Embracing Horizontal Telecom Platform Innovation

Telco cloud transformation: unlocking opportunities, driving excellence and delivering superior digital experiences.

This blog post was co-authored by Leon Taiman and Harish Kosaraju.

The pressure on communications service providers (CSPs) to adapt to changing technologies, consumer demands and competitive landscapes is immense. Gone are the days when offering basic connectivity services was enough. Today’s consumers expect more—they want personalized digital experiences and innovative solutions tailored to their needs. This shift has forced CSPs to rethink their approach and embrace new technologies to stay competitive. At the heart of this transformation is the shift from being traditional telecom providers to becoming technology companies.

Cloud Transformation Journey in Communications Service Providers

Cloud transformation is at the core of this evolution and is on track to replace today’s silos with a single horizontal telecom multicloud platform: a more flexible, open and scalable cloud-native architecture. But this journey isn’t without its challenges. From migrating legacy applications to ensuring security and automating processes, there’s a lot to consider.

Addressing Cloud Transformation Challenges

A CSP faces several challenges when shifting to a cloud-native setup. The journey often begins by replacing large network elements with CNFs (cloud-native network functions), but there are additional hurdles, including:

    • Migration of applications. Many telecom applications aren’t initially built for the cloud. They need to be redesigned or recreated and managed during deployments and lifecycle management to adopt a cloud-native architecture before moving to the new environment.
    • Security. In recent experience, we’ve noticed that CNFs, in their default setup, tend to have a quite relaxed posture when it comes to dealing with cluster security-relevant aspects like roles, cluster roles, privileged access, cluster node level access and similar functionalities.
    • Automation and orchestration. Effective automation and orchestration are vital for seamless cloud-native transformation. By adopting robust frameworks for provisioning, scaling and resource management, CSPs overcome integration complexities and ensure governance. This empowers them to enhance operational efficiency, agility and innovation.
    • DevOps and LCM (lifecycle management) of CNF (cloud-native network functions)/VNF (virtual network functions). Challenges include seamless updates, rigorous certification testing and smooth application onboarding. These complexities impact operational efficiency, service continuity and innovation for CSPs.

CSPs can thrive in the digital age by adopting Dell Technologies strategy for a top-down digital transformation, modernizing infrastructure and automating processes. Dell partners with CSPs through a holistic approach and advises them to start with a network segment, comprehensively modernizing it and automating its operations. Decisions made in early phases impact long-term success, and cross-functional stakeholder alignment is key. The focus should be on developing a strategy to achieve desired future outcomes, not the existing legacy environment. We work with customers to align on business needs and design a plan with actionable steps to meet them. This approach ensures a tailored cloud transformation roadmap, demonstrating feasibility and supporting the transformation financially.

Dell’s Role in Building a Seamless Horizontal Telco Cloud Platform

As a trusted partner, Dell Technologies enables CSPs to transition smoothly toward a horizontal telco cloud platform. Through our collaborative approach and deep expertise in telecom infrastructure and cloud transformation, we offer tailored solutions to address the unique challenges faced by each operator. Our focus on flexibility and innovation within an open telecom ecosystem (OTEL) empowers CSPs to accelerate their cloud platform deployment, reduce risk and optimize operational efficiency. With pre-integrated and validated solutions, volume capacity to quickly configure in our factories and the reach to implement on a global scale, we facilitate the shift in CSPs’ operating models, driving towards a future-ready and agile telecom infrastructure.

Whether CSPs are adding new technology, consolidating existing systems or building a greenfield environment, Dell absorbs complexities and streamlines successful deployments. We ensure transformation projects are effectively planned, tested, configured and integrated from the beginning—and supported for the future so CSPs can focus on business innovation and drive rapid adoption of digital technologies.

Together, we can unlock new opportunities, drive operational excellence and deliver superior experiences for customers in the digital age.

Keen to delve deeper and explore our solution further? Contact us for more details and insights.

VIkas Kumar

About the Author: Vikas Kumar

Vikas Kumar is currently a Principal Solutions Architect within the Dell Telecom Services and Business (TSB) team, specializing in Core and Next Generation Operations (AI/ML/Orchestration). He brings over two decades of experience as a Cloud Technologies Professional, including technical development and pre-sales work for Orchestrations, Automation, Virtualization, and the development of NMS and EMS systems, for which he holds patents. Vikas also has significant experience with Ciena (Blue Planet), where he worked on Network, Orchestration and Service Management software for telecommunications providers. Vikas is passionate about leveraging his expertise to deliver successful customer solutions and drive business outcomes. He has worked globally with customers to deliver projects in Multidomain Service Orchestration using TMF OpenAPIs and Closed Loop Automation, as well as Cloud Networks such as NFV and SDN. Vikas lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife and son, and enjoys traveling and trying new foods. In his free time, he likes to play tennis and basketball with his son.