Bharti Airtel

Telco cloud deal to boost Indian SMEs operations

11 August 2020 | Melanie Mingas

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Bharti Airtel’s ICT service offering has received another boost following a multi-year, strategic collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Bharti Airtel, whose customers include 2,500 large enterprises and more than a million emerging businesses and companies, confirmed last week that it is to build an AWS Cloud Practice supported by AWS Professional Services.

Further, it will develop differentiated Airtel Cloud products and capabilities leveraging AWS services, as well as its own data centre capabilities and network and telecoms offerings.

As a result, the telco said its large enterprise and SME customers will benefit from “an integrated sales, consulting, and support approach from both companies, and improved security, scalability, and cloud management capabilities.”

Puneet Chandok, president, commercial business, India and South Asia, Amazon Internet Services Private Limited, said: “I am delighted with the expansion of our relationship with Airtel. Indian companies are using the cloud to innovate, and in order to operate at an increased scale and speed. Many need partners like Airtel, with deep cloud expertise and an industry-focused approach to support them.

“This collaboration gives customers a single point of contact when dealing with complex migrations or custom-built solutions. Airtel has demonstrated a strong commitment to our shared customers, and we look forward to continue working with them to bring innovative solutions to market,” Chandok added.

The announcement is the second such development this year for Airtel’s cloud and ICT services portfolio.

In January, Airtel signed a deal with Google to provide G Suite to small and medium-sized businesses. At the time, Google chief executive Thomas Kurian said in a statement: “The combination of G Suite’s collaboration and productivity tools with Airtel’s digital business offerings will help accelerate digital innovations for thousands of Indian businesses.”

Airtel has also entered into a cloud service partnership with Microsoft, meaning that it has now established partnerships with all three of the big-name cloud providers.

Meanwhile, for its own cloud needs Airtel in May turned to IBM and Red Hat to build a new telco network cloud to support core operations and enable new digital services.

“At Airtel, our endeavour is to enable enterprise customers to stay focused on their core businesses while we drive end-to-end digital transformation for them,” said Harmeen Mehta, CIO and head of Airtel’s cloud and security business.

“As part of their cloud adoption journey, enterprises are looking for agility, faster migration from legacy systems, and want to work with trusted partners who have the experience and depth in doing this. This collaboration brings AWS, the world’s leading cloud platform, together with Airtel’s deep reach and proven expertise in handling network, data centres, security, and cloud as an integrated solution,” Mehta added.

Airtel’s data centre business, Nxtra, received a US$235 million cash injection from The Carlyle Group in July.