Proximus Picks HCL to Run and Service its Private Cloud

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Proximus and HCL Technologies have concluded an IT infrastructure partnership. As part of this agreement, Proximus will be able to innovate quicker and strengthen its cloud portfolio for its Enterprise customers, while operating its data center infrastructure in a more sustainable and efficient way.

HCL will run and service Proximus’ private cloud infrastructure and support the transition of the Enterprise Business Unit towards a hybrid cloud solution provider. The partnership will be fully operational as of February 2022, after a transition period of 4 months.

Companies around the world are rethinking their way of doing IT and combine local assets in data centers in Belgium with infrastructure in the cloud. This approach, commonly referred to as Hybrid Cloud, allows to address specific workload demands, cost optimizations, legacy applications support, EU privacy standards compliance, etc..

This agreement with HCL will reinforce the Enterprise Business Unit’s position as a hybrid cloud solution provider by combining the portfolio in the Proximus DC’s with public cloud capabilities. It will allow Proximus to offer a richer catalogue of services and significantly improve the cloud offering in terms of sustainability, efficiency, customer experience and flexibility.

The portfolio will now include all major public cloud solutions including -but not limited to – Microsoft and Google but also AWS, SAP and many others. This way Proximus will be able to support its customers even better as partner in their digital transformation.

The partner selected by Proximus is HCL Technologies, one of the leading technology companies in the world, with over 175,000 employees in 50 countries. The agreement concluded with HCL is good news for Proximus’ private cloud customers, as it will lead to a significant improvement in resilience, customer experience, sustainability and efficiency. This partnership will enable further development in new growth domains, and lead to a richer service catalogue for Proximus’ Enterprise customers.

The plan is to have part of Proximus’ IT infrastructure managed by HCL as of February 1st of next year, whereas the IT infrastructure will remain in the Proximus data centers. This will imply a transition which will start on October 1st and will last for a period of 4 months. The agreement between Proximus and HCL will not lead to any redundancies. All involved employees will remain on board.

Overall, the agreement also brings attractive financial benefits, lowering the Total Cost to Operate of Proximus’ cloud infrastructure by around 20%, and generating a positive NPV as from year one. This partnership will result in lower investment needed for this infrastructure and the avoidance of renewal investments going forward

This agreement results in Proximus receiving early next year EUR 71 million of cash from HCL and its financing and technology partners for the current cloud infrastructure. Any future assets required to support the infrastructure under the HCL contract will fall under a IFRS lease model and hence operating costs. Proximus anticipates that these will be of a limited magnitude going forward.

Speaking on the partnership, C Vijayakumar, CEO and Managing Director, HCL Technologies said, “This is a groundbreaking collaboration between HCL and Proximus. Together, we look forward to developing a competitive cloud environment and digital offerings for the Belgian market. HCL’s investment in a dedicated lab will not only drive innovation and growth at Proximus, but it will also support their endeavors to develop the next generation of digital talent in Belgium.”

“I am very pleased with this agreement between Proximus and HCL, that will bring us economies of scale, knowledge, best practices, tools, experience and expertise in the cloud domain. This IT infrastructure partnership will not only allow us to assure the development of the best customer offer, but it will also make sure that we’re able to retain strong strategic influence in the cloud domain,” commented, Guillaume Boutin, CEO of the Proximus Group.