May 19, 2020

Hutchison Whampoa’s proposed merger a with 02 a big gamble for Li Ka-Shing

telefonica
Li Ka-Shing
Hutchinson Whampoa
02
John O'Hanlon
2 min
Hutchison Whampoa’s proposed merger a with 02 a big gamble for Li Ka-Shing

When Hutchison Whampoa confirmed in January that it had entered into exclusive talks to buy the British mobile business of Telefónica for £10.25 billion, a deal that would create the UK’s largest mobile group, it promised to transform the British mobile market. But the deal is not without risk to its Hong Kong billionaire chairman says Prof Mark Skilton, a technology evangelist in information systems strategy and digital best practice.

“This is a big gamble for Li Ka-Shing," says Skilton, "as mobile operators are under attack from tech giants like Google, Amazon and Microsoft as the digital world continues to converge. Owning the infrastructure is no longer a sure way to make money.

“Ka-Shing is adding capacity to his Three operation, but the real issue for telecoms providers is how to build their mobile and social business with their infrastructure platforms as that is where future revenue will be.

“With 7.5 billion mobile connections and 3.6 billion mobile subscribers globally, the digital mobile services market is hot, with the digital economy growing at a double digit rate. It’s not surprising Ka-shing is seeking to build this part of his portfolio.

“But mobile operators need deep investment pockets to play in this global market as they are not just taking on other operators, but cloud providers and tech giants like Google, Amazon and Microsoft. These tech giants are developing apps and services that are directly attacking revenue streams that mobile operators have provided. Mobile operators need to deliver new services and ever faster broadband to direct and build traffic to their services.

“Plus modern digital services now see TV, voice, data and apps being bundled together. Telecoms providers have got to raise their game as the money in just owning network infrastructure is no longer as easy to hold on to, with added value services like mobile messaging and data services taking revenue away from them.

“The threats of deregulation and net-neutrality are also a worry for mobile operators. However, in this market the winners and losers will depend on firms' ability to offer economies of scales, cost savings, and strong digital products."

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Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

GfK
VMware
3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

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