

The changing economics of cloud computing and cost revelations are changing how buyers view the “cloud” opportunity and its future. It’s has also brought about the multi-cloud management and brokerage platforms we outlined in our early research on the future of cloud. Red Hat, VMware, Dell, HPE, ServiceNow, IBM and a growing number of others are coming to market with their hybrid cloud brokerage offerings. 

I recommend neXt Curve readers continue to track this trend. It will have implications across the ICT landscape in the years to come. Expect more research and points of view from neXt Curve on this important topic at We have been researching the frontier of this topic for years now.  

You can also check out neXt Curve’s Cutting Edge column on Acceleration Economy for a primer on how to frame your thinking about the future of cloud computing across the edge. I recommend that you start from the first edition.

Privacy & Trust

We are already hearing many tech vendors, organizations, regulators, and governments starting to talk about responsible AI. As Debbie Reynolds and I have shared in our neXt Curve podcast on our concerns about how developers and the companies that provide generative AI technologies and services will and are launching half-baked (less than beta) GenAI (Generative AI) tools and services to the public.

Many early users of ChatGPT and GPT-4 based ChatGPT Plus used these services without clear understanding of how their prompts and interactions with these tools would be used despite clear warnings and disclaimers splashed on the OpenAI site and ChatGPT login page.

Over the past few months since the advent of ChatGPT we have witnessed numerous cases where professionals have relied on these GenAI tools to the detriment of their work as well as potentially exposing confidential information of their organization or person to at public, learning LLM, most commonly, ChatGPT. Most prominent examples include:

“Samsung Bans Staff’s AI Use After Spotting ChatGPT Data Leak” – Mark German, Bloomberg

“These companies have banned or limited ChatGPT at work” – Adam DeRose, HR Brew

The growing concern for any technical leader and consumer should be the flood of GenAI tools that have and continue to inundate the market and are offering services on top of a work-in-progress technology.

In our own research and engagement with CIOs and CTOs over the last few months, the vast majority are taking a measured and cautious approach to adopting GenAI tools into their organizations. Several have been running POCs and are well aware of the limitations of GenAI technology and the many applications that their organizations are being approached with by an army of GenAI app services.

We notice that as tech leaders learn more about these GenAI tools and platforms, they have growing concerns about what neXt Curve has dubbed confidential AI. This is the concept of GenAI tools that are designed, implemented, and deployed in ways that ensure the protection of the confidential assets of an organization.

Follow neXt Curve’s ongoing collaboration with Debbie Reynolds of Debbie Reynolds Consulting LLC on the important, emerging topic of confidential AI.

Media Highlights

This month, neXt Curve participated in the following internally produced and third-party media events. More media content featured by or featuring neXt Curve is available on our reThink YouTube channel and our media center.

How CIOs & CTOs Should Approach the API Economy at the Edge

In episode 18 of The Cutting Edge Podcast, Leonard Lee focuses on APIs. He explores why application programming interfaces (APIs) are a big deal.

Why CIOs Should Care About Edge Service Cloud Management

In episode 19 of The Cutting Edge Podcast, Leonard Lee reviews edge service cloud management and service orchestration, automation and zero trust operations.

Decoding the State of IoT: Common Myths and Strategies for Success

Join Leonard Lee and host Tom White of IoT Podcast as they dive into the current state of IoT, bust the common misconceptions, explore the hype vs. reality, and reveal how you can become a thought leader in the IoT community.

Event Highlights

This month, neXt Curve participated in the following virtual and in-person industry and technical events. For our full schedule of industry events refer to our event calendar. We also encourage you to follow neXt Curve’s LinkedIn company page.

Intel Vision 2023

Date: May 8 to 10, 2023

Location: Orlando, FL

Event Summary & Takes

neXt Curve was invited to Intel’s Vision 2023 event held in Orlando, FL, which is the company’s primary event for its customers. It provided the select company of analysts who were invited a unique opportunity to interact with Intel customers and gain deep insights into how Intel is working with its customers to deliver competitive and industry-leading products for consumers, enterprises, and service/infrastructure providers.

Yes, there was a strong undercurrent of AI at the conference as can be said for most tech and vendor conferences these days. In particular, generative AI continues to put pressure on semiconductor companies to exert their AI chops as Nvidia sucks up all the oxygen in the AI acceleration room. Intel is no exception.

There was also the matter of the “Siliconomy”, a term that Intel has coined to describe the economic impact that semiconductors will have on the future of a connected society that is augmented by intelligent systems. And yes, Intel had their full portfolio on display emphasizing the role that NEX (Network and Edge Compute) will have in informing the rest of the company with insights from the intelligent and connected edge. 

There were many other topics and priorities that are top of mind at Intel and among their customers, however, Intel Vision 2023 event was under NDA, which limits the insights that we can share.

Related Media & Press Releases

  • Intel Vision event site (link)
  • LinkedIn: neXt Curve at Intel Vision 2023 (link)
  • LinkedIn: Day 1 at Intel Vision 2023 (link)
  • LinkedIn: Hanging out with Dr. Tom Bradicich of HPE at Intel Vision 2023 (link)
  • LinkedIn: Day 2 at Intel Vision 2023 (link)

Companies Engaged: Intel, HPE, Lenovo, VMware, Dell Technologies, Cloudera, SAS, IBM, Accenture, Red Hat, Datastax, MinIO

Honeywell Investor Day 2023

Date: May 11, 2023

Location: New York, NY

Event Summary & Takes

neXt Curve was one of an exclusive (literally two) industry research firms invited to attend Honeywell’s Investor Day 2023 which took place at the NASDAQ headquarters in Times Square in the great city of New York.

In the morning, after the Honeywell executive team and staff rang the NASDAQ bell to open the day’s trading session, we had the opportunity to be briefed by several of Honeywell’s including Honeywell Connected Enterprise’s CEO, Kevin Dehoff, and CTO, Jason Urso as well as PMT CEO, Lucian Boldea. We go the scoop on how the two groups within Honeywell are collaborating to bring software-driven and outcome-based solutions to not only PMT customers, but across Honeywell’s portfolio of businesses with Forge.

The late morning agenda was kicked off by Darius Admanczyk, Chairman and CEO of Honeywell who provided a state of Honeywell’s business and strategy emphasizing the impact and realized value of the company’s digital transformation program. Darius also announced to investors that Vimal Kapur would be taking the helm of the company on June the 1st.

Here are our key takes from Honeywell Investor Day 2023 event.

  • Honeywell has one of the most deeply threaded sustainability stories rooted in their smart buildings, smart energy, and smart cities legacy. The company did a great job of articulating how they can provide the visibility to the condition of assets essential for benchmarking and root cause analysis for sustainability. Honeywell is essentially a sustainability tech company. 
  • Honeywell is pivoting toward a One Honeywell approach for their customers across industry sectors which is about an outcome-based, all-of-Honeywell value proposition spearheaded by Honeywell Connected Enterprise (HCE). 
  • Honeywell is banking big on software and XaaS solution/service delivery models to shape the future of their offerings and business model. The company views software as the key to delivering on outcomes. It’s apparent that executive leadership are looking at Honeywell Connected Enterprise to be the tip of the spear in this evolution across Honeywell’s businesses.
  • Forge is making traction across Honeywell businesses and is part of the software portfolio and product/service roadmaps of the company. Forge provides an intelligent operations framework and composable architecture packaged and delivered as a SaaS offering.
  • Honeywell has a very impressive digital transformation program that has managed to reduce the number of ERP systems from 148 to 14. They also have an aggressive program to consolidated and streamline business process across the company. They even mentioned digital thread for accelerating and improving decision making. 

Related Media & Press Releases

  • Honeywell site (link)
  • LinkedIn: neXt Curve at Honeywell Investor Day 2023 (link)
  • LinkedIn: Leonard Lee in NASDAQ HQ for Honeywell Investor Day 2023 (link)

Companies Engaged: Honeywell

PTC LiveWorx 2023

Date: May 15 to 18, 2023

Location: Boston, MA

Event Summary & Takes

neXt Curve was invited by PTC to attend their LiveWorx 2023 event held in Boston over four days. This is the first LiveWorx event for us though we have engaged with PTC at industry trade shows for years. It was a good opportunity to delve deep into the company’s portfolio and to get into the heads of their executives and product leaders.

We were subject to a packed schedule of executive and customer briefings prepared for a surprisingly sizable number of industry analysts on a wide range of topics including:

  • Agile product development
  • Sustainable design and manufacturing
  • Generative design and generative AI
  • Industrial metaverse
  • Creo and Creo+
  • Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
  • Real-time collaborative design

The key themes of Jim Heppelman’s keynote were along the lines of closing the loop on the product lifecycle with PTC’s portfolio of applications with the company’s recent acquisition of ServiceMax, a leading service support software company, and moving toward a SaaS model for their products and services. There was also mention of industrial metaverse though it seems the marketing team at PTC (as well as many other companies) see the buzzword getting long in the tooth and increasingly irrelevant. Now, digital thread is a different story, and it seems PTC has a pretty good one.

Here are our key takes from PTC’s LiveWorx 2023 event.
  • PTC is increasingly moving their customers to a SaaS model. There still seems to be many companies that want to continue their on-premises deployments of PTC applications. PTC is providing some of their applications as cloud-only offerings. 
  • With over $3 billion in acquisitions, PTC continues to integrate and modernize its product platform and architectures.
  • The appetite for industrial metaverse is declining. Increasingly, the analyst community as well as PTC customers are not seeing the point even suggesting the abandonment of the notion. It’s clear that target audiences are not biting on the concept. 
  • PTC’s CEO, Jim Heppelman, made it clear that generative design is not a new thing. In fact, it precedes work on GPTs that have spawned the recent generative AI craze and associated tech hype. PTC is working closely and thoughtfully with Microsoft to determine ways to leverage Large Language Models (LLMs) in PTC’s products. This deliberate approach and attitude is in line with what we have observed with other ISVs who are looking at GenAI integration and private platform development.
  • PTC is one of the early pioneers of industrial XR. The company showcased advanced use cases as far back as 2016 and likely sooner. We noticed that Apple equipment continues to be the go to for PTC and HoloLens, unsurprisingly, has become less of a factor as we predicted five years ago.
  • Sure, we heard some digital twin talk, but PTC is emphasizing digital thread. Another nebulous buzzword. Not so much. PTC is positioning their integrated portfolio of PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) and SLM (Service Lifecycle Management) software and tools providing a fabric for enabling digital threads of product from conception to disposal.

Related Media & Press Releases

  • LiveWorx site (link)
  • LinkedIn: Leonard Lee heads to Boston for LiveWorx 2023 (link)
  • LinkedIn: neXt Curve’s Day 1 of LiveWorx 2023 (link)
  • LinkedIn: neXt Curve’s Day 2 of LiveWorx 2023 (link)
  • LinkedIn: Leonard Lee of neXt Curve meets up with Jim Morrish of Transforma Insights (link)

Companies Engaged: PTC, Dell Technologies, Ansys, Silverside Detectors, Rolls Royce 

Blackberry Analyst Summit 2023

Date: May 17, 2023

Location: Virtual

Event Summary & Takes

neXt Curve virtually attended BlackBerry’s Analyst Summit 2023. This is an exclusive session that the company holds for investors and industry analysts. We had the opportunity to get an early peek at the state of Blackberry’s business, the future of its technology, and its strategy 3 years in the making.

Following the 3 hour-plus presentation, neXt Curve had a 1-on-1 briefing with John Wall about Blackberry’s vision for the software define vehicle architecture, safety-certified containers, the path to rearchitecting vehicular systems, and BlackBerry ‘s strategy to bring the car into a new software-defined era where ecosystem fragmentation and lack of standards rule the day.

Here are our key takes from the Blackberry Analyst Summit 2023 event.

  • Convergence of cybersecurity and IoT has been the basis of the company’s strategy for 3 years with the idea of establishing a “trust platform”. 
  • The company is betting big on the future of the car, IoT, security, and branded audio solutions with a heavy focus on the automotive/vehicle edge.
  • The integration of Cylance’s cybersecurity products is providing Blackberry with endpoint and edge security and threat intelligence features that are the foundation of the company’s IoT security solution suite.
  • SecuSUITE is working with Samsung and Apple to secure enterprise users. The company sees this product as a differentiator in the enterprise endpoint security space especially as security threats continue to expand.
  • The company is working on what looks like a pretty comprehensive software and tooling stack for the software-defined car with IVY. I’m looking forward to details.
  • BlackBerry is working with the cloud players to create secure CI/CD pipelines between the cloud using safety-certified containers to the software defined vehicle. The idea is to connect the SDV to the cloud with QNX and enable a full software lifecycle for the car of the future. 

Related Media & Press Releases

  • Blackberry site (link)
  • LinkedIn: neXt Curve attends Blackberry Analyst Day 2023 (link)

Companies Engaged: Blackberry

Dell Technologies World 2023

Date: May 22 to 25, 2023

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Event Summary & Takes

It seems that everyone is holding their annual events in Las Vegas. Dell is not exception for its Dell Technologies World 2023 conference which neXt Curve attended virtually due to begin triple booked during the week. We did have a chance to attend a few keynotes and conference session.

 neXt Curve’s research topics of interest for Dell Technologies World 2023 were:

  • Security and trust
  • Edge computing and edge-native
  • c/vRAN (cloud/virtual Radio Access Network) and telco cloud
  • Workstations and HPC

Given the intense GenAI hype, it was a topic that was difficult to avoid. It was encouraging to hear Michael Dell preface his talk on generative AI by highlighting its limitations and the need for a thoughtful and measured approach to its adoption and application during his opening keynote speech. Of course, this is a position that neXt Curve has been advocating from the beginning given our own research and experience with GenAI technologies and applications. 

Here are our key takes from the Dell Technologies World 2023 event.
  • Dell seems to have espoused the notion of private, secure, and confidential GenAI applications and deployments that will contrast in purpose and value to the more global and general applications of LLMs and other GenAI models and tools. Great validation of neXt Curve’s early position on generative AI with the advent of the hype and ChatGPT.
  • Dell is reinforcing the big push toward pushing GenAI to the edge, especially on device on the PC. Dell’s announcements coincide with what we are hearing at Microsoft Build, most notably, the announcement of Microsoft’s partnership with Qualcomm to bring Windows and Office 365 CoPilots to Windows on Arm PCs.
  • It’s apparent that the recent post-pandemic era of high inflation and tech industry rationalization has prompted enterprise buyers to put more attention to their cloud costs. Cloud is expensive and not the best option for all workloads. We hear this more and more from vendor and industry event to the next.
  • A lot of mentions of FinOps, something that neXt Curve had researched five years ago and predicted would be a key practice for IT organizations as they discovered the cost of cloud. It’s taken a while for enterprise IT organizations to understand the need for active financial management of their multi cloud strategies for cost/performance optimizing the sourcing of cloud services and placement of workloads across a multi-vendor, hybrid cloud portfolio. It’s a critical discipline in the emerging era of hybrid/edge cloud and AI. 
  • APEX PC-as-a-Service is an extension of managed device services that we saw come to market a few years back with HPE. Faced with declining PC sales, Dell and its peers are looking at ways to create more stable revenue streams through Asset as a Service models monetizing a predictable cadence of hardware refreshes for enterprises. It will be interesting to see if Dell brings this offering to consumers as Apple has with their iPhone Upgrade Program. 
  • “The Edge, the real world.” – Chuck Whitten, Co-COO, Dell Technologies. Gotta love it! Chuck mentions a number of key considerations for edge infrastructure implementation, management, and maintenance that neXt Curve has been highlighting for over two years and featured in Leonard’s Acceleration Economy column, the Cutting Edge. The edge is not the hyperscale data center. Deployments across the various edge scenarios and environments require a different tool kit and approach, a lesson many traditional IT vendors are learning through their foray into Open RAN. 
  • Dell announces Multicloud PowerFlex software-defined infrastructure to help enterprises go “multicloud by design”. Let’s call it what it is. Multicloud is about dealing with the challenges and rising costs that enterprises face with cloud service provider lock-in. Lots of talk at Dell Technologies World about portable and open cloud of clouds. Isn’t that just edge cloud, the net new? 🙂
  • Dell announces APEX Block Storage and Cloud Platform for Azure to expand its multi-hybrid cloud footprint. It’s becoming clearer that Dell and its peers are positioning themselves as enabler of multi/hybrid cloud brokerage that neXt Curve wrote about five years ago. It’s becoming a thing if not the thing! 
  • Nvidia and Dell announced Project Helix for on-premises GenAI, likely one of many such announcements that we can expect to hear over the course of the next few months as Dell and its peers help enterprises explore the potential of more hybrid forms of GenAI applications and deployments that are confidential and secure.                                                   

Related Media & Press Releases

  • Dell Technologies World 2023 event site (link)
  • LinkedIn: neXt Curve at Dell Technologies World 2023 (link)
  • Dell Technologies and NVIDIA Introduce Project Helix for Secure, On-Premises Generative AI (link)

Companies Engaged: Dell Technologies

Microsoft Build 2023

Date: May 23 to 24, 2023

Location: Seattle, WA

Event Summary & Takes

This year’s Microsoft Build is one that was highly anticipated as it was the first major developers conference to follow a deluge of press releases and announcements by the software conglomerate and its peers/competitors about generative AI since the advent of ChatGPT late last year.

Indeed, the conference program was filled with session and keynotes on GenAI. Microsoft was obviously in full marketing mode to get new GPT infused frameworks, tools, and services out to developers to take advantage of what is patently still a beta product for enterprise and consumer use.  

The research topics of neXt Curve’s interest at this year’s Microsoft Build were as follows:

  • Generative AI
  • AI Platform and Infrastructure Service – Azure
  • Development Tools and Enablement
  • Windows + GenAI

Here are our key takes from the Microsoft Build 2023 event.

  • Microsoft appears to be making GenAI plug-ins called CoPilots to help developers build in GenAI features into their applications. Windows 11 and Office 365 Co-Pilots were the biggest Co-Pilot announcements at the event.
  • Responsible AI sounded more like what we typically hear in ethical AI talk tracks. Much of the responsibility pushed onto the developer. What about Microsoft?
  • Not a lot of talk about guidelines to manage and mitigate the deficiencies in generative AI models. Much like what we saw at Google I/O, a lot of praying during GenAI demos. It’s obvious that demos are scripted and prone to unpredictable GenAI behavior and results.
  • Wisest words today – “Use LLMs for low stakes applications and make sure there is human supervision.” Andrej Karpathy.
  • Microsoft’s collaborations with Qualcomm and Nvidia are key moves to bring GenAI features and functions to PCs of all varieties. Qualcomm is already demonstrating how they are running GenAI models of over a billion parameters such as Stable Diffusion and ControlNet on a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 powered smartphone.
  • Microsoft introduced the Prompt Flow editor that is part of Azure ML Studio for building “copilots”. Building a quality copilot will take skill, diligence, and dedication in optimizing and maintaining.
  • Prompt engineering, not simple stuff. The complexity takes away from the perceived value and transformative potential and hype of Gen AI.
  • FIne-tuning and pre-training off foundation models are not trivial exercises. Neither are the initial and ongoing tasks of managing a healthy GenAI application. All of this adds up to non-trivial cost but to what benefit?
  • Microsoft has what seems like a comprehensive framework for building GenAI applications and setting up domain and org-specific stacks. The tooling looks pretty impressive but largely familiar such as the workflow support for app development as well as the frameworks that smack of mobile apps and App Store.
  • There is a lot of talk about “Safe AI” but data and privacy policies are open questions and concerns across the various services that Microsoft is offering. How are customer and consumer data being handled? Questions developers, consumers, and enterprise users should ask for safe and responsible AI.
  • One of the best questions being asked about Gen AI services – How much will it cost? It’s clear that value of GenAI across applications is not well known. It seems that services are priced to sell and subsidized. It will be interesting to see how early pricing and costs hit Microsoft’s bottom line.
  • The consensus among developers appears to be that GPT tools have utility in assisting in coding, debugging, and testing. It is also the consensus that the developer generally needs to know what they are doing and are competent enough beyond the GPT tool to identify AI generated errors. 
  • Claims of GPT greatness seem to come from those who are not great or experienced developers to begin with. However, with AI-assisted up skilling comes the growing risk of AI-assisted quality issues and need for expert supervision and quality control.

Related Media & Press Releases

  • Microsoft Build 2023 event site (link)
  • Linkedin: neXt Curve at Microsoft Build 2023 (link)
  • Microsoft Build brings AI tools to the forefront for developers (link)
  • Qualcomm and Microsoft Align Efforts to Scale On-Device AI at Build (link)

Companies Engaged: Microsoft

Honeywell Connect 2023

Date: May 23, 2023

Location: Virtual

Event Summary & Takes

neXt Curve had the distinguished opportunity to attend Honeywell’s inaugural Connect event in Orlando, Florida last year. The May event was virtual hosted out of Atlanta and one of two events that Honeywell Connected Enterprise (HCE) led by Kevin Dehoff will host each year going forward.

Connect will serve as an important forum for HCE to engage with Honeywell customers in fostering software-driven outcomes leveraging the portfolio of intelligent operations software capabilities that is Forge.

The agenda for Honeywell Connect 2023 includes:

Here are our key takes from the Honeywell Connect 2023 event.

  • Honeywell is making a strong emphasis on SaaS. Sheila Jordan noted that for Honeywell’s own IT modernization the company went “only SaaS”. It seems that Honeywell sees SaaS representative of an important if not singular software business model for the company as well as its customers. They did recognize that many customers will require on-premises and edge infrastructure deployments to meet their security and data sovereignty/custodianship needs.
  • Forge is about performance, safety, cybersecurity, and sustainability. The software portfolio is geared toward connecting and enabling real time performance of operations, assets, workers, and energy. The energy aspect gives Honeywell a compelling sustainability story and set of value propositions for its Forge-based solutions.
  • “Honeywell on Honeywell” emphasizes that it is using Forge internally. Back at the first Honeywell Connect event, David Trice, told neXt Curve, the software portfolio is internally focused. HCE’s approach is to get the Honeywell businesses to find value in Forge, incorporate it into Honeywell solutions that can be offer to customers in an outcome-based offering as Honeywell’s products and services evolve with Forge.
  • Cybersecurity continues to be a key concern for industrial customers. Honeywell emphasizes the importance of provide the security and assurance for their solution to help their customers take some of their OT workloads more confidently to the “cloud” but more importantly expose their OT networks to the internet.
  • Honeywell is bringing together a portfolio physical and cybersecurity products and technologies into holistic cyberphysical security solutions for its customers. This is increasingly important for current and emerging edge computing scenarios for smart buildings, smart cities, and smart industry applications and environments.  
  • The next frontier of operational optimization is enterprise-wide optimization across departments, functions, sites, plants, and geographies. Honeywell is positioning Forge as the intelligent operations for a variety of solutions for plant operations, building ops and management, supply chain, asset management/maintenance, and workforce productivity.
  • Lots of talk about connectors to accelerate systems integration around a Honeywell system and to foster middleware-enabled interoperability across a customer’s heterogenous vendor and technology portfolio. 
  • It seems that Honeywell considers its ability to deliver solutions (products + services + software) as a key to positioning the company to engage in outcome-based commercial models with its customers.  

Related Media & Press Releases

  • Honeywell Connect 2023 event site (link)
  • YouTube: Honeywell Connect 2023 H1 (link)
  • LinkedIn: neXt Curve at Honeywell Connect 2023 (link)

Companies Engaged: Honeywell

Qualcomm DX Summit 2023

Date: May 24, 2023

Location: San Diego, CA

Event Summary & Takes

Qualcomm held their first inaugural DX Summit event in May of this year in San Diego, CA. If you are wondering what DX stands for, it stands for digital transformation. In a way, it feels like a reinvention of the 5G Summit that happened about this time of year but with an expanded focus on Qualcomm’s broad portfolio of enabling technologies – silicon, software, and services.

This event was hosted by Qualcomm’s IoT group and sponsored by some big names in consulting and systems integration including Accenture, Arrow Electronics, Capgemini, Cognizant, TDK, and Tech Mahindra.

The event focused on themes related to the acceleration and technology-enablement of the next frontiers of digital transformation. There was plenty of discussion about 5G, private networks, IoT, and AI on a packed full-day schedule.

Here are our key takes from the Qualcomm DX Summit 2023 event.

  • Qualcomm is up leveling its ecosystem game as it executes on its business diversification strategy especially as it relates to its broad IoT portfolio of products, technologies, and now services most recently exemplified by the company’s Aware platform. System integrators appear to be the channel through which Qualcomm hopes to pull through the integrated value of their IoT portfolio to enterprises and industrial sectors.
  • DX Summit provided solution-based context for Qualcomm’s portfolio of wireless and software technologies supported by the company’s diverse range of Snapdragon processors powering XR, robotics, drones, safety, and advanced industrial sensing solutions.
  • Cristiano Amon, CEO of Qualcomm, talked about the company’s position on Generative AI and the concept of hybrid AI which is the idea of capitalizing on the security, privacy, and confidentiality that can be realized with on-device Gen AI app deployments while interfacing with cloud-based services and public models through novel distributed computing and AI architectures. 
  • Given neXt Curve’s POV on generative AI, we find that hybrid AI is a great direction for Qualcomm. As enterprises experiment with GenAI, they are going to discover its limitations and potential for valuable applications. They will also discover the risks to corporate security and confidentiality.
  • Qualcomm has a long legacy in what we call the IoT as well as mobile computing technologies that are shaping the Connected Intelligent Edge (CIE). You got a strong impression of the experience of the company and its prowess in ecosystem building from DX Summit 2023.

Related Media & Press Releases

  • Qualcomm DX Summit 2023 event site (link)
  • LinkedIn: neXt Curve at Qualcomm DX Summit 2023 (link)
  • Linkedin: Cristiano Amon, CEO of Qualcomm, hits the state at DX Summit 2023 (link)
  • LinkedIn: Jeffrey Torrance SVP of Connected Smart Things at Qualcomm talks Aware (link

Companies Engaged: Qualcomm, Lenovo, Tech Mahindra, TDK, Deloitte, Cap Gemini, Schneider Electric, Arrow, Cognizant, AT&T, Zebra, LiftForward, US Center for Advanced Manufacturing, ForwardX

Upcoming Industry & Media Events

This month, neXt Curve participated in the following virtual and in-person industry and technical events. For our full schedule of industry events refer to our event calendar. We also encourage you to follow neXt Curve’s LinkedIn company page.

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