By Howard Boville, Senior Vice President, Hybrid Cloud, and Steve Canepa, Global GM & Managing Director, Communications Sector, IBM
Introducing IBM Cloud for Telecommunications with 35+ Partners Committed to Join IBM’s Ecosystem and Help Drive Business Transformation. Nokia, Samsung, Cisco and 35 more partners commit to join IBM’s ecosystem and help accelerate 5G and edge innovation for customers.
Ecosystems are crucial in driving digital transformation for customers, enabling them to scale and innovate through partnerships that combine best-in-class technology and deep industry expertise.
This is why, alongside more than 35 partners who have committed to join our ecosystem, we are excited to launch the IBM Cloud for Telecommunications – an open, hybrid cloud architecture designed to help telecommunications providers address the specific challenges of the highly-regulated industry: accelerating business transformation, enhancing digital client engagement and improving agility as they modernize their enterprise applications and infrastructure to unlock the power of 5G and edge.
As 5G becomes more prevalent, telecommunications providers are transforming their networks into agile platforms that can efficiently scale to support growing volumes of data, voice and multi-media services. According to a recent IBV study, 60% of Communications Service Provider (CSP) leaders surveyed agree that they must virtualize their entire network across edge locations, but only half of them are prepared to virtualize in a cloud-native environment.
Built on IBM Cloud Satellite, currently in beta, and leveraging Red Hat OpenShift, clients can deploy IBM Cloud services anywhere: on the cloud, on premises or at the edge, while addressing industry-specific requirements and data protection.
The platform also integrates and extends IBM Edge Application Manager and IBM Telco Network Cloud Manager to help reduce network-related infrastructure costs, increase automation, speed deployment of next gen services, and deliver new consumer and enterprise value.
The holistic hybrid cloud offering will be complemented by our ecosystem partners’ software and technology, and enable mission critical workloads to be managed consistently from the network core to the edge to position telecom providers to extract more value from their data while they drive innovation for their customers.
It starts with an ecosystem
Ecosystems fuel platforms, and because the IBM Cloud for Telecommunications is built on an open architecture, a large ecosystem of partners can enhance it with their own solutions in addition to providing services for it – and this is an important distinction. In order for clients to get our best technology with the most scale and flexibility at the start, we’ve built the IBM Cloud for Telecommunications using Red Hat OpenShift, and this strategy positions partners as the engine to drive a multitude of possibilities for clients.
The breadth of our partners spans numerous categories, including network equipment providers, independent software vendors (ISVs), software-as-a-service providers and hardware partners. This will give clients a wide range of ways they can tap into the power of the IBM Cloud for Telecommunications to build and deploy new offerings. Our partners, in turn, are ready to lean in:
“We are happy to team up with IBM to develop 5G solutions at the telecom edge, with Red Hat OpenShift. We believe that our service provider customers will benefit greatly from having an additional choice to quickly and efficiently deploy private 5G networks,” said Jane Rygaard, Head of Edge Cloud, Nokia. “The transition to 5G will be a key step for industries to deliver on their digital transformation plans. Having multiple options of cloud-based solutions will help our industry build this path forward.”
The combined strength of IBM, whose clients comprise 83% of the largest telecom providers globally, and our partners, will create a large hybrid cloud ecosystem that can help operators meet three strategic industry imperatives: attracting and retaining subscribers; increasing investment effectiveness while driving down operational costs; and creating new, monetizable digital services.
“Samsung is committed to helping enterprises tackle the unique challenges of today’s market by utilizing the latest mobile innovations and advanced network solutions,” said KC Choi, EVP and Head of Global Mobile B2B Team, Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics. “We are excited to work with IBM and Red Hat to develop new user experiences for business based on transformative technologies like 5G, IoT and AI to help drive efficiency and streamline operations.”
“Cisco is excited to bring our industry leading compute, security, and Service Provider solutions to the IBM Cloud for Telecommunications,” said Keith Dyer, VP for IBM Strategic Alliance. “We are delighted to expand our 20+ year partnership with IBM and bring the power of our joint solutions to our mutual customers.”
IBM’s partner ecosystem will provide customers with a wide range of ways to leverage the platform to enable them to deliver next generation 5G and Edge services, deploy and manage new cloud capabilities, and enrich relationships through AI-driven engagement. Those committing to join our growing ecosystem are listed below alongside descriptions about how they are helping customers today, or how we expect to collaborate on IBM Cloud for Telecommunications:
ADVA Optical Networking SE is contributing low latency 5G access and transport solutions, optical backbones, Network Function Virtualization (NFV), sync and timing, and disaggregated cell site gateways.
Affirmed Networks, Inc., a Microsoft company, enables operators to transform the economics of deploying and scaling mobile networks with its complete portfolio of open, cloud-native, 5G solutions.
Altiostar will provide 4G and 5G open virtualized RAN (Open vRAN) software that supports open interfaces and virtualizes the radio access baseband functions to build a disaggregated multi-vendor, web-scale, cloud-based mobile network.
Altran, Part of Capgemini, provides 5G solutions (vRAN, Core, Transport, Edge platform & marketplace), advanced Edge applications for industries and deep 5G System Integration & Network Engineering expertise.
Assima delivers powerful applications training at scale, leveraging its patented cloning technology to create immersive learner experiences.
Cisco is providing security, compute and Service Provider solutions.
Dell Technologies. An essential technology company in the data era, Dell Technologies is enabling Telecom network operators to extend their capabilities, moving beyond today’s connectivity to offer new enterprise services that will ignite broad industry innovations and create new revenue streams.
Dubber’s Voice Intelligence Cloud plans to integrate and be interoperable with IBM Cloud for Telecommunications, to help enable providers to deliver next generation Unified Call Recording and Voice AI Services on one cloud platform.
Enghouse Networks. Through IBM Cloud, Enghouse Networks offers Telecommunications service providers the ability to Plan, Design, Engineer, Provision, Operate, Monitor, Protect and simplify network complexity in a vendor-agnostic, hybrid cloud network environment.
Equinix, Inc. plans to host the IBM Cloud for Telecommunications solution on its globally distributed automated bare metal platform.
F5 Networks Inc. contributes traffic management, security for layers 2-7 and Kubernetes ingress control along with other virtual infrastructure solutions to enhance and support application services in the telco network cloud.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise delivers a leading, comprehensive portfolio of cloud-enabled software, carrier-grade services, and open, secure infrastructure offerings to accelerate innovation for telco cloud and edge solutions.
Intel brings a broad ecosystem, enabling new use cases and usage models from the edge to the cloud. Emphasizing an open-based and innovative approach helps to accelerate deployments that are built on Intel technologies with performance and security in mind.
Juniper Networks Inc. Contrail is an end-to-end software-based network architecture delivering secure, consistent policy to applications regardless of their location and the physical underlay.
Kaloom offers a fully programmable and automated cloud networking solution that is disrupting how edge and data center networks are built, managed and operated.
Lenovo’s purpose-built edge servers and storage along with Lenovo’s infrastructure automation software (LOC-A) have been validated with IBM edge application manager to provide easy to consume edge infrastructure.
Linux Foundation Networking (LFN) facilitates collaboration and operational excellence across open source networking projects
MATRIXX Software provides a highly performant network application for charging and monetization of network resources.
Mavenir helps wireless service providers with comprehensive end to end software applications that transforms their networks to run on the cloud.
Metaswitch, a Microsoft company, provides cloud native IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) network functions that help enable the deployment of highly scalable rich communication services on Red Hat OpenShift.
Movius provides mobile-unified communication software that enables frontline employees to securely communicate with their clients across compliant digital voice and messaging channels.
NetApp, Inc. helps customers simplify the adoption and readiness of 5G by providing advanced data services to enable hybrid cloud environments that extend to the Edge, and by integrating these data services with container orchestration platforms such as OpenShift and IBM Cloud Pak solutions.
NETSCOUT Systems provides visibility of digital services to prevent or resolve performance and security problems regardless of the technologies involved. We call it Visibility without Borders.
Nokia and IBM plan to deploy a fully functioning cloud-based 5G network on the IBM Cloud infrastructure, designed to help service providers to quickly deploy and deliver private 5G solutions to their Enterprise customers
Nuance Communications, Inc.’s enterprise solutions power over 31 billion intelligent customer interactions annually with cloud-native, AI-powered customer engagement technology to deliver industry-best digital, voice, and biometric security innovations.
O-RAN ALLIANCE. As a member of the O-RAN ALLIANCE, IBM Cloud for Telecommunication will help to transform the radio access networks towards open, intelligent, virtualized and fully interoperable RAN.
Palo Alto Networks, Inc. for Zero Trust 5G Security.
Portworx by Pure Storage will provide a platform of complementary data services for data rich applications running on OpenShift on IBM Satellite, including high availability, data protection, data security, multi-cloud mobility and automated capacity management required to run enterprise applications in production.
Red Hat will help enable the IBM Cloud for Telecommunication Ecosystem partners to run their solutions on Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat OpenStack Platform.
Robin.io’s cloud-native solution for Telco provides end-to-end automation for the deployment, scaling, and lifecycle management of any data- or network-intensive applications – all the way from RAN, Core, Edge, and OSS/BSS on Kubernetes.
Samsung, IBM, and Red Hat are collaborating to bring AI-driven solutions for clients transforming to Industry 4.0 and beyond by leveraging the power of secure 5G devices, cloud-native 5G networks, and advanced edge computing platforms.
SevOne, a Turbonomic Company, delivers network performance management solutions with modern monitoring and analytics.
Sinefa plans to provide Digital Experience Monitoring for remote workers and SD-WAN by leveraging the IBM Telco Cloud.
Spirent delivers automated test and assurance solutions to accelerate the design, development and deployment of 5G, cloud and virtualized networks.
THALES Cloud Licensing and Protection helps organizations protect their most sensitive data and software, secure the cloud and achieve compliance through advanced encryption, access management and software licensing solutions.
TM Forum will be working with IBM Cloud for Telecommunication to help unlock the possibilities of 5G by enabling the industry to build self-sustaining networks
Travelping accelerates the provision of mobile 2G to 5G Networks, the turnkey solutions to the Telecommunications, Automotive, IoT, Manufacturing, Energy, Financial Services, and Hospitality businesses.
Turbonomic Application Resource Management (ARM) helps automatically assure applications get the resources they need to perform, no matter where they run or how they are architected.
Zerto will integrate with IBM Cloud Satellite as an embedded solution providing data protection, disaster recovery and mobility solutions.
The IBM Cloud for Telecommunications Ecosystem will continue our work with partners, including global services integrators, to build practices that help customers build and deploy solutions on IBM’s open hybrid cloud platform and at the heart of the Telco industry.
Wipro, for example, will launch a solution suite built with IBM Edge Application Manager to help clients leverage 5G and Edge for enterprise use cases. HCL’s IBM Ecosystem Unit will help clients, including those in regulated industries such as telecommunications, to develop digital and cloud-native solutions with IBM Cloud Paks.
Tech Mahindra will provide Blue Marble B/OSS stack for 5G digital transformation and will also provide 5G4E Industrial solutions for Enterprise edge that will run on IBM Cloud for Telecommunications leveraging IBM Edge Application Manager, Telco Network Cloud Manager and IBM Cloud Satellite with implementation services as part of their Telecom and Network practice. We are excited to work more closely with relevant partners to help clients modernize IT and network workloads with Red Hat OpenShift, the industry’s leading enterprise Kubernetes platform, for hybrid cloud environments in telecommunications. We also look forward to our future ecosystem partners leveraging this platform to provide new, innovative solutions and services to our joint clients.
Supporting our ecosystem
IBM offers its ecosystem access to its Cloud Engagement Fund—part of a $1B investment—to support partners with funding, technical enablement, and creating proofs of concept. The fund likewise provides onboarding services for optimizing partners’ product configurations and helps accelerate go-to-market efforts for partners using IBM’s hybrid cloud platform. Joining IBM’s ecosystem is the starting point for partners to build out their solutions, helping telecom providers enhance digital customer engagement, modernize with 5G and leverage edge computing. Focused on co-creation with our clients, IBM has deployed a LAB environment to aid our global clients with pre-integration and pre-testing of comprehensive client solutions.