Liberty Global outsources Horizon platform to Infosys in €1.5bn deal

  • Infosys has long been a content delivery platform partner to Liberty Global
  • Now the IT services giant is taking on the development and operations of the network operator’s Horizon entertainment and connectivity platform
  • The five-year deal is worth €1.5bn and will involve the transfer of the Horizon team 
  • Infosys will also be able to license the Horizon platform to service providers outside the Liberty Global portfolio

Liberty Global is outsourcing the development and operation of its Horizon entertainment and connectivity platform to existing partner Infosys in a five-year, €1.5bn deal that will see 400 Liberty Global employees join the Indian IT services giant. 

Horizon is a critical part of Liberty Global’s service delivery strategy: It is the platform via which the network operator’s 10 million TV/video services customers in Belgium, Ireland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the UK and Slovakia, access real-time TV service delivery, on-demand/catch-up services, third party applications (Netflix et al.), games, music and more via a “super aggregation” interface

Since 2020, the Horizon platform has been developed and run by the service provider with support from Infosys, which has helped Liberty Global transition Horizon to a cloud-based platform based on the IT services firm’s Cobalt cloud transformation processes and tools, and now the partnership is being expanded significantly. 

The Bengaluru, India-based company will, once the deal is approved by regulators and agreed with works councils, take over the development and operation of Horizon and enhance the platform with the Infosys Topaz generative AI (GenAI) system.  

Under the terms of the new deal, Liberty Global is licensing its Horizon platform to Infosys, which can then offer to deploy and run the system for service providers outside the Liberty Global group. “This will potentially enable millions of new customers, around the world, to experience next-generation digital entertainment and connectivity services through Horizon for the first time,” and provide both Infosys and Liberty Global with potential new revenue opportunities. Liberty Global, though, will “continue to control product roadmaps and retain all intellectual property for the Horizon entertainment and connectivity platforms,” so it’s not handing everything over to Infosys. 

"Our collaboration with Infosys started a few years ago, and since then we’ve made great progress in jointly establishing our best-in-class entertainment and connectivity platforms,” noted Liberty Global CTO Enrique Rodriguez. “This expansion of our relationship is the right next step to further strengthen the performance of our digital-first entertainment and connectivity solutions [and] scale their reach and impact… as we chart the next round of innovations that we will drive together,” added the CTO. The deal, which could be extended to eight years and a value of €2.3bn, will involve the transfer of 400 technology and network development, security and service delivery staff from Liberty Global to Infosys. The service provider says this move will provide the employees with “global business exposure, scale, and wider career advancement opportunities,” but that’s not often how such situations are seen by the staff who are impacted. The outsourcing deal is expected to help Liberty Global reduce its annual operating costs by €100m. 

“We are excited to bring Infosys Topaz to enable transformative AI-first capabilities to complement the cloud-first digital foundation we have laid for Liberty Global using Infosys Cobalt,” noted Infosys CEO and managing director Salil Parekh. “This will unveil a new chapter in our joint journey of innovation as we reimagine entertainment and the connectivity experience for millions of global consumers. The strength of our global operations will also help the business scale across markets. As we prepare to welcome new talent and teams of innovators to Infosys, we look forward to building on the trust that Liberty Global has in us,” added Parekh. 

Anand Swaminathan, global head of communications, media and technology at Infosys, boasted that the “collaboration with Liberty Global will deliver state-of-the-art, AI-powered entertainment solutions-as-a-service that will bring great flexibility to 10 million Liberty Global customers. We will also offer these platforms as a powerful choice to other telecom clients. We are excited to welcome Liberty Global’s specialist talent to Infosys to deliver on this ambitious program,” he added.

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV