IBM bags 5-year IT deal from Vodafone India

Vodafone Maharashtra
IBM has bagged a 5-year IT services deal from telecom network operator Vodafone India to facilitate a better customer engagement.

The financial details were not disclosed. IBM is one of the IT services partners for Bharti Airtel, the country’s leading telecom operator, as well.

IT market research agency IDC said total spending on IT infrastructure products (server, enterprise storage, and Ethernet switches) for deployment in cloud environments will increase by 15.5 percent in 2016 to reach $37.1 billion.

As part of the deal, the companies launched IBM Hybrid Cloud platform that will enable delivery of faster and more insightful data intelligence and support faster decision-making for Vodafone India, bringing together enterprise data and cloud-ready applications into a scalable environment that keeps data local, private and secure.

“IBM’s leading-edge capabilities will help strengthen Vodafone India’s vision of delivering differentiated client experiences,” said Vanitha Narayanan, managing director of IBM India.

IBM will support Vodafone India’s IT environment transition into IBM Hybrid Cloud, allowing the company to leverage and integrate existing IT resources and data assets with private cloud environments.

“Partnering with IBM will help us enhance customer experience with intuitive capabilities and build a cost optimized, flexible and scalable IT infrastructure,” said Vishant Vora, director, Technology and Network, Vodafone India.

IBM will support Vodafone India’s speed to market and improve the efficiency of its network and IT operations.

IBM in cloud market

Meanwhile, IBM has been named number one in private cloud by leading independent technology market research firm Technology Business Research.

“A footprint in legacy IT solutions and management is a strong predictor of private cloud vendor success, as private cloud solutions are typically the first step toward hybrid IT environments,” said TBR Cloud Senior Analyst Cassandra Mooshian.

IT market research agency Forrester said that 77 percent of Chinese enterprise infrastructure decision-makers said that using a public cloud platform is a high or critical priority over the next 12 months, versus 58 percent of their global peers.

CIOs at China based enterprises are increasingly turning to public cloud services to fuel digital transformation at their firms but face challenges in choosing appropriate and trusted providers as strategic partners for public cloud adoption, said Forrester.

TBR, in another report, said that IBM leads in overall vendor adoption for private cloud and in select private cloud segments due to its broad cloud and IT services portfolio, variety of deployment options and integration and optimization support.

Analyst comments

Vodafone has already been working closely with IBM India to manage and roll-out virtualisation of IT assets, IANS reported.

“The new deal is intended to help Vodafone make next steps on this journey of virtualisation and migrate to Hybrid Cloud,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, chief analyst of Greyhound Research.

The rollout of this Hybrid Cloud is planned in two phases. Phase one will involve building an On-Premise Cloud, building a common management platform across Vodafone’s main Data Centre (DC) and Disaster Recovery (DR) sites. Phase two will involve using Public Cloud offerings.

DD Mishra, research director at Gartner, said large deals combining application and infrastructure services are less of a trend now unless there are larger transformational objectives associated with it.

The renewal of Vodafone India and IBM deal clearly indicates the partnership between the two organisations which is now eight years old and appears to be more strategic in nature.

Initially, the deal was more around traditional infrastructure and application services but now IBM and Vodafone have an opportunity of combining more industrialised and digital options which can be leveraged to drive better value.

Mishra said that this IT services deal is a significant renewal in the Asia-Pacific market looking at the sheer size and volume of business. “Further to this, we see that IBM has reorganised internally which is expected to enable IBM to bring decision making much closer to the customer,” Mishra added.