A recent report from TM Forum looked at Communications Service Providers’ (CSP) strategies to move corporate IT, OSS/BSS, and network applications to the cloud.
Notably, and despite lingering CSP hesitancy over cloud migration of (in particular) operations software, those surveyed and interviewed for this report were able to cite more reasons for deploying workloads in public clouds than against. The report cites the acknowledged benefits of the public cloud for CSPs as:
- Scalability—particularly the ability to scale on demand, which lies at the heart of CSPs’ eﬀorts to automate operations and optimize networks for real-time response and reporting.
- Total cost of ownership—with the amount of savings likely to depend on the level of managed services provided and the complexity and size of the network.
- Time to market—CSPs believe the cloud will help level the playing ﬁeld with internet-based companies by speeding service design, testing, and deployment.
- Automation—the top attribute CSPs are looking for in next-generation OSS and BSS solutions.
- Predictive maintenance—cloud deployments, especially managed services, could allow CSP’s to perform maintenance tasks without taking components out of service.
- Expertise—let the experts handle the unfamiliar language, components, technologies, and culture of cloud networking.
As also noted in the report, last summer’s announcement of the AT&T and Microsoft alliance, which will move all of AT&T’s non-network workloads to the Microsoft Azure public cloud, will no doubt accelerate other operators’ cloud adoption—not only for the benefit of their own operations but also at a time when investments in OSS and BSS should be on the rise to capitalize on enterprise service opportunities enabled by 5G.
Speculation regarding the likely influence of the AT&T/Microsoft alliance has indeed come to pass, as evidenced by announcements of additional partnerships between Microsoft and a number of other leading MSPs including Telefónica, SK Telecom, Reliance Jio, NTT, and Etisalat.
The report also examines the difference between cloud-native, public cloud, hybrid cloud, and multi-cloud. From the beginning of Microsoft’s journey into cloud, we have been a leading voice in the importance of building cloud capabilities that span all clouds, including those on-premises or on any public cloud provider. Hybrid has always been part of our message, culminating most recently in our extensive suite of intelligent edge capabilities to enable Azure cloud services to run where they make the most sense. Finally, CSPs can dramatically simplify and centralize their IT control plane with Azure Arc, a set of technologies that unlocks new hybrid scenarios for customers by bringing Azure services and management to any infrastructure.
Most recently, Microsoft and Telefónica announced an expansion of our global strategic partnership. Joint capabilities, delivered from a Microsoft Azure datacenter region in Spain and leveraging Telefónica’s infrastructure, will allow Telefónica and Microsoft’s shared customers to deliver new services that require low latency, security, and assured bandwidth—opening up new scenarios around 5G, edge computing, and Industry 4.0.
Also, as part of Telefónica’s own digital transformation, the company will use the Microsoft cloud for its internal operations, pursuing efficiency, flexibility and scalability improvements, optimization of operations, and cost reductions. Telefónica has also deployed Microsoft 365 to its global employee base to enable more seamless communication and collaboration across the 14 countries in which it operates.
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