The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the rapid emergence and widespread adoption of game-changing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), and mobility, and growing importance of technologies such as virtual private network, multiprotocol label switching, traffic optimisation and prioritisation, and centralised management and orchestration. In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Cloud: Software-defined WAN. Buy the report here.
However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.
Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.
300+ innovations will shape the technology industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 2.5 million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, finite element simulation, deductive databases, and neural networks for data storage are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Multi-programming operating systems, AI assisted network management, and grid computing are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are, software-defined wide area network, fog computing, and centralised telemetry system, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for cloud in the technology industry
Software defined WAN is a key innovation area in cloud
Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) is a network architecture that employs software-defined networking (SDN) to efficiently direct traffic across wide area networks (WANs). SD-WAN is specifically designed to enhance the agility, flexibility, and manageability of WANs. It offers businesses a cost-effective solution for connecting their branch offices, remote sites, and cloud applications in a streamlined manner.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 190+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of software defined WAN.
Key players in software defined WAN – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to software defined WAN
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Huawei Investment & Holding||4455||Unlock Company Profile|
|Qualcomm||3873||Unlock Company Profile|
|LG||2641||Unlock Company Profile|
|ZTE||1552||Unlock Company Profile|
|Samsung Group||1415||Unlock Company Profile|
|Intel||1362||Unlock Company Profile|
|Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson||1177||Unlock Company Profile|
|Nokia||1094||Unlock Company Profile|
|Nippon Telegraph and Telephone||1071||Unlock Company Profile|
|GuangDong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications||879||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sharp||825||Unlock Company Profile|
|InterDigital||810||Unlock Company Profile|
|Apple||647||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sony Group||530||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ntt Docomo||449||Unlock Company Profile|
|Panasonic||433||Unlock Company Profile|
|Furukawa||418||Unlock Company Profile|
|NEC||397||Unlock Company Profile|
|BlackBerry||365||Unlock Company Profile|
|Datang Telecom Technology||361||Unlock Company Profile|
|Vivo Communication Technology||292||Unlock Company Profile|
|Mitsubishi Electric||213||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kyocera||169||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Tower||147||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Mobile Communication||133||Unlock Company Profile|
|Legend||132||Unlock Company Profile|
|Telefon AB Lm Ericsson||127||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hon Hai Precision Industry||126||Unlock Company Profile|
|ELG Electronic Kft||124||Unlock Company Profile|
|Broadcom||121||Unlock Company Profile|
|Toshiba||111||Unlock Company Profile|
|KT||99||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Pacific Insurance||99||Unlock Company Profile|
|Koninklijke Philips||98||Unlock Company Profile|
|Xiaomi||96||Unlock Company Profile|
|ASUSTeK Computer||95||Unlock Company Profile|
|SK Telecom||93||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sun Patent Trust||93||Unlock Company Profile|
|Datang Telecom Group||89||Unlock Company Profile|
|Motorola Solutions||84||Unlock Company Profile|
|Microsoft||83||Unlock Company Profile|
|CSR||74||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shanghai Langbo Communication Technology||70||Unlock Company Profile|
|Td Tech Communication Technologies||70||Unlock Company Profile|
|Coolpad Group||68||Unlock Company Profile|
|PANTECH||59||Unlock Company Profile|
|Canon||58||Unlock Company Profile|
|Microchip Technology||58||Unlock Company Profile|
|Neul||58||Unlock Company Profile|
|Deutsche Telekom||56||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Huawei is one of the leading patent filers in software defined WAN. The company’s patents are aimed at a method for reporting channel state information, including receiving a sounding signal set sent by the base station, and determining a reference signal resource configuration index according to the sounding signal set, where the reference signal resource configuration index is used to indicate a reference signal resource configuration in reference signal resource configuration set information.
The method also includes receiving a reference signal set sent by the base station, where the reference signal set corresponds to the reference signal resource configuration and determining channel state information according to the reference signal set, as well as sending the reference signal resource configuration index and the channel state information to the base station.
Other prominent patent filers in the space include Qualcomm and LG.
By geographic reach, CSR leads the pack, followed by Neul and Wireless Future Technologies. In terms of application diversity, Infineon Technologies holds the top position, followed by Dolby Laboratories and PHC.
SD-WAN offers significant benefits to businesses, including increased agility, improved network performance, cost efficiency, simplified management, enhanced security, and optimised cloud connectivity. By leveraging SD-WAN, businesses can build resilient and scalable networks that support their digital transformation initiatives and meet the demands of the modern business landscape.
To further understand how cloud is disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cloud Computing – Thematic Intelligence.