Nokia signs five-year deal to migrate to Google Cloud
Neither company has been willing to disclose the financial terms of the deal, but Reuters has reported that the migration will take between 18 months and two years.
The deal has been heralded as a huge win for the US tech firm. In an interview with Bloomberg News, Nokia’s VP of global IT infrastructure, Ravi Parmasad, revealed that the Finnish communications firm currently operates and rents space in numerous colocation facilities in roughly a dozen countries. “Every few years you have to go and invest in all of this hardware, so we get to break that cycle,” he said.
Now, the next phase of Nokia’s digital transformation journey will see it migrate its operations entirely to the Google Cloud, as part of Google’s infrastructure-as-a-service portfolio of compute, networking, and storage solutions.
In a statement, Parmasad added that, “Nokia is on a digital transformation path that is about fundamentally changing how we operate and do business. This is crucial for how our employees collaborate so that we continue to raise the bar on meeting the needs of our customers… Given Nokia’s digital ambitions and plans, this is an ideal time for Nokia to be taking this step with Google Cloud to accelerate our efforts; and doing all of this in a secure and scalable way.”
Nokia has said it expects the migration to deliver serious efficiencies and cost reductions over the next few years. The migration strategy was reportedly worked out over the last few months and has been highly customised to Nokia’s unique cloud computing needs.
The efficiencies and flexibility granted by a cloud-first IT infrastructure could be invaluable to Nokia, as the company continues to battle it out with Huawei and Ericsson for dominance in the 5G infrastructure market. The company recently released a report estimating that 5G will add $8trn in value to the global economy by 2030, which would represent a staggering 7% of global GDP. The figure has raised a few eyebrows from critics, who describe this type of prediction as either “political or promotional”.
Regardless of the specific dollar amount ascribed to 5G’s impact on the world’s economy, the technology will undoubtedly have a substantial effect. Nokia’s report found that, while only 14.9% of the companies it surveyed are currently investing in 5G technology, a staggering 56.8% more are planning to invest before 2025.
What’s next for a post-smartphone LG?
South Korean mega-conglomerate LG made its dramatic exit from the smartphone business at the beginning of April 2021. While the company’s weird, wacky, and kind of wonderful smartphone designs never managed to create the kind of commercial success the company was clearly after, LG’s exit from the business raises one important question: What’s next?
As a brand, LG is thoroughly baked into the fabric of Korean life. The company’s home electronics and white goods are popular overseas, but its presence in Korea is on a whole other level of ubiquitous. Every air conditioner in my 20 storey apartment building is made by LG. The corporation owns one South Korea’s three major telecom carriers, and a subsidiary of LG’s Chem division, LG Energy, is having enough success making car batteries for everyone from Tesla and General Motors to Renault that it filed for what promises to be one of the year’s biggest IPOs this week. My toothpaste is made by LG.
People who worry about LG’s exit from the smartphone business clearly don’t understand just how big this company is. All the closure of its mobile device business means is that this titanic organisation is funneling wasted resources into something more profitable.
When it announced the closure of its smartphone business in April, despite ongoing concerns about what to do with its overseas factory assets, LG said that the staff working in its mobile business would be rotated away to other areas. So, where have they gone, and what are they doing now?
Is LG’s Smartphone Division Getting Reimagined as a Software Company?
There’s a good chance that a number of LG’s smartphone division’s employees have wound up in the company’s software development arm. On Thursday, LG unveiled a new mobile app designed to improve pedestrian safety (if you had to dodge delivery drivers watching netflix on their phones while driving at 30 miles per hour down the pavement on your way to shops everyday, you’d agree with me that this is a welcome piece of news in its own right) which is just the latest development in a flurry of app-based activity at the firm.
Last week, LG also announced that FOSSLight (Free and Open Source Software Light) system, its open source software management tool, will be made available free of charge to third party developers. TechRadar also reported that, according to several LG analysts, the company is looking to “bolster its presence in the software community.”
The new pedestrian safety app, called Soft V2X, is deployed in vehicles, and can warn drivers of potential collision risks between them and nearby pedestrians by relying on ultra-fast data exchange between the app, the vehicle, and surrounding devices. Basically, if the app detects it’s getting really close to a pedestrian’s smartphone really, really fast, then it will intervene with an alert. Presumably it can pause Season One of Bridgerton to offer a polite warning to look at the road.