Vodafone and Google Cloud expand big data platform collaboration with new six-year deal

by Joseph K. Clark

Vodafone and Google Cloud have signed a six-year strategic partnership to expand their existing efforts to create a distributed, big data platform to underpin the telco giant’s ongoing digital transformation efforts. The deal will see the pair work to bring additional functionality to the forum, known as Nucleus. It will result in Vodafone migrating its SAP environments and other assorted business intelligence workloads to the Google Cloud.


The two firms have also sketched out how their continued collaboration will enable Vodafone to create a digital twin of its internal support functions by drawing on Google Cloud’s artificial intelligence and data analytics tools to aid efforts to predict demand for Vodafone services will affect its operations over time. The pair claim this work marks a “significant expansion” of their existing partnership, which has been in place since late 2019 and will see them bolster the data processing capabilities of Nucleus so that Vodafone can provide customers in multiple markets with more personalized services and products.

These enhanced data processing capabilities will be provided through a new system incorporated into the Nucleus known as Dynamo, which will reportedly ensure the platform can process around 50 terabytes of data per day. “Vodafone has already identified more than 700 use-cases [for the platform] to deliver new products and services quickly across Vodafone’s markets, support fact-based decision-making, reduce costs, and remove data source duplication, and simplify and centralize operations,” the pair said in a statement.

Google Cloud

“The speed and ease with which Vodafone’s operating companies in multiple countries can access its data analytics, intelligence, and machine-learning capabilities will also be vastly improved,” Vodafone said it also anticipates the technology tie-up between the two firms will enable it to increase the availability of intelligent network services from eight markets to every single territory the company operates in. The company also predicts these enhancements will bolster opportunities for its services to be used in developing environmental and health-related research in 11 countries.

“Vodafone is already assisting governments and aid organizations, upon their request, with secure, anonymized, and aggregated movement data to tackle Covid-19,” said Vodafone in a statement. “This partnership will further improve Vodafone’s ability to provide deeper insights, by local laws and regulations, into the spread of disease through intelligent analytics across a wider geographical area.”

Vodafone chief technology officer Johan Wibergh said the firm’s collaboration with Google Cloud would ensure its “digital future” is built on a “powerful foundation”. “We have vast amounts of data which, when securely processed and made available across our footprint using the collective power of Vodafone and Google Cloud’s engineering expertise, will transform our services to our customers and governments and the societies where they live and serve,” he said.

Thomas Kurian, CEO at Google Cloud, said the body of work Vodafone is embarking on is designed to address challenges many other telcos are seeking to address right now as well. “Telecommunications firms are increasingly differentiating their customer experiences through data and analytics, which has never been more important than during the current pandemic,” said Kurian. “We are thrilled to be selected as Vodafone’s global strategic cloud partner for analytics and SAP and to co-innovate on new products that will accelerate the industry’s digital transformation.”

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