Meet the partners that Telefonica chose to deliver the global IT transformation
The usual suspects, the traditional IT giants like IBM, Oracle or SAP are cross sectorial, and though Telefonica is a giant in its own right, it felt it would be better served by an industry partner, one whose stock would fall or rise in direct relationship to a top five global telecoms service provider. After all they were not looking for an IT supplier, but a true partner, a full stack provider, and someone who can transform the Telefónica business while integrating wireless, TV and fixed line solutions seamlessly. It chose not one but three, all with great strengths in the sector.
These were Amdocs, a leading provider of customer experience solutions to more than 250 communications, media and entertainment service providers in more than 80 countries; Huawei, a Global Fortune 500 ICT solution leader service to more than 500 operators in 170 countries; and NetCracker Technology, a proven partner for end-to-end BSS, OSS and SDN/NFV solutions to hundreds of service providers around the world. For each of these companies, an alliance with Telefonica was much more than just another contract, more a strategic alliance. They all understand that the future of telecommunications is in the IT space and are preparing for the next disruptions in the market, which may be the internet of things (IoT), or machine to machine (M2M) that allow wireless and wired systems to communicate with other devices of the same type. With smart homes and smart cities already a reality, though in their infancy, the need for CSOs to participate is apparent.
These companies were picked because they are trusted in the CSP IT space, the reliability of their solutions, and based on Telefonica’s ability to influence them. It is about evolving the partnership model so that they can gain influence and power in their own product roadmaps, shape the solution to their needs, and at the end of the day reshape industry standards.
These ‘prime relationship technology companies’ have the capability required to enable Telefonica’s IT-enabled business and process transformation. They will standardise BSS platforms and associated business processes, support convergent services, improve customer experience and speed up the process of getting new or enhanced services to the market. Pre-integrated BSS platforms and professional services will quickly replace existing legacy systems and drive process standardisation across multiple operators. The solutions are scalable and lend themselves to re-use in multiple markets.
NetCracker Technology has proven its solution innovation and implementation capabilities through numerous awards and consecutive CMMI Level 5 certifications. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of NEC Corporation. Huawei, a global ICT leader, has presented itself as is a key player in digital transformation with its ambitious Telco OS solution. Both NetCracker and Huawei are major players in digital transformation programs that leverage next-generation BSS, OSS and big data to support digital business operations and both are keen to expand their footprint in western markets, so the partnership offers benefits in both directions.
The same is true for Amdocs, a global company headquartered in the USA, which combines market-leading BSS, OSS and network control and optimisation product portfolio with value-driven professional services and managed services operations to touch every aspect of the customer experience. It has progressively worked with Telefonica Argentina, Telefonica Chile, Telefonica Peru and Telefonica Brazil’s Vivo brand on major transformation initiatives over a number of years.
The transformation started in Argentina in 2013. As already stated, the process should be complete there by the middle of 2016. Mexico, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Uruguay started during 2014 and Colombia, the Cent
ral American countries and Ecuador are starting this year. All of them will have transformed completely by the end of 2018. This root and branch BSS transformation, it should be noted, is taking place without any break in Telefonica’s day-to-day operations.
At the end of the transformation, Phil Jordan, CIO for Telefonica, concludes, the businesses will be able to operate in real time, (as opposed in batches or with delayed delivery), with online, converged and automated processes that will dramatically improve the business agility and reduce errors. “The transformation brings a complete 360 degree view of our customers with comprehensive and homogenous information that will help us to understand their needs and deliver the best products for them through an omnichannel experience. Thanks to the structured data-centric solution, we are enabling data monetisation, predictive analytics and insight driven differentiation.”
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GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
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.”