Service Provider Cloud

TIM gets Cisco into Noovle

Telecom Italia (TIM) indicated during its recent results announcements that it is placing heightened emphasis on what it calls "beyond connectivity," such as the Internet of Things, the cloud, the smart home and a new smart district program with TIM factories.

TIM's cloud strategy, in the form of 2020 acquisition Noovle, took a step forward this week with the announcement that US behemoth Cisco is joining the fold. Indeed, Cisco, Noovle and TIM have signed a partnership for the development of cloud activities for businesses and public administrations.

Outlook cloudy: TIM is focused on expanding its cloud offering, and this deal will drive its enterprise customer base.(Source: Unsplash)
Outlook cloudy: TIM is focused on expanding its cloud offering, and this deal will drive its enterprise customer base.
(Source: Unsplash)

According to TIM, the collaboration "will make it possible to offer innovative, integrated and end-to-end solutions to large businesses, SMEs and public administrations."

Cloud ambition

When TIM acquired Noovle in May 2020, it was described as a Milan-based ICT consultancy that specializes in cloud services. Notably, it is also one of Google Cloud's main partners in the Italian market, and brought 100 Google Cloud experts onto the TIM payroll.

The Italian operator is now clearly accelerating its bid to grab a slice of the increasingly attractive enterprise cloud market, offering public, private and hybrid cloud services.

TIM also noted that the partnership with Cisco will benefit from its participation in the GAIA-X project — the European Union's cloud-computing "moonshot" project that is seeking to establish common standards for storing and processing data within Europe and thereby reduce the continent's dependence on the likes of Amazon and Microsoft for their cloud needs.

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Certainly, cloud is one of the fastest-growing parts of Telecom Italia, whose total revenues fell 12.1% year-on-year in 2020, to about €15.8 billion (US$19 billion). If all goes to plan, Noovle will generate about €1 billion ($1.2 billion) in annual sales and €400 million ($484 million) in underlying profits by 2024.

Noovle was formally launched in January 2021, with the aim of becoming an "Italian center of excellence for cloud and edge computing." It is ultimately expected to operate a network of 17 data centers distributed across the country — comprising seven existing data centers, four service centers and six data centers that Noovle has been tasked with building for TIM.

As well as Cisco and Google Cloud, Noovle also lists Microsoft Azure as another cloud partner. Other partners include Atos, Citrix, Salesforce, SAP and VMware.

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— Anne Morris, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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