SingTel’s NCS Strategy Hits the Right Notes, but Might be Looking in the Wrong Places

Summary Bullets:

m rogers
M. Rogers

• Singtel has announced a new strategy alongside its financial results, which includes a renewed focus on digital business and the expansion of its NCS unit internationally.

• While Singtel has identified the right trends to click into for NCS, the Australian and Chinese markets will be challenge and there could be other opportunities with its subsidiaries in ASEAN.

Singtel announced its financial results for the fiscal year 2021 ended March 31, 2021 on May 28, 2021. Singtel reported a difficult year across the group, in part due to the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as structural changes with the NBN in Australia and more generally across the telco sector. However the company did share some bright spots, for example the performance of its NCS business. Further, as part of the associated analyst and investor presentation Singtel presented a new strategy going forward with the hopes of capitalizing on key growth trends in digital and ICT markets in Asia-Pacific region. These include “B2B digital services growth,” “digital ASEAN opportunity,” and “rapid digitalisation fuelling infrastructure demand.

What’s the Plan?

Continue reading “SingTel’s NCS Strategy Hits the Right Notes, but Might be Looking in the Wrong Places”

Rakuten Has Ambitious Plans to Become a Mobile Cloud Network Provider

Summary Bullets:

m rogers
M. Rogers

  • Rakuten Mobile is taking the cloud-native, open RAN-based mobile network it built in Japan and commercializing it as an open, end-to-end solution for other operators.
  • While Rakuten’s mobile network solution is competing with similar recently launched products from leading technology companies like Microsoft and VMware, they all might have trouble convincing their target operator customers.

Rakuten Mobile, Japan’s fourth mobile operator, made headlines in the mobile industry in 2020 for launching its 4G mobile services using a cloud-native, fully virtualized mobile network, one that works on the principles of open RAN.  (Open RAN is a set of specifications for open and interoperable radio access networks allowing for disaggregation of portions of the radio access network, namely the radio unit [RU] as well as the distributed baseband and core baseband units, and for those subsections to be supplied by different vendors).  However, the company has taken lessons learned from the buildout of its own 4G and 5G cloud-native network and is now trying to productize this into a solution called Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP).  In addition to providing a solution for mobile operators, Rakuten is reportedly developing enterprise use cases for 5G edge computing for industry and IoT that can be also supported by the platform. Continue reading “Rakuten Has Ambitious Plans to Become a Mobile Cloud Network Provider”

Oracle Drives Competition in the Growing Market for Arm-Based Cloud Compute

Summary Bullets:

Chris Drake
C. Drake

  • Oracle’s new Arm-based compute service offers several advantages over x86 alternatives, which will help Oracle extend its reach to new markets.
  • Longer term, however, Oracle should expect to face increased competition from key rivals as they add Arm-based cloud services to their portfolios.

The launch of Arm-based instances on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) will help Oracle extend its reach to new market segments, including the Arm app developer community.  Longer term, however, Arm-based servers are likely to play a much greater role as a destination for cloud workloads, coexisting in cloud data centers with x86 alternatives.  Oracle should expect to face increased competition from key rivals, including Microsoft Azure, Alibaba, and Google Cloud, as they add Arm-based cloud services to their existing portfolios. Continue reading “Oracle Drives Competition in the Growing Market for Arm-Based Cloud Compute”

UK Enterprises Heading for a High-Fiber Diet

Summary Bullets: Rob Pritchard

  • CityFibre is reportedly in talks over a GBP 1 billion stake sale to fund further UK fiber rollout.
  • BT has also stated that it is looking for a joint venture partner to invest in Openreach’s extended fiber rollout.

You wait years for a full-fiber rollout; then three come along at the same time. UK infrastructure providers have been looking to accelerate their fiber network rollouts, increasingly with the backing of financial/institutional investors. Continue reading “UK Enterprises Heading for a High-Fiber Diet”

Vodafone Americas IoT Update: 2021 Starting Strong

Summary Bullets:

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

• Vodafone Business is a leader in global IoT services with a dedicated IoT BU, 120 million connected devices, and clear goals for expansion of its role in managed connectivity, mobile private networks, and end to end solutions.

• In the Americas, the operator is attracting a diverse set of multinational companies, often headquartered in the U.S., that not only require both local and global connectivity, but are looking to deploy IoT for use cases ranging from COVID-19/post-pandemic solutions to connected car, manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare.

While Vodafone Business is a known leader in IoT services in Europe and APAC, its regional group serving the Americas has a somewhat different remit. It looks to serve U.S. companies with global connectivity and IoT solutions requirements, or global companies with U.S. facilities that require IoT services and solutions. These are generally large companies with diverse connectivity needs that increasingly include IoT. Vodafone Americas IoT customers are using the technology for three main “buckets” of use cases in 2021: COVID-19-specific requirements such as thermal cameras, social distancing, and vaccine tracking; post pandemic healthcare applications such as home health monitoring; and deployments of other more traditional IoT use cases that may have stalled in 2020, such as connected car, manufacturing, and logistics.

Continue reading “Vodafone Americas IoT Update: 2021 Starting Strong”

IBM Think 2021 Highlights Its Traction with Partners to Develop Hybrid Cloud and Automation Capabilities

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • Partners are warming up to IBM as it invests heavily in growing the partner ecosystem and leveling the playing field for managed services, and Kyndryl will soon become a separate business.
  • Service providers are building more strategic alliances with IBM, and one of the potential areas for collaboration is automation including AIOps.

At the recent IBM Think 2021 event, the company highlighted progress it has made in helping partners succeed. After announcing the spinoff of its managed infrastructure business in 2020, IBM has stepped up its efforts to drive partner success, including an investment of USD 1 billion in its partner ecosystem (please see “IBM Pivots Toward Partner Ecosystem for Its Go-to-Market Strategy,” February 26, 2021).  In April 2021, IBM announced its independent managed infrastructure services business would be named ‘Kyndryl.’  ‘Kyn’ has its origin in the word ‘kinship,’ referencing the belief that relationships with people – employees, customers, and partners – are at the center of the strategy. ‘Dryl’ is meant to suggest the word ‘tendril,’ which IBM says brings “to mind new growth.” With the separation of Kyndryl from IBM expected by the end of 2021, it will level the playing field for IBM’s partners to compete for managed services. Continue reading “IBM Think 2021 Highlights Its Traction with Partners to Develop Hybrid Cloud and Automation Capabilities”

Cisco Aims to Facilitate Events Suited for the Post-Pandemic World

Summary Bullets:

Gregg Profile Photo
G. Willsky

• Socio’s platform enables execution of hybrid events spanning in-person and virtual attendees.

• Event organizers benefit disproportionately from the platform as compared to meeting attendees.

In May 2021, Cisco announced its intention to acquire Socio Labs, an event management platform provider. The acquisition is expected to finalize in Cisco’s Q4 fiscal year 2021 (May-July) subject to customary closing conditions and required regulatory approvals. Cisco declined to reveal the value of the transaction.

Socio’s platform enables execution of hybrid events mixing in-person and virtual attendees. As the end of the COVID-19 pandemic draws nearer, “hybrid” has emerged in the lexicon to represent a new normal in the workplace – a blending of in-office and virtual employees. Cisco’s new events capability is a corollary to that reality.

Continue reading “Cisco Aims to Facilitate Events Suited for the Post-Pandemic World”

IBM’s New Tools Help Enterprises Deploy AI in a Multi-cloud World

Summary Bullets:

R. Bhattacharyya

• At IBM Think 2021, IBM released several capabilities that help customers craft what it calls an ‘intelligent data fabric’.

• IBM AutoSQL (Structured Query Language) for Cloud Pack for Data is designed to help streamline access to data stored in multiple locations.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer the shiny new toy on the market that it was a few years ago. Many organizations have by now dabbled with the technology, and a large number have rolled up their sleeves and deployed multiple AI projects. As enterprises mature in their adoption of the technology, they are eager to deploy AI at scale, moving beyond one or two limited implementations to applying machine learning (ML) to more tasks and making it available to a larger number of business units.

Continue reading “IBM’s New Tools Help Enterprises Deploy AI in a Multi-cloud World”

IBM Bets on Automation to Spur Hybrid Cloud Adoption; Rivals Attempt to Drown its Messaging

Summary Bullets:

Charlotte Dunlap – Principal Analyst, Application Platforms

• During IBM Think IBM unveiled a set of new products and features underscoring its more comprehensive automation and hybrid cloud portfolio

• Also holding conferences and outlining automation strategies and offerings last week were ServiceNow, Automation Anywhere, and Appian

Following 12 months of aggressive investment in the workflow automation space, IBM used its mega annual conference, IBM Think, to demonstrate how its latest DevOps focus is paying off and strengthening the company’s overarching hybrid cloud agenda.

Workflow automation represents an emerging market sector which most closely defines the current DevOps concept and includes a prominent list of ecosystem rivals. While IBM leveraged the conference to provide hybrid cloud technology updates, its larger agenda was meant to reiterate its strengths going forward in the increasingly competitive workflow automation space. IBM finds itself facing notable competitors within a changing ecosystem including ServiceNow, Salesforce, Pegasystems, Automation Anywhere, Appian, and Microsoft among others. These vendors represent both partnerships and competitors in an evolving market which touches upon several advanced technologies including low-code development platforms, robotic process automation (RPA), AI, workflow automation tools, and intelligent process automation (IPA).

Continue reading “IBM Bets on Automation to Spur Hybrid Cloud Adoption; Rivals Attempt to Drown its Messaging”

Facebook Workplace Is Poised to Become a Significant Threat to Collaboration Players

Rob Pritchard

Summary Bullets:

  • Facebook enterprise collaboration tool Workplace is being used by seven million paying subscribers, up 40% year-on-year.
  • Facebook is leveraging its internally developed platform, brand, customer base, and deep resources. Other providers of collaboration tools should pay attention.

The collaboration market is set to witness additional competition, as Facebook is becoming an important player with its Workplace software tool.

Everyone knows Facebook is big; more than three billion users worldwide prove that. But it’s a relative secret that Facebook is also big – and growing – in the business market, with more than 200 million customers.  Within that base, Facebook supports in excess of 30,000 organizations using Workplace, including seven million paid subscribers. Continue reading “Facebook Workplace Is Poised to Become a Significant Threat to Collaboration Players”