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Vodafone and Google Cloud expand big data platform collaboration with new six-year deal

Vodafone and Google Cloud have signed a six-year deal to build on their efforts to create a big data platform that will help the telco deliver a more personalised service to businesses and consumers across the world

Vodafone and Google Cloud have signed a six-year strategic partnership to expand on their existing efforts to create a distributed, big data platform to underpin the telco giant’s ongoing digital transformation efforts.

The deal will see the pair work to bring additional functionality to the platform, known as Nucleus, and will result in Vodafone migrating its SAP environments and other assorted business intelligence workloads to the Google Cloud.  

The two firms have also sketched out details of how their continued collaboration will enable Vodafone to create a digital twin of its internal support functions by drawing on Google Cloud’s artificial intelligence and data analytics tools to aid efforts to predict how demand for Vodafone services will affect its operations over time.

The pair claim this work marks a “significant expansion” of their existing partnership, which has been in place since late 2019, and will see them bolster the data processing capabilities of Nucleus so that Vodafone can provide customers in multiple markets with more personalised services and products.

These enhanced data processing capabilities will be provided through a new system that is being incorporated into Nucleus known as Dynamo, which will reportedly ensure the platform is capable of processing around 50 terabytes of data per day. 

“Vodafone has already identified more than 700 use-cases [for the platform] to deliver new products and services quickly across Vodafone’s markets, to support fact-based decision-making, reduce costs, remove duplication of data sources, and simplify and centralise operations,” the pair said in a statement. 

“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.”

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Vodafone said it also anticipates the technology tie-up between the two firms will enable it to increase the availability of smart network services from eight markets to every single territory the company operates in.

The company also predicts these enhancements will bolster opportunities for its services to be used in the progression of environmental and health-related research in 11 countries.

“Vodafone is already assisting governments and aid organisations, upon their request, with secure, anonymised, and aggregated movement data to tackle Covid-19,” said Vodafone in a statement. “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.”

Vodafone chief technology officer Johan Wibergh said the firm’s collaboration with Google Cloud will ensure its “digital future” is built on a “powerful foundation”.

“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,” he said.

Thomas Kurian, CEO at Google Cloud, said the body of work Vodafone is embarking on is designed to address challenges many other telcos are seeking to address right now as well.

“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,” said Kurian. “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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