Telefónica is working to roll out a wide range of internally and customer-focused cloud services on both its own UNICA and OpenStack platforms, but the company’s global cloud director Juan Manuel Moreno said the challenges of shifting such a large company aren’t purely technical.
Moreno, who was speaking at the Telco Cloud Forum in London Tuesday, said the company has been in the process of transforming its technology platforms and internal operations for some time.
It’s no secret telcos like Telefónica have in recent years worked to strengthen their cloud capabilities in a bid to broaden their service portfolios and battle dwindling voice and data revenues – and to regain ground lost to more nimble OTT players.
“We are reliant on the full ecosystem of providers of technology… using technology partners to build these new services. But it’s a challenge because these players are moving so quickly,” Moreno said. “One of the biggest challenges in this space is that everyone and everything is moving so quickly.”
Much of what the company has done externally was intricately linked with its efforts to virtualize core elements of its own networks, plans it originally set out in 2014, with the aim of virtualising 30 per cent of all new infrastructure by 2016. The company took many of those platforms to use as the foundation for their customer-facing cloud services.
“Unifying communications and cloud or IT is an opportunity to be more efficient, to discover more services, and of course to develop a broad portfolio of services,” he explained.
But he was fairly candid about the challenges involved with moving Telefónica, a large, global service provider with very heterogeneous technology platforms and business processes, over to a more automated, cloud-centric operational model and product portfolio.
He said overcoming the business process-related challenges would also be key if the company is to effectively capture more revenue from its traditional base as well as new segments (he said Telefónica sees SMBs as the largest commercial opportunity for the foreseeable future).
“In cloud the technology is available for everyone now… But we still have to transform internally in order to really strengthen our market position,” he added.