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HPE breaks barriers with technology

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President Ntuli, managing director for South Africa of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
President Ntuli, managing director for South Africa of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The manner in which technology is being used to advance the way we live and work came under the spotlight at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise’s (HPE’s) Discover More event, held at The Forum in Bryanston on 17 October 2019.

Just as Johnny Clegg used music to break down cultural barriers, so is HPE using technology to break down barriers across all sectors, from healthcare to financial services to activities such as motor racing and even swimming.

President Ntuli, managing director for SA at HPE, says: “It all comes down to having the right partner ecosystem to support us on this journey.”

Dr Eng Lim Goh, vice president and CTO, HPC & AI of HPE, says there’s an entire team at the company whose aim is to improve people’s lives – as well as preparing for jobs of the future.

“We’ve built technology to solve various problems around the world. We’re not only about the technology, we’re about making a real difference using technology. For example, HPE has impacted challenging issues such as hunger and food wastage by helping to engineer a wheat crop that provides a higher yield, and by developing an application that tells people where they can purchase food that’s about to expire at a greatly reduced price.”

He cites the example of a 3D model of a heart that’s been created on a computer to assist heart surgeons to insert pacemaker wires more accurately. “The wire can break over time if it isn’t positioned correctly; this model can help them insert the wire more reliably.

“Another area in healthcare where we’ve made a significant difference is in the diagnosis of tuberculosis. A city with a very high incidence of TB was struggling to get on top of the outbreak. It was discovered that while all of the citizens had been X-rayed for TB, there were not enough doctors to make the diagnosis before the patient had potentially passed the illness on to many others.

“We trained a machine learning algorithm to recognise TB and provide an immediate diagnosis so that those infected could receive immediate treatment, preventing them from infecting others.”

Goh goes on to talk about the connected car, which has approximately 100 sensors and a 5G chip paid for by the manufacturer, enabling cars to share data around road hazards.

“Currently, data can only be shared between vehicles from the same manufacturer. However, by leveraging blockchain capabilities, all brands of vehicles will be able to share that data.”

HPE is also playing a key role in helping swimmers swim faster. “We used a computer to model the bodies of the world’s top swimmers and detected the best shape and fabric type for speed in the water,” Goh says.

“The resulting design has broken many world records, underlining how using technology can improve human capability. If you leverage technology and understand it, you can create world-changing products.

“The bottom line is that we want to advance the way people live and work, you have to address the reason behind the technology, not just the technology itself. The enterprise of the future has to be edge-centric, because that’s where the data comes from, and it has to be cloud-enabled because that’s where you process the data. This is where HPE is expending its resources.”

He concludes with the example of an organisation who invested into this approach, Mercedes-AGM Petronas.

“This customer is extremely data-driven and committed to pushing the boundaries of technology in the interests of chasing the clock. The biggest challenge in Formula One is to process the vast amounts of data that are being generated so quickly. In motor racing, data is key to being faster and more competitive than the opposition. We embarked on an AI project with them to develop a car for this year and thus far have won 12 out of 16 races with it.”

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