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IBM Cloud for Telecommunications to Rely on Integrators Right Away

Other channel partners can expect to add services to their business models as more capabilities become available.

Kelly Teal

November 9, 2020

4 Min Read
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IBM Cloud is teaming with about three dozen vendors as it launches IBM Cloud for Telecommunications. The initiative may not impact most partners in the near term, but expect that to change as services become available. In the meantime, global integrators are key to getting IBM Cloud for Telecommunications off the ground and into the enterprise.

Last week, IBM Cloud unveiled IBM Cloud for Telecommunications. The platform is an open, hybrid cloud architecture that will let telecom providers move with more agility as 5G and the edge become reality. The end game? Think the enablement of smart cities, connected vehicles, smart manufacturing plants and more, as Futurum Research’s Daniel Newman noted in a blog. Each of these applications, among others, will require accessibility, privacy, control and low latency.

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Futurum Research’s Daniel Newman

“As we continue to scale up modernized IT architectures, connectivity and applications at the edge will continue to gain momentum,” Newman wrote. “What is really going on is the connectivity of multiple clouds connecting with billions of devices at the edge, and all of this needs to happen reliably and securely.”

IBM Cloud, alongside its telecom partners, aims to achieve that. Newman, for his part, says he’s “bullish” on the prospects.

“With hybrid cloud being the likely long-term winner of modern IT architecture, built on containers and open source tools, the need for high-speed connectivity and integrated hybrid tools that offer greater efficiency and consistent control will continue to be en vogue,” Newman wrote.

IBM Cloud designed IBM Cloud for Telecommunications with Red Hat OpenShift to ensure an open source experience. The architecture will let users deploy IBM Cloud services anywhere. As that transpires, channel partners – including agents, managed service providers, consultants, software developers and more – should be able to tap into those capabilities through the various IBM Cloud for Telecommunications partners. Those include, but are far from limited to, AT&T, Cisco, Dell Technologies, Nokia, Palo Alto Networks, Samsung, Thales and Zerto.

Along the way, IBM Cloud for Telecommunications says global integrators will build practices that help customers deploy solutions on IBM Cloud. Those channel partners are:

  • Wipro, which will build a suite based on IBM Edge Application Manager. This will allow clients to use 5G and edge within the enterprise.

  • HCL, which will use IBM Ecosystem Unit to develop digital and cloud-native solutions with IBM Cloud Paks.

  • Tech Mahindra, which will provide the Blue Marble B/OSS stack for 5G digital transformation. The partner also will provide 5G4E Industrial solutions for the enterprise edge that will run on IBM Cloud for Telecommunications. This will comprise IBM Edge Application Manager, Telco Network Cloud Manager and IBM Cloud Satellite. Tech Mahindra further will offer implementation services as part of its telecom and network practice.

“We are excited to work more closely with relevant partners to help clients modernize IT and network workloads with Red Hat OpenShift … for hybrid cloud environments in telecommunications,” IBM’s Howard Boville, senior vice president of hybrid cloud, and Steve Canepa, global general manager and managing director within the communications unit, wrote in a Nov. 5 blog.

“We also look forward to our future ecosystem partners leveraging this platform to provide new, innovative solutions and services to our joint clients,” they added.

IBM Cloud for Telecommunications comes on the heels of the unveiling of IBM’s hybrid cloud strategy and ensuing $1 billion investment into its ecosystem. And both initiatives are proving vital as the world continues to struggle with a pandemic.

“In the wake of COVID-19, we have seen a massive acceleration on the already fast-moving shift to digital services,” Boville and Canepa said. “With more remote work, e-commerce and streaming entertainment, we are in an important moment of building the right infrastructure and tools to deliver quality experiences and secure, accessible applications to consumers and the workforce. The combination of 5G and hybrid architecture is a clear enabler of all of these needs addressing latency, speed and connectivity demands that will only see greater demand as digital transformation continues to proliferate rapidly in just about every part of our lives.”

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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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