Telenor turns to Cisco to expand customer cybersecurity services
- Cisco and Telenor partner to develop cybersecurity and other services tailored for global enterprises
- The pair also plan to jointly close the digital gap
- Trials of new solutions are planned in various parts of Telenor’s portfolio
- The cybersecurity market is growing quickly and will potentially provide opportunities for telcos
Cisco and Telenor Group have agreed to partner on a number of opportunities by developing solutions for increased cybersecurity and digital transformation of global businesses.
In a joint statement, the two companies unveiled a goal to “enhance Telenor’s services beyond connectivity for business customers” by tailoring more “cybersecure, scalable and flexible ‘as-a-service’ solutions” to address customers’ needs. For the purpose, the pair is conducting an initial pilot in Telenor’s domestic market, Norway, where a new offering will be developed to support its “advanced customer base”. The findings will then be applied to Telenor’s global operations in addition to new markets. Cisco and Telenor said that they seek to provide “a more cybersecure and cyber-aware global blueprint.”
As part of this partnership, Telenor will also join Cisco’s accelerator programme so that its customer-facing security team adopts Cisco’s products and there is closer collaboration between the two companies.
They will also work on projects such as creating collaboration and security solutions targeting users who work from anywhere in the world. Tests in this field will be conducted to find new ways for such offerings to “enable the future of seamless, remote work.”
The tie-up will also focus on automating Telenor’s internal security operations so that the operator can respond faster to threats.
In addition, Cisco will provide technology and tools to help Telenor’s “hybrid multicloud strategy across multiple vendors and environments”, with main goals highlighted being enhancements in workload orchestration, automation and performance, in addition to “in-depth visibility, threat intelligence and protection”.
Furthermore, Cisco and Telenor will attempt to bridge the digital divide through pilot projects that will use Cisco’s Networking Academy (NetAcad) and Telenor’s sustainability programmes and local presence. These plans will see the two companies collaborating on youth empowerment, digital skills and safe connectivity. Pilots are expected in Bangladesh and Thailand.
The partnership appears to be a natural move for the pair
“Both Telenor and Cisco’s core business is about connecting people,” commented Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke (second from left in the picture above). He further argued that the two companies have “a unique opportunity” to join forces and “champion cyber security, digital capabilities and advanced skills.”
Brekke also claimed the tie-up will help its efforts to bring more value to customers “through new services beyond connectivity, for example with new models that addresses business customer’s security needs.”
Cisco Chair and CEO, Chuck Robbins (pictured, third from left), said that the project’s planned aim is to create “a more inclusive future that connects everyone”. He added that projects like this can “inspire people to make a positive impact in their communities and close the digital divide.”
Cisco and Telenor’s new partnership, which is the fourth iteration of a joint purpose agreement (JPA) between the two, will be overseen by a committee led by Ruza Sabanovic who is Telenor’s EVP and CTO (pictured, first from left), and Jonathan Davidson, Cisco EVP and General Manager of Mass-Scale Infrastructure (pictured, last from left).
The combined efforts between Telenor and Cisco, especially on cybersecurity services for enterprises, are far from surprising in times when an increasing number of telco players and digital service providers (DSPs) look to address needs of businesses for digitisation and, therefore, secure their online operations. Research company Gartner estimated the cybersecurity market is growing by at least 10 per cent annually, with its value in 2021 estimated at whopping US$150 billion. (See Telcos and DSPs worldwide sharpen their focus on enterprise cybersecurity.)
There is, potentially, a lot to gain in this field but as lucrative as it seems, it also presents a big challenge to beat the competition – one that is filled with giant IT companies and an increasing number of smaller but very specialised firms. Hopefully, enterprises don’t take a rain check on telcos’ offerings.
- Yanitsa Boyadzhieva, Deputy Editor, TelecomTV
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