Huawei's close partnership with leading Russian ICT provider Jet Infosystems has not only benefited the two companies, but also the entire local market.
Like many great, long-lasting partnerships, it was forged in the heat of battle.
Creating a nationwide, disaster-resilient IT infrastructure for Russia's first national payment card system, from scratch, in just six months would have been a tough challenge for anyone.
To add to the pressure, industry insiders didn't believe the project could be completed so quickly in partnership with Huawei, a vendor that was then unknown to the local market. But it was.
Work began on the Russian National Payment Card System (NSPK) in 2012 using products that were also completely unknown in the country. Some of the speed came from Huawei and Jet running numerous simulations before the final design, delivery, and installation took place.
While the bond between the partners began with the odds stacked against them, it was strengthened by Huawei breaking from traditional practice to use its own resources and in-house specialists to assist its new partner.
Huawei allocated processors directly from its reserves - a move that was key to the project's success. Standard delivery times from another vendor would have made it impossible to hit the customer's ambitious deadline.
Similarly, when network configuration problems arose, Huawei seconded 20 of its own staff to help with the urgent development of a patch - the kind of focus and dedication that allowed the project to be completed on time.
In the eight years since that project was completed, the companies' collaboration has blossomed into a close and ongoing strategic relationship.
During that time, Jet has reached the highest level of partner status, as a Huawei Value-Added Partner (VAP). It was also the first company in Russia to attain Huawei's top IT (storage and cloud) and IP equipment service status, as a 5-star Certified Service Partner.
And that's not all: Jet has been honoured as the Best Medium and Small Business Sales Partner too, with many of its staff named as Huawei Certified Specialists (HCSs) in storage systems and network solutions.
Since 2012, the two companies have completed hundreds of upgrades, installations, and infrastructure support programmes for customers in the Finance, Industrial, and Transportation sectors, among others.
In 2018, however, Jet embarked on a major project of its own: modernising its in-house IT infrastructure. This involved a number of large-scale IT rollouts, including the creation of a new data centre, porting all systems to a private cloud, migration to new campuses and Wi-Fi networks, and the implementation of a unified communications system.
Once again Huawei was onboard, with its Research and Development department typically dealing with any problems that arose within two days, regardless of technical difficulty and distance - one of the many reasons the Russian market has sat up and taken notice.
"Having the project implemented in our own company as a success story, we have refined the technological infrastructure," said Sergey Andronov, Director of the Jet Infosystems Network Solutions Centre.
"With everything specialised and segmented, we can quickly mirror the solution for any customer with the necessary adjustments, thus reducing the time of any implementations."
Other joint projects have focused on the creation and support of complex, distributed IT infrastructures right across the country. For example, transitioning more than 10,000 employees of Russia's third-largest bank to a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and migrating airport express railway operator Aeroexpress to the SAP HANA database management system.
According to Jet, one of Huawei's biggest strengths is that it always keeps abreast of new technologies and quickly eliminates software backlogs, so it competes on an open basis. The Russian market appreciates such fair play, and as a result, Huawei's market share continues to grow.
"Huawei is not just a producer, but also a highly efficient and well-developed company that grows at a rapid pace," said Vladimir Eliseev, CEO of Jet Infosystems.
"Any project using Huawei equipment not only receives financial benefits and convenience, but also long-term investment in the Russian IT market, and an intellectual contribution to the digitisation of the country's economy."