NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel and International Business Machines (IBM) on Wednesday partnered to jointly deploy Airtel’s edge computing platform across 120 data centers in 20 locations to unlock enterprise business as commercial network services become the next Generation (5G) likely to be launched in India soon.
“There is a need in the market that we have solved together. We are able to provide certain AI-based and data analytics capabilities through edge computing,” Sandip Patel, Managing Director of IBM India, told ETTelecom.
Patel went on to say that Bharti Airtel has the infrastructure and is building the edge platform that will be rolled out at telco sites and scaled accordingly as customers come onboard.
According to the board, the two companies would jointly market the platform for corporate customers.
Ajay Chitkara, Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Business, said the service provider has already diversified its business from the consumer side to business-to-business (B2B) and has highly differentiated its offerings.
“We launched this platform to help enterprise customers and built data centers in 120 locations like no other company,” Chitkara said, adding that customers will need hybrid cloud once the fifth-generation (5G) network arrives.
With 5G around the corner, Chitkara said it’s the right time to build edge cloud services with IBM.
“Once deployed, the platform is designed to enable large enterprises across multiple industries, including manufacturing, automotive and retail, to accelerate innovative solutions that deliver value to their customers and operations – safely at the edge.” it in a statement from the two companies.
The two companies are optimistic about the country’s hybrid cloud adoption, which they say can reduce latency and meet the country’s data security requirements.
Sunil Mittal-driven Bharti Airtel is investing $1 billion to set up data centers with hybrid cloud capabilities in multiple cities.
The US-based giant said it will continue to drive technological transformation for both traditional and non-traditional partners, while also offering customized solutions for emerging businesses.
Meanwhile, automaker Maruti Suzuki has partnered with Airtel to use the Edge platform to increase accuracy and efficiency for factory quality checks. The company expects to improve quality control and ensure its data stays protected at the edge.
Airtel’s edge computing platform, deployed as a hybrid environment based on IBM Cloud Satellite and Red Hat OpenShift, extends secure and open cloud services wherever data resides, improving performance and customer experience contributes by reducing latency and meeting data security and sovereignty requirements.
The business value of edge computing can be significantly increased when combined with 5G. In India, where 5G is expected to roll out later this year, it has the potential to have a cumulative economic impact of $1 trillion by 2035, the statement added.
“We have the largest network of edge data centers available in India under the Nxtra brand and we will leverage our collaboration with IBM to help Indian companies meet their critical business needs more efficiently, making it significant for businesses easier to process workloads where their data resides,” said Ganesh Lakshminarayanan, CEO – Enterprise, Airtel Business.
“Working with Airtel to bring IBM’s hybrid cloud offerings to their Indian multi-access edge computing customers will help them capitalize on 5G and edge opportunities such as: B. Innovate with greater speed and security,” said Howard Boville, Head of IBM Cloud Platform.
IBM said it has simplified its go-to-market (GTM) strategy, serving a number of public and private sector companies in India and will soon launch an innovative digital sales function.
The tech major also said he has partnered with local Tech Mahindra. Building on their existing partnership, the two companies are working on a number of strategic areas such as 5G, hybrid cloud, automation, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI).