15 examples of how telcos are moving to the public cloud

I’m the world’s expert when it comes to moving to the public cloud. I’ve been talking with hundreds of telco execs and the flywheel is starting to turn. Telcos have been starting small, taking steps, and moving applications to the public cloud. But the other day someone on Twitter asked me, “What proof do you have that this is ACTUALLY happening?”

So I pulled together around 15 examples (and growing everyday) of telcos that are using the public cloud to cut costs, grow revenue, and be a leader in their marketplace.

The telcos that are all in – and moving all their IT workloads to the public cloud

Deutsche Telekom used AWS and Azure to reduce its data centers around the globe from 89 to 13, increase compute and storage capacity by around 25%, and save an annual three-digit-million euro sum. It involved a total of 5,200 migration projects with around 23,600 servers.

The Philippines’ Globe Telecom also opted for AWS when it moved its IT environment to the public cloud. It cut costs by 30%, increased app performance by 15x, and reduced provisioning from three months to two days!

The telcos that are moving analytics to the public cloud

Vodafone presented at Google Cloud Next in November 2019 and told the world it was moving its entire analytics platform to GCP. The project involved 600 Hadoop servers across 11 countries, supporting 226 different revenue models, and a combined 17PBs of data. My guess is that migrating to public cloud helped Vodafone realize between $12 and $14 million in savings per year. Read my case study on how Vodafone achieved such big savings.

Moving analytics to the public cloud isn’t ONLY about saving money. Italian telco Wind Tre used Google Cloud’s Big Query and real-time analytics functionality to reduce churn and offer its customers more personalized service.

It’s also not ONLY about cost savings, customer churn and customer service. Maxis, another Google Cloud Platform customer, is moving 100% of analytics on-premise workloads to GCP, for all lines of business. And add to this that it is using this exciting project as a way to attract the best talent to the organization. It’s working with Google on a career development program to build deep technical knowledge and in-house expertise.

Move charging to the public cloud

Truphone moved its real-time charging to GCP. It reduced the number of tests from more than 5,000 (which were all done manually – brutal) to less than 200 (mostly automated). It pretty much eliminated capex and reduced TCO by approximately 60% by using a public cloud database that’s 10x cheaper and faster than Oracle.

I know of a start-up that’s set to revolutionize this space. It’s building the fastest, most scalable charger in the world that’s 10x faster and cheaper than what’s out there in the market, and doing it by not using a relational database and making it available on the public cloud. Coming soon to a telco near you … 😘

The telcos that are moving customer problem management to the public cloud

For telcos, when it comes to customer problem management, the buck stops at the contact center. This is particularly true of the past 12 months (and probably next): who visits retail nowadays, even if we are allowed to leave the house?

Verizon used GCP’s AI-powered Contact Center apps to improve NPS. It was able to boost its intent detection accuracy by 15% with bots that answered 5x more issues than humans.

Vodafone (yep, them again!) used Azure Cognitive and Bot services to handle 30-million conversations per month in 15 languages and markets, providing a 12% reduction in call center operational costs.

Over in Brazil, Telefónica created an AI bot called Aura that can now realistically handle more than 15 million calls per month and has been accessed more than 93 million times.

Who said robots taking over the world was such a bad thing?

The telcos that are building edge applications with the public cloud

5G means edge computing and virtualization. And a great way to get edge computing is via the public cloud.

AWS’s Wavelength launch means it’s already winning – and the telco adopters are too. SK Telecom is using it to reduce latency by 60% (down to 1ms) and taking the lead on innovations in robot delivery, autonomous driving, cloud gaming and smart healthcare – just imagine this at scale!

Verizon’s already been rolling out Wavelength-based edge computing services, and at AWS re:Invent, AWS CEO Andy Jassy announced that Japanese telco KDDI would be launching a Wavelength-based service in Tokyo.

The telcos that are detecting fraud with the public cloud

Revenue fraud is a persistent issue in telco. Enter everyone’s favorite telco-neighborhood fraud-fighter: machine learning (ML). Lebara used AWS SageMaker to detect new instances of revenue fraud. Within days it learned how to use SageMaker and, with limited knowledge in ML, found 200+ more instances of revenue share fraud compared to its old tools. That’s revenue it wouldn’t have had otherwise. How much undetected fraud do you have in your network? Whatever you think there is, there is more there than you think.

The telcos that will reduce headcount with the public cloud

People are one of your biggest costs, after network spend. What happens when you move to the public cloud? You can reduce your headcount. This remains a major fear about going all-in on running native on the public cloud.

BUT you can be a leader who takes this challenge and turns it into a great opportunity. Re-skill your team members so they’re equipped with high value skills wherever they move to next. Workers who gain experience with the public cloud typically see increases of 20-30% in their compensation. Be a hero and help them get those increases!

Look at what Three UK is doing: it’ll eliminate 67% of IT jobs and cut 33% of IT costs by moving to the public cloud with Microsoft Azure. That’s great savings for the company and if it does it right, a great opportunity for workers to enhance their skills for their next position.

The telcos that are driving more revenue with the public cloud

Finally, you can use the public cloud to build scalable new offerings. Vodafone Italy did just that by using five different AWS services with PII data to scale its subscriber top-up services securely and elastically. It lowered capex by 30% and increased customer satisfaction by enabling several thousand top-ups without login requests from subscribers every day, up from just one thousand before.

Did I miss any cool cloud stories in telco? Shoot me a DM or message on LinkedIn and let me know! I think these moves are just the start. The telcos that aren’t moving to the public cloud – and instead cling to their servers insisting the cloud isn’t secure, fight cloud vendor lock-in, or decide to build their own clouds – will be proven wrong in 2021. Don’t be that telco – ride the wave all the way to the public cloud! 🌊 🏄🏻‍♀️ ⛅️

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