The Symbiotic Cloud-5G Series will explore and feature global organizations that are involved in supporting the telcos with cloud architecture.

The Symbiotic Cloud-5G Series: Orange Business Services meets contemporary network virtualization

Symbiotic Cloud-5G Series

Globally telcos are facing rapid changes in business needs and quite obviously the pandemic has further compelled them to face newer changes. Thankfully, telcos these days are better prepared, as most critical operations happen conveniently over the cloud and are delivered at the edge. It is also clear that 5G, cloud and edge computing are three inextricably linked technologies that significantly improve the performance of telecom applications and enable huge amounts of data to be processed in real-time.

Several organizations have built an entire end-to-end architecture comprising public, private, hybrid and edge cloud applications to service CSPs.

The Symbiotic Cloud-5G Series will explore and feature global organizations that are involved in supporting the telcos with cloud architecture.

The third in this series features Orange Business Services

Orange Business Services is a network-native digital services company and the global enterprise division of the Orange Group. The company connects, protects and innovates for enterprises around the world to support sustainable business growth.

Leveraging its connectivity and system integration expertise throughout the digital value chain, Orange Business Services is considered well placed to support global businesses in areas such as software-defined networks, multi-cloud services, Data and AI, smart mobility services, and cybersecurity.

As cloud is one of the top post-crisis priorities on the agenda of CIOs in the pandemic world of COVID-19, Abdellatif Arrazi, VP Sales Director of the Cloud Division at Orange Business Services believes that desktop virtualization and the growth of multi-cloud services will undoubtedly emerge as a top priority for many CIOs after lockdown, especially if remote working becomes common practice.

The flexibility of the cloud and “as-a-service” makes it possible to quickly adapt capacity to demand, whether for infrastructure (IaaS), software (SaaS) or applications (PaaS).

The Symbiotic Cloud-5G Series will explore and feature global organizations that are involved in supporting the telcos with cloud architecture.

Also, the arrival of 5G is allowing edge computing to support real-time applications such as autonomous cars, smart cities and automation. 5G comes with the promise of ultra-low latency, but it may require some help from edge processing. Cloud-edge and 5G together provide an opportunity for communications service providers to offer complete end-to-end solutions for enterprise verticals.

Elaborating to Voice&Data on the cloud-5G association and cloud’s versatility is Saurabh Sanghoee, VP Enterprise Business, Orange Business Services, India: 

Voice&Data: How are the three computing models cloud, edge, and hybrid relevant to the telecom industry ever since the pandemic struck the world?

Saurabh Sanghoee: Covid-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented surge in demand for network and bandwidth — from traditional mobility, broadband, and entertainment services, to new cloud, IoT, edge “platform” related services. The surge in demand has led to accelerated cloud adoption, with telcos looking to use On-Demand storage and computational power from remote data centers.

In the wake of the pandemic, telecom operators are re-inventing their edge platforms, operating as digital services providers and digital services enablers. The IT and network workloads are being moved into the hybrid multi-cloud platforms by telcos to effectively address the enhanced pressures. Besides, the telcos are also exploring ways to embrace Open ecosystems to better control network resources, using everything from edge to core to cloud.

In the wake of the pandemic, telecom operators are re-inventing their edge platforms, operating as digital services providers and digital services enablers.

Voice&Data: How do these models individually and in combination offer significant benefits to the telecom network provider?

 Saurabh Sanghoee: With the new and emerging models, Telecom Service providers today can build a unified cloud system to upgrade the level of system response and reduce cost.  It also enables them to provide highly scalable, agile, reliable speed to business with rapid service deployment.

Edge computing offers mobile operators several opportunities to access newer applications and solutions, enabling customers and partners to leverage the distributed computing network—enabling connectivity to all clouds, SaaS, and service providers to enhance the multi-cloud performance.  Besides, telcos can accelerate Capex to Opex conversion by merely leveraging the cloud without required legacy infrastructure upgrades—all while enabling modernization that supports a new hybrid environment to meet changing business demands with ease.

Moreover, Cloud, edge, and hybrid platforms allow telcos to monetize data better as a result of increased content generation and consumption during the pandemic. As a result, the platforms accessed through this telco’s also need storage and processing capacity that the telecom operators need to consider.

Voice&Data: Conserving resources is the new normal business mantra for the post COVID world. What is your take on cloud’s role in conserving resources and the mantra to be frugal in business?

 Saurabh Sanghoee: As we enter the new normal, 5G and Edge computing will broadly enable automation, performance, and cognitive insight. Businesses will be required to adopt new technologies to ensure optimum utilization of resources on-demand and reduce operational expenses. Furthermore, the focus will be on leveraging AI and automation capabilities in-built within the cloud platforms to manage operations at scale (contact centers, employee support, field technical support, etc.) and enable quick capacity expansions, post the pandemic.

Interestingly, there is a shift in the Indian telecom space with operators looking to ensure the readiness of their backend IT/ software application level to be 5G ready

Voice&Data: As India slowly plans for 5G in the coming years, the application of cloud services can be of great advantage to the telcos. How do you justify this?

Saurabh Sanghoee: As India is slowly moving towards 5G, telcos are now leveraging horizontal IT architectures for redesigning their network. The highly centralized appliance-based network architectures are further enabling several other technologies and service providers to deliver a new network-as-a-service offering. Cloud computing resources deployed in distributed data centers will serve as the edge of the network and provide a platform for next-generation applications and services.

Interestingly, there is a shift in the Indian telecom space with operators looking to ensure the readiness of their backend IT/ software application level to be 5G ready to take advantage of faster speed, lower latency, high level of network infrastructure demands.  Besides, they need to prepare for high bandwidth, the surge in the usage of the internet and cloud-based applications, and connected devices over cloudified networks in verticals like healthcare, gaming, manufacturing, robotics, and education.

Besides, 5G and edge computing will also bring several benefits, including a significant shift in video streaming experience over mobile devices. The promised 5G speeds will provide much higher speeds at which the internet connects to mobile devices than those available today.

(Anusha Ashwin: x-anushaa@cybermedia.co.in)

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