BT picks AWS for cloudification

AWS will help BT go ‘cloud-native, microservices-based and fully modular

British Telecom’s (BT’s) Digital unit announced a new digital transformation agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS). The five-year effort will help BT transform legacy infrastructure and internal applications to a new cloud-first architecture designed with modularity and reusability in mind, BT said in a statement. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The effort will help accelerate BT’s plans to build and innovate faster on a new suite of digital products and services and reduce costs in IT maintenance, delivering more value for its Consumer, Enterprise, Global and Openreach customers,” said BT.

BT added that its work digital transformation efforts with AWS will shine a “particular focus on application workloads via containers and serverless technologies.” 

BT said the deal “represents a dramatic simplification from the company’s current IT estate, and is designed to be cloud-native, microservices-based, and fully modular.”

AWS, already a BT business partner in other operations, is the third major hyperscaler to get a piece of BT’s full-scale digital transformation initiative. Last September, BT selected Oracle Communications to help it optimize network resources and bring new 5G offerings to market.

In January, BT selected VMware to offer Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) to its customers as a global managed service. The offering builds on BT and VMware’s existing SD-WAN managed service. The SASE offering is available from a global network of more than 150 points of presence (PoPs) deployed by both businesses.

The British telco also announced in March a five-year deal with Google, leaning on Google Cloud’s data analytics and AI expertise to improve efficiency and customer experience. Google’s Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) team will also partner with BT to help foster essential operational changes as part of what BT calls “The Digital Way.” 

The goal of The Digital Way, said BT, is “to foster a continuous delivery and ‘zero ops’ autonomous operations culture to accelerate product development and continuous innovation.” 

BT Digital spearheads transformation

BT created its Digital group in 2021 with the aim of helping BT “take new ideas faster to market and at scale,” according to BT CEO Philip Jansen.

“This is bigger than just BT; it’s about building partnerships with other leading innovators to expand into new areas and bring the benefits of top-notch digital services to customers, including enhanced converged fixed and mobile services, tools that guard against cyber-attacks, and connected care applications to help families look after elderly or vulnerable loved ones even if they’re geographically remote,” said Jansen, at the time.

BT anticipates its cloudification efforts will yield £2 billion (US$2.48 billion) in gross annualized savings by the end of its fiscal 2024. BT’s cloud migration strategy includes retiring legacy applications and shutting down data centers and other associated physical infrastructure.

BT’s shift to AWS infrastructure will enable BT to operate more efficiently, at lower cost and with greater scalability, said AWS’s Adolpho Hernandez, vice president and general manager, Telecom Global Industry Business Unit.

“BT’s move to cloud-first applications can help reduce IT maintenance costs, streamline operations and help it better adapt to evolving customer needs,” he said.

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