IBM And Red Hat To Partner
Bharti Airtel has selected...
IBM’s massive $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat closed a few weeks ago, the two companies are now announcing their plans.
Bharti Airtel has selected IBM and Red Hat to build its new telco network cloud, designed to make it more efficient, flexible and future-ready to support core operations and enable new digital services. Under the agreement, Airtel will build its next-generation core network, analytical tools and new consumer and enterprise services on top of this cloud platform based on open standards.
With the new network cloud, Airtel intends to deliver a better customer experience through enhanced network performance, improved availability, operations automation and scaling the network to the edge. This is designed to reduce latency and improve bandwidth availability and automation, thereby strengthening the overall quality of the network.
India's data consumption is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 70 per cent by 2022. Adopting a modern hybrid cloud architecture enables communication service providers to deliver more responsive networks that tap into automation and AI to address growing customer needs and deploy new services at the right location and network tier.
Using IBM and Red Hat's portfolio of hybrid cloud and cognitive enterprise capabilities, Airtel plans to adopt an open cloud architecture that uses Red Hat OpenStack Platform for all network workloads and Red Hat OpenShift for newer containerized workloads. It will also tap into Red Hat's ecosystem of network OEMs. In the future, Airtel's open hybrid cloud platform is expected to help enable new revenue streams with the on-boarding of third-party services including gaming, remote media production and enterprise services. By embracing IBM and Red Hat's hybrid cloud technology all the way to the network edge, Airtel aims to achieve improvement in time-to-market of services, reduction in operating expenses and reduced capital expenses.
The network cloud will also position ecosystem partners, including B2B and B2C application developers, to create value-added services, including new edge offerings. The multi-cloud platform and end-to-end intent-based lifecycle management will help onboard these services faster on the network cloud and seamlessly integrate these services with current fulfilment, assurance and billing processes. The network cloud is embedded with AI, designed to facilitate automation in onboarding and improve monitoring and predictive capabilities for different services from network equipment providers.
"As part of our endeavour to build a 5G ready network for India's requirements, we are pleased to collaborate with IBM and Red Hat in our cloud journey," said Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel. "Our goal with this powerful, seamless horizontal approach is to make our network future-ready and enable Airtel to efficiently serve the massive surge in data consumption. The hybrid cloud architecture will resonate with our customer-obsession by providing improved flexibility, network stability and performance and bringing agility and automation in our network operations."
"Through its collaboration with IBM and Red Hat, Airtel will be building a modern, innovative and more responsive network infused with automation and AI, that will provide the consistency and agility needed for today's rapidly changing marketplace," said Steve Canepa, Global Managing Director, Communications Sector and Worldwide Head of Telecommunications, Media and Entertainment Industry, IBM. "IBM is a valued collaborator to many of the world's largest and most innovative communications service providers like Airtel as they transform their networks into open and secure hybrid multi-cloud platforms and prepare for the 5G and edge computing era."
"Red Hat is providing innovative open source solutions to help Airtel improve flexibility and reduce development time, so they can stay competitive in the rapidly evolving telecommunications market," said Darrell Jordan-Smith, global vice president, vertical industries and accounts, Red Hat. "By adopting a more agile approach to network operations based on Red Hat's open hybrid cloud technologies, Airtel is building a future-ready platform to meet the evolving needs of its customers."
SOURCE: IT News Online.
The Talent War for Skilled Tech Workers
Post-pandemic, our biggest problem might be a lack of skilled tech talent. As companies move forward with their digital transformation plans, they aim to hire new staff and train their current employees. Out of 750 UK companies polled in a Studio Graphene digital report, 45% plan to hire new tech staff in the next 12 months and more than half (53%) intend to invest in training for their current workers.
Companies are realising that their survival now depends on a limited pool of qualified technology workers. Among the hardest-hit economies are those in Brazil, Indonesia, and Japan, but even the United States and the UK will experience the squeeze. “It’s pure supply and demand”, said Alan Guarino, a Korn Ferry vice-chairman. “Companies are paying more...but there’s still a shortage of high-skilled workers. Technology is the thread that runs across every aspect of business”.
Which Jobs Are In Demand?
According to a 2021 IT salary report by Robert Half Technology, the most in-demand tech jobs of the year include information security professionals, cloud architects, database administrators, systems analysts, and DevOps engineers, among others. But in those fields, it’s difficult to find hires with significant experience, multiple specialisations, and a high level of expertise. And multinationals such as Google, Apple, and IBM usually scoop them up.
Regardless of the exact role, companies need workers who can implement advanced security systems, target cloud and network vulnerabilities, document risk points and failures, and abide by new industry tech regulations. This will likely mean that companies start to take certifications like the ones pioneered by Google and Amazon, instead of insisting on four-year undergraduate degrees.
But even as coding boot camps and year-long certification programmes have ramped up to try to close the gap, smaller tech firms and startups struggle to compete with their bigger counterparts. Remote work doesn’t help matters. “Hire-from-anywhere policies will only heat up a tight candidate market”, said Ryan Sutton, a district president of technology staffing services at Robert Half. “Companies who were already having a hard time recruiting are no longer just working against local competitors, but potentially desirable companies across the country”.
How Can CIOs Solve the Crisis?
As governments try to do their part—Poland offers residency and potential citizenship to skilled tech workers, India offers broad IT, telecommunications, and cybersecurity programmes, and the Netherlands lets its foreign employees earn 30% tax-free income—company executives must take measures of their own.
Some CIOs have started looking to other countries to source expert talent. In the United States, where 80% of U.S. employers state that tech recruiting is a significant challenge, some firms are looking to Mexico, where 20% of college graduates have engineering degrees. As a result, tech companies such as Cisco and Intel have sourced labour from both the U.S. and Mexico.
To compete, here are some first steps:
- Invest in cybersecurity and cloud development training programmes
- Hire based on skills and expertise, not necessarily degrees
- Outsource to other countries with high percentages of skilled engineers and programmers
Overall, companies that broaden their search for talent and upskill their current employees will be best equipped for digital transformation. As Ritam Gandhi, founder and director of Studio Graphene, said: “Our research shows that, on the whole, UK businesses have adopted a long-term mindset [towards] technology and innovation”.