Nokia, Samsung, Cisco and 35 more partners commit to join IBM’s ecosystem and help accelerate 5G and edge innovation for customers
By: Howard Boville, Senior Vice President, Hybrid Cloud, and Steve Canepa, Global GM & Managing Director, Communications Sector, IBM
November 5, 2020
Ecosystems are crucial in driving digital transformation for customers, enabling them to scale and innovate through partnerships that combine best-in-class technology and deep industry expertise. This is why, alongside more than 35 partners who have committed to join our ecosystem, we are excited to launch the IBM Cloud for Telecommunications – an open, hybrid cloud architecture designed to help telecommunications providers address the specific challenges of the highly-regulated industry: accelerating business transformation, enhancing digital client engagement and improving agility as they modernize their enterprise applications and infrastructure to unlock the power of 5G and edge.
As 5G becomes more prevalent, telecommunications providers are transforming their networks into agile platforms that can efficiently scale to support growing volumes of data, voice and multi-media services. According to a recent IBV study, 60% of Communications Service Provider (CSP) leaders surveyed agree that they must virtualize their entire network across edge locations, but only half of them are prepared to virtualize in a cloud-native environment.1 Built on IBM Cloud Satellite, currently in beta, and leveraging Red Hat OpenShift, clients can deploy IBM Cloud services anywhere: on the cloud, on premises or at the edge, while addressing industry-specific requirements and data protection.
The platform also integrates and extends IBM Edge Application Manager and IBM Telco Network Cloud Manager to help reduce network-related infrastructure costs, increase automation, speed deployment of next gen services, and deliver new consumer and enterprise value. The holistic hybrid cloud offering will be complemented by our ecosystem partners’ software and technology, and enable mission critical workloads to be managed consistently from the network core to the edge to position telecom providers to extract more value from their data while they drive innovation for their customers.
It starts with an ecosystem
Ecosystems fuel platforms, and because the IBM Cloud for Telecommunications is built on an open architecture, a large ecosystem of partners can enhance it with their own solutions in addition to providing services for it – and this is an important distinction. In order for clients to get our best technology with the most scale and flexibility at the start, we’ve built the IBM Cloud for Telecommunications using Red Hat OpenShift, and this strategy positions partners as the engine to drive a multitude of possibilities for clients.
The breadth of our partners spans numerous categories, including network equipment providers, independent software vendors (ISVs), software-as-a-service providers and hardware partners. This will give clients a wide range of ways they can tap into the power of the IBM Cloud for Telecommunications to build and deploy new offerings. Our partners, in turn, are ready to lean in:
“We are happy to team up with IBM to develop 5G solutions at the telecom edge, with Red Hat OpenShift. We believe that our service provider customers will benefit greatly from having an additional choice to quickly and efficiently deploy private 5G networks,” said Jane Rygaard, Head of Edge Cloud, Nokia. “The transition to 5G will be a key step for industries to deliver on their digital transformation plans. Having multiple options of cloud-based solutions will help our industry build this path forward.”
The combined strength of IBM, whose clients comprise 83% of the largest telecom providers globally, and our partners, will create a large hybrid cloud ecosystem that can help operators meet three strategic industry imperatives: attracting and retaining subscribers; increasing investment effectiveness while driving down operational costs; and creating new, monetizable digital services.
“Samsung is committed to helping enterprises tackle the unique challenges of today’s market by utilizing the latest mobile innovations and advanced network solutions,” said KC Choi, EVP and Head of Global Mobile B2B Team, Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics. “We are excited to work with IBM and Red Hat to develop new user experiences for business based on transformative technologies like 5G, IoT and AI to help drive efficiency and streamline operations.”
“Cisco is excited to bring our industry leading compute, security, and Service Provider solutions to the IBM Cloud for Telecommunications,” said Keith Dyer, VP for IBM Strategic Alliance. “We are delighted to expand our 20+ year partnership with IBM and bring the power of our joint solutions to our mutual customers.”
IBM’s partner ecosystem will provide customers with a wide range of ways to leverage the platform to enable them to deliver next generation 5G and Edge services, deploy and manage new cloud capabilities, and enrich relationships through AI-driven engagement. Those committing to join our growing ecosystem are listed below alongside descriptions about how they are helping customers today, or how we expect to collaborate on IBM Cloud for Telecommunications:
The IBM Cloud for Telecommunications Ecosystem will continue our work with partners, including global services integrators, to build practices that help customers build and deploy solutions on IBM’s open hybrid cloud platform and at the heart of the Telco industry. Wipro, for example, will launch a solution suite built with IBM Edge Application Manager to help clients leverage 5G and Edge for enterprise use cases. HCL’s IBM Ecosystem Unit will help clients, including those in regulated industries such as telecommunications, to develop digital and cloud-native solutions with IBM Cloud Paks. Tech Mahindra will provide Blue Marble B/OSS stack for 5G digital transformation and will also provide 5G4E Industrial solutions for Enterprise edge that will run on IBM Cloud for Telecommunications leveraging IBM Edge Application Manager, Telco Network Cloud Manager and IBM Cloud Satellite with implementation services as part of their 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, the industry’s leading enterprise Kubernetes platform, for hybrid cloud environments in telecommunications. We also look forward to our future ecosystem partners leveraging this platform to provide new, innovative solutions and services to our joint clients.
Read more here about how we are working with our ecosystem partners to help fuel innovation for the Telecommunications industry.
Supporting our ecosystem
IBM offers its ecosystem access to its Cloud Engagement Fund—part of a $1B investment—to support partners with funding, technical enablement, and creating proofs of concept. The fund likewise provides onboarding services for optimizing partners’ product configurations and helps accelerate go-to-market efforts for partners using IBM’s hybrid cloud platform. Joining IBM’s ecosystem is the starting point for partners to build out their solutions, helping telecom providers enhance digital customer engagement, modernize with 5G and leverage edge computing. Focused on co-creation with our clients, IBM has deployed a LAB environment to aid our global clients with pre-integration and pre-testing of comprehensive client solutions.
Click here to learn more about IBM Cloud for Telecommunications and click here to learn how your company can partner with IBM today.
Read more about how the telco industry is changing today.
1 2020 IBM 5G and edge computing telecommunications survey n-500, paid for by Institute for Business Value and conducted by vendor Oxford Economics.
Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.
Senior Vice President, Hybrid Cloud
Global GM & Managing Director, Communications Sector, IBM