Vodafone partners Google Cloud to build data analytics platform


Telecoms giant Vodafone Group and Google Cloud of the Alphabet Incorporated Group, has entered a six-year strategic partnership to jointly develop a platform for data analytics among other services. 

This is contained in a statement Vodafone posted on its website this week, which said the two companies will build a powerful new integrated data platform and distributed system for Vodafone, supporting the creation of new digital products and services for customers.

According to the statement, about a 1,000 workers in Britain, Spain and the United States from both companies will be creating the new cloud-based storage and analytics portal called Nucleus, which will host Vodafone’s data.

“Nucleus will be capable of processing around 50 terabytes of data a day (equivalent of 25,000 hours of film) within the cloud,” the Vodafone statement said. “Both companies will drive the use of reliable and secure data analytics, insights, and learnings to support the introduction of new digital products and services for Vodafone customers simultaneously worldwide.”

It said that via Nucleus, Vodafone will host its SAP (systems, applications and products) environment and all big data and business intelligence workloads on Google Cloud.

As part of the agreement, both companies will also develop a system called ‘Dynamo’, which can extract and transport data across different countries where the Vodafone operates, including Ghana.

The platform is also expected to drive the use of reliable and secure data analytics, insights, and learnings to support the introduction of new digital products and services for Vodafone customers simultaneously worldwide.

The ‘Dynamo’ feature on the platform will also drive data throughout Vodafone to enable it to more quickly offer its customers new, personalized products and services across multiple markets.

“Dynamo will allow Vodafone to tailor new connectivity services for homes and businesses through the release of smart network features, such as providing a sudden broadband speed boost,” the statement said.

Use cases 

Meanwhile, Vodafone said it has has already identified more than 700 use-cases to deliver new products and services quickly across its markets (including Ghana), support fact-based decision-making, reduce costs, remove duplication of data sources, and simplify and centralize operations.

“The speed and ease with which Vodafone’s operating companies in multiple countries can access its data analytics, intelligence, and machine-learning capabilities will also be vastly improved,” it added.

The telco assured customer that, by generating more detailed insight and data-driven analysis across the organization and with its partners, Nucleus would ensure that Vodafone customers around the world can have a better and more enriched experience.

Some of the key benefits include:

  • Enhancing Vodafone’s mobile, fixed, and TV content and connectivity services through the instantaneous availability of highly personalized rewards, content, and applications. For example, a consumer might receive a sudden broadband speed boost based on personalized individual needs.

  • Increasing the number of smart network services in its Google Cloud footprint from eight markets to the entire Vodafone footprint. This allows Vodafone to precisely match network roll-out to consumer demand, increase capacity at critical times, and use machine learning to predict, detect, and fix issues before customers are aware of them.

  • Empowering data scientists to collaborate on key environmental and health issues in 11 countries using automated machine learning tools. Vodafone is already assisting governments and aid organizations, upon their request, with secure, anonymized, and aggregated movement data to tackle COVID-19. This partnership will further improve Vodafone’s ability to provide deeper insights, in accordance with local laws and regulations, into the spread of disease through intelligent analytics across a wider geographical area.

  • Providing a complete digital replica of many of Vodafone’s internal support functions using artificial intelligence and advanced analytics. Called a digital twin, it enables analytic models on Google Cloud to improve response times to enquiries and predict future demand. The system will also support a digital twin of Vodafone’s vast digital infrastructure worldwide.

  • In addition, Vodafone will re-platform its entire SAP environment to Google Cloud, including the migration of its core SAP workloads and key corporate SAP modules such as SAP Central Finance.

The statement said all data generated by Vodafone in the markets in which it operates (Ghana including) is stored and processed in the required Google Cloud facilities as per local jurisdiction requirements and in accordance with local laws and regulations. Customer permissions and Vodafone’s own rigorous security and privacy by design processes also apply.

Meanwhile, the two companies also plan to, either jointly or independently, sell consultancy services to other multinational businesses looking to move huge amounts of data to the cloud in the future.

Johan Wibergh, Chief Technology Officer for Vodafone, said: “Vodafone is building a powerful foundation for a digital future. We have vast amounts of data which, when securely processed and made available across our footprint using the collective power of Vodafone and Google Cloud’s engineering expertise, will transform our services, to our customers and governments, and the societies where they live and serve.”

Thomas Kurian, CEO at Google Cloud, commented: “Telecommunications firms are increasingly differentiating their customer experiences through the use of data and analytics, and this has never been more important than during the current pandemic. We are thrilled to be selected as Vodafone’s global strategic cloud partner for analytics and SAP, and to co-innovate on new products that will accelerate the industry’s digital transformation.”


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