How Optiva and Google Cloud aim to alter perception – and adoption – of public cloud in telco

A few weeks ago at MWC19 Barcelona, telecoms software provider Optiva announced that its BSS-focused Optiva Revenue Management Suite was available on Google Cloud Platform (GCP). It is a move which could have ramifications for how telcos approach the public cloud.

The concept of ‘telco cloud’ has been a long-standing – and potentially confusing – one. Previously, it revolved around telcos selling cloud services of their own. Verizon did this to great fanfare in October 2013, yet it shut part of it down in 2016 before selling its cloud and managed hosting service to IBM a year later. Now, when the operator is talking on the cloud – it has a completely new meaning. Verizon is now on a journey to migrate more than 1,000 business critical applications and systems over to the public cloud of Amazon Web Services (AWZ).

It is this migration of core applications that Optiva is focusing on with its Google Cloud partnership. As Shay Assaraf (left), chief marketing officer at Optiva notes, the telco industry is a vast one; there are plenty of operators out there that have not yet started this journey like Verizon did. For many operators, public cloud can evidently provide major value and benefits once the usual fears of security are assuaged – yet Assaraf says a lot of education still needs to take place.

“The industry has been talking about cloud for a long time, but there is so much fake news – partial pictures of what cloud means,” he tells Telecoms. “When you say cloud, many refer to private cloud and think that’s the same. Some mean public cloud but on a lift and shift and no more. Some mean let’s put our self-service or other niche application on the cloud.”

Optiva therefore is looking to give its customers a crystal-clear message around the benefits of utilising its partnership with Google Cloud, and moving their core application in a cloud-native architecture into the public cloud. The company had already made its Optiva Charging Engine available on Google Cloud Spanner and on GCP, giving telcos the opportunity to handle database writes and reads synchronously, not only saving time but plenty of money.

One client, a tier 2 mobile network operator (MNO) in the Middle East, gives an interesting example. The company’s production environment and its disaster recovery (DR) were both in the same building – a situation which was far from ideal to say the least. Faced with the option of either purchasing and deploying a new DR onsite, moving it to a new location or moving it to the public cloud, the operator chose the latter – and aim to realise almost 80% in annual savings as a result.


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