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Even AT&T Can't Fly Solo to the CloudEven AT&T Can't Fly Solo to the Cloud

This week's Tech Mahindra partnership shows that even a Tier 1 behemoth like AT&T needs help moving to the cloud.

Mitch Wagner

September 6, 2019

2 Min Read
Even AT&T Can't Fly Solo to the Cloud

5G requires migrating business processes to the cloud, but even AT&T can't make the migration on its own, leading to a partnership with Tech Mahindra to do the heavy lifting, says Heavy Reading analyst Jennifer Clark.

"They want someone else to take on the headaches," Clark says.

5G is about more than just technology, she says. "The difference with 5G is that all the other Gs were about spectrums and speed and technology, but 5G is changing the way we do business." Telcos migrating to 5G are also moving infrastructure to the edge, embracing the Internet of Things, providing network slicing and other agility enhancements, and all those things require the cloud. "5G is looking more and more like the 'all things move to the cloud' technology."

Clark adds: "Cloud is skipping down the yellow brick road hand in hand with 5G." (Which is either a brilliant figure of speech or deeply disturbing.)

AT&T and Tech Mahindra said Thursday they're collaborating on a sweeping project to move AT&T's back office systems, including OSS/BSS and standard enterprise applications, to the cloud. (See AT&T Hires Tech Mahindra for Cloud Move.)

A big part of that project is moving AT&T's non-network infrastructure to Microsoft Azure, in a deal between AT&T and Microsoft announced in July.

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If a telco with the resources of AT&T feels the need to look to partners to help with the cloud migration, that means every telco should be at least investigating the possibility of doing the same, Clark says.

"The carriers are almost grinding to a standstill at certain points, due to the complexity of trying to create a cloud strategy that encompasses public and private, that is multi-domain, that provides a variety of different network functions from different vendors," she says. "It's extremely time consuming and difficult. And maintaining all that is equally time-consuming and difficult."

And back-office systems, such as those covered by the Tech Mahindra deal, aren't a differentiator for carriers. "The carriers are focusing on the upper layers of the network, user experience, and they should be focused on that," Clark says.

— Mitch Wagner Visit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on TwitterJoin my Facebook GroupRead my blog: Things Mitch Wagner Saw Executive Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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