By Steve Canepa, Global GM & Managing Director, IBM Communications
June 28, 2021
IBM and Verizon have a long and successful history of collaboration, built on a shared vision to drive continuous innovation for consumers and businesses in all industries. Over the years, we’ve progressed our work together with this focus in mind – including, most recently, our announcement last summer to collaborate on 5G innovation for enterprise businesses.
Today, I’m delighted to announce the next major step in our partnership. Verizon has chosen IBM and Red Hat to help build and deploy an open hybrid cloud platform with automated operations and service orchestration as the foundation of its 5G core.
This work with Verizon comes at a critical time for the telco industry as telcos position to deliver on the fundamental transformation potential of 5G. With increased bandwidth, reduced latency and cloud native capabilities, telcos now have the opportunity to leverage their unique and trusted role in communications to capture value from enterprise 5G adoption.
Why is this so crucial right now? Because it’s the kind of platform transformation that enables telcos to play a leading role in bringing connectivity and compute together for the 5G era. And the value that can be driven from this is clear, as 91% of high performing CSPs surveyed by the IBM Institute for Business Value expect to outperform their current financial expectations in five years as a result of using 5G-enabled edge computing. In simple terms, telcos must become platform businesses, or face competing with them.
Think about the rate and pace of innovation we are all experiencing, including heath care – evolving from telehealth doctor visits to network enabled remote surgeries. Or consider factory workers who can now gain access to video and real-time, augmented reality tools to improve quality and yields while they predict maintenance and repair needs before they happen. Or complex modern power grids that can support clean energy and more intelligent, real-time monitoring via 5G-enabled sensors. All of these innovations must be powered by agile network platforms that can support AI and data intensive use cases as low latency edge computing moves closer to where data is created and captured.
Verizon is a great example of a communication services provider that is on the forefront of this transformation, by embracing an open hybrid cloud platform that enables a world-class operations environment, aligned to their next-gen vision of an intelligent, highly automated and efficient 5G network. With this transformation, they can scale and deploy new services across a variety of environments, speeding innovation that delivers new value to customers.
By working with Red Hat and IBM Global Business Services (GBS) to build their 5G core network services on Red Hat OpenShift, Verizon is evolving to an open, cloud-native, containerized webscale platform that is ready to harness innovative applications that can support advanced 5G use cases. This open hybrid cloud foundation is designed to help them draw on the power of the immense up-stream open source community, while retaining the architectural control necessary to speed new features, offerings and services like network slicing and multi-access edge computing to market. And they can retain choice over what cloud (public or private), on-prem or Edge environment is best to deploy these solutions.
IBM Global Business Services, a leading systems integrator in the telco industry, is also integrating Telco Network Cloud solutions into Verizon’s Service Orchestration Platform to automate and manage services much more efficiently. This integration is designed to improve the service quality, predictably and automation of virtual network functions and comply with Open Network Automation Platform interfaces.
Taken together, today’s news is an enormous step forward in how IBM is supporting Verizon’s position as a network-as-a-service leader in 5G. With this approach, Verizon gains more control over how they choose to drive new value for their customers. They have flexibility in how and where they move their data, and what tools and technologies they choose to develop these emerging 5G-enabled business solutions.
We all know change and opportunity go hand in hand, and Verizon has long embraced forward thinking – especially now, when the industry is racing to create and capture new value as the market adopts 5G. As we look towards a future with 5G, IBM and Red Hat are deeply engaged, and working hand in hand with leading telecom operators all over the globe, to co-create and deliver open hybrid cloud platform solutions that will enable them – and the enterprises they serve – to thrive in this next era that combines the power of “connectivity + compute.”
Global GM & Managing Director, IBM Communications