Malaysian telco conglomerate Axiata Group, via its business-to-business unit Axiata Enterprise, is dramatically deepening its partnership with Google Cloud, striking a deal to roll out the cloud vendor’s services to its telco brands across Asia.
In June 2020, Axiata’s Indonesia-based mobile telco operator XL Axiata deployed Google Cloud to advance digital transformation efforts in the country, rolling out Anthos through specialist partner Techolution to accelerate workload migration to the cloud.
The move also saw XL Axiata on-boarded as a Google Cloud Interconnect Partner, allowing its customers to transfer data between the telecommunication provider’s five data centres and the vendor’s expansive global network.
Now, Axiata Enterprise has inked a new strategic partnership with Google Cloud in an effort to serve the evolving needs of millions of companies in the various rapidly digitalising economies across Asia as a whole.
“Axiata and Google Cloud have a shared vision of helping businesses digitise and grow as they build greater resilience for the long haul,” Axiata Enterprise CEO Gopi Kurup said. “With nations increasingly stepping up on digitalisation for economic recovery and growth, we stand at a critical juncture to support businesses, especially small and medium players in their efforts to adjust and adapt to new digital norms for survival.
“The power of Google Cloud’s advanced technologies combined with Axiata’s market intelligence enables companies to access advanced tools to boost their collaboration and productivity and generate data-based insights to strengthen their evolving customer engagement strategies,” he added.
The partnership will be rolled out in two distinct phases, with the first seeing Axiata’s digital telco brands offering Google Workspace as part of their integrated ICT portfolio and solution bundles to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across the respective brands' customer-bases.
Axiata, which claims a presence in no fewer than 11 countries throughout Asia thanks to its controlling interests in six mobile operators, claims roughly 157 million mobile subscribers across its multinational footprint.
“To resource-strapped SMBs, cloud technology is a game changer that enables them to compete with larger players in the market,” said Ruma Balasubramanian, managing director of Google Cloud in Southeast Asia. “We’re thrilled to partner with Axiata to accelerate the digital transformation of millions of companies in the region, and help them solve their complex business and technology challenges.”
Axiata's Dialog business in Sri Lanka will lead the Google Cloud charge, with implementation scheduled for the second quarter of this year. This will be followed by Celcom in Malaysia, XL Axiata in Indonesia, Robi in Bangladesh, Ncell in Nepal and Smart in Cambodia by the second half of the year.
The second phase of the partnership will see Axiata’s digital telco businesses continue to leverage Google Cloud’s core compute, storage and networking capabilities to modernise their infrastructure and drive their digital transformation initiatives.
XL Axiata is already well on the way to making use of Google Cloud’s offering. The Indonesian telco is planning to move 70 per cent of workloads to the cloud within the next three years, a transition that is expected to see it able to automate, manage and scale workloads across its hybrid- and multi-cloud environments in a secure and consistent manner.
Likewise, Malaysia’s Celcom is leveraging Google Cloud’s infrastructure and solutions to run its payment gateway and advance its modern digital customer journey.
The telco also has plans to use Google Cloud’s artificial intelligence (AI) tools to build personalisation and recommendation models to further enhance customer experience.