Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) has delivered the first major production milestone for core network functions on its open universal hybrid cloud, powered by IBM and Red Hat. The platform now enables IT and network applications to run on a common cloud architecture – designed to deliver breakthrough return on investment (RoI) improvements through optimisation of capex, opex, skills and automation investments across both the network and IT application domains.

The open universal hybrid cloud is a hybrid cloud platform that is based on open technology and open standards from IBM and Red Hat. It enables Vodafone Idea to better serve nearly 300 million subscribers by simplifying and transforming its IT and telecom network operations. The new platform is deployed across many distributed Vodafone Idea cloud microsites across India, as well as its central IT operations which are also run by IBM.

This platform enables radical automation through standardisation. A wide range of capabilities from IBM and Red Hat, including Watson AI and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, will strengthen Vodafone Idea’s capability in network and IT planning. New network cloud microsites and IT capacity will now be able to be provisioned in an agile way, enabling faster deployments and cost efficiency. This platform enables new distributed edge compute capabilities that can seamlessly blend network and IT functions. IBM and Vodafone Idea’s breakthrough secured hybrid cloud is also built for business and the provisioning of highly differentiated business to business (B2B) services to the India market. Vodafone Idea and IBM plan to work together as Vodafone Idea brings additional B2B services to market, like blockchain based solutions, in key industry verticals such as retail and financial services.

Commenting on the development, Vishant Vora, chief technical officer (CTO), VIL, said, “Through our collaboration with IBM and Red Hat, we are adopting open standards and leading with highly automated, machine learning based hybrid cloud solutions to create India’s first open universal hybrid cloud that supports our most mission-critical operations across network and IT systems, and B2B enterprise customer offerings. This is part of our transformation journey to set up a robust, future ready network.”

Further, Steve Canepa, global managing director and worldwide head of telecommunications, media  and entertainment industry, IBM, said, “As major communication service providers like Vodafone Idea continue to modernise, they are turning to IBM as their strategic partner to build, deploy and manage their networks as an open cloud platform with telco-grade security. By selecting IBM and Red Hat, Vodafone Idea will benefit from our commitment to open architecture, our scale investments in   automation and AI capabilities, and our proven industry expertise.”

Meanwhile, Ashesh Badani, senior vice president, cloud platforms, Red Hat, “We are pleased that Vodafone Idea continues to build on Red Hat as one of the core technologies to deliver its open universal hybrid cloud. By accelerating automation of the network and serving as a key enabler of converging its network and IT domains with a common architecture, Red Hat is helping Vodafone Idea to bring the platform to a broad range of customers, including small to medium-sized enterprises and start-ups.”