Google and Telefónica renew their vows with a ‘cloud region’ around Madrid

via Flickr © pegatina1 (CC BY-ND 2.0)

via Flickr © pegatina1 (CC BY-ND 2.0)

  • Telefónica says deal will reinforce its multi-cloud strategy worldwide
  • Other European service providers getting closer to Google include TIM and T-Systems
  • It’s a gradual process of business development and trust-building

Google Cloud and Telefónica have announced a new partnership to foster Spain’s digital transformation and advance Telefonica’s 5G mobile edge computing push. Google has announced a ‘cloud region’ around Madrid to take advantage of the area’s advanced infrastructure - a designation which is expected to boost cloud adoption there and benefit Spanish reinvestment post Covid-19.  

The agreement sees yet another European telco steadily reducing its social distancing from the cloud giant. It’s not alone, of course. 

In early March this year Google signed a similar wide-ranging deal with Italy’s TIM under which the companies will work together to build hybrid cloud services for enterprises and collaborate on edge development.

And Google also inked a deal with Germany's T-Systems at around the same time - that one involves a Google Cloud competence centre, SAP application modernisation and new AI and ML solutions. 

Telefónica says its latest Google deal will reinforce its multi-cloud strategy worldwide and it’s planning joint marketing to flag up the partnership’s comprehensive solutions.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of comments from Mallik Rao, CTO at Telefónica’s German operation, who confirmed that public cloud platforms are certain to play an increasing role in the day-to-day operations of all telcos - for Telefónica Deutschland, he said, the migration from on-premises IT systems to using the public cloud had already begun and, amongst other things, he believes that the total cost of ownership of BSS applications can be reduced by about 50% through the migration. See yesterday’s - Telefónica Deutschland’s CTO leans towards the public cloud).

Cloud everywhere

Telefónica says it will also use Google Cloud services to boost its own digital capabilities in areas such as machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, and application development.

The pandemic “has highlighted the key role that connectivity and digitalization play in society to create a more inclusive and sustainable future," says José María Álvarez-Pallete, Chairman & CEO Telefónica. "Through our alliance with Google Cloud, we want to fulfil our social commitment and foster the recovery of the economy by helping companies, the public administration and all types of organizations.  

With the future opening of the Google Cloud region in Spain, customers will have the opportunity to use Google Cloud products with low latency and high performance while also having the option to store their applications in local public cloud servers. The region will have three zones to protect against service disruptions, and will launch with the standard set of Google Cloud Platform products, including: Compute Engine, App Engine, Google Kubernetes Engine, Bigtable, Cloud Storage, Spanner, and BigQuery. 

New deal, same objective

In fact the ‘new’ deal between Google and Telefónica is a re-inking - with extra bits added - of a deal they signed almost exactly a year ago (on June 12th, 2019) obviously with a renewal date of today in mind. 

Only the buzz words have changed slightly:  the 2019 announcement referenced an “agreement that will help companies accelerate their transition to the cloud, reduce costs and advance the digital transformation of their businesses.” The edge isn’t explicitly mentioned, although muticloud is. 

That 2019 announcement goes on to reference an even earlier deal signed the year before  (2018) when Telefónica signed up to market Google’s G Suite of collaboration and productivity applications which, it said, would “allow companies to integrate in the cloud everything they need to create a virtual workplace that, when combined with Telefónica's professional communications and telephony services, allows users to work securely from anywhere.” Amazing precience two years before Covid-19 struck. 

What these progressive deals reveal is the sheer range and depth of cloud expertise Google is able to bring to a telco tie-up, and how there’s a clear process of Google steadily “getting to know you and what your requirements are” with its growing list of telco partners. By the same token, Google is in stiff competition with its major rivals - AWS and Microsoft Azure - for telco friends. 

The webscale giant who can bring the broadest and best set of cloud capabilities to the party will be the one that makes the best friends.

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