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Be like Vodafone and move your analytics to the public cloud

Six hundred Hadoop servers across 11 countries, supporting 226 different revenue models. A combined total of 17PBs of data. That was Vodafone’s data analytics story back in November 2019. And it was costing them A LOT.

Our guesstimate is anywhere between $12 and $14 million per year.

At that time, Simon Harris, Vodafone’s Head of Big Data and Cloud Analytics told an audience at Google Cloud Next that a staggering 2,730PB of data had been transferred over its network in the past financial year. And “it’s not going to get smaller, because with 5G around the corner, it’s going to get even bigger … and bigger … and bigger.”

Vodafone’s on-premises group data platform relied on Hadoop architecture that didn’t do “bigger.” In fact, it’s questionable whether it even did “big.” The platform creaked, data was siloed or duplicated, and governance wasn’t great.

Harris has been pretty candid in this respect, admitting that pre-cloud, “our governance was probably the Hadoop console and an Excel spreadsheet. And that’s not good for 17PB of data.” That was the story in late 2019. By March this year, Vodafone will have consolidated all of its global data into a single data “ocean.” Here’s another guesstimate for you: it’ll cut its annual spend to $4 million. That’s a savings of almost 70%.

Which Google tools has Vodafone been using for its massive migration? What was it spending every year on hardware, software and data-center infrastructure? And how did it achieve those awesome cost savings?

The answer is the public cloud and the details can be found in my latest case study, How Vodafone saved nearly 70% by moving analytics to the public cloud, which is available to download for free today.

Moving analytics to the public cloud is one small step in the big cloud story. We’ve seen other sectors do it, even highly-regulated and traditional ones like finance.

Take the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a nonprofit authorized by the US Congress. Each day, the organization oversees up to 75 billion market events, 99% of equities trades, and 65% of options trades in the US, applying data analytics to disclose any insider trading activity. FINRA saw the benefits of shifting analytics to the public cloud by moving to AWS to make data validation more efficient. That’s not all: it also increased cost efficiency by a factor of two.

OK, so some telcos are following Vodafone’s lead and moving analytics to the cloud. Maxis is moving 100% of analytics on-premise workloads to GCP for all lines of business to improve its analytical processes and will use the project as a way to attract the best talent to its organization.

It’s worth remembering that better (public cloud-based) data analytics means better customer insight, but as Maxis and Vodafone are proving, it’s also better for your company. They’ll be the telcos who save the most $$$, know the most about their customers, grow the biggest subscriber bases, and attract the best talent.

Read my case study to find out how Vodafone’s doing it, and why you should do the same.

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