Google Cloud has struck up a strategic partnership with Orange to help the telco build its IT infrastructure, edge compute and cloud services. Orange is looking to tap into Google Cloud's artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities to speed up its digital transformation across its European footprint.
With Tuesday's Orange announcement, Google Cloud is building on a previous partnership announcement in June with Spain's Telefónica as well as an announcement with AT&T in March for 5G edge compute use cases for enterprises.
With edge computing, businesses can use cellular data to improve their operations while dynamically routing application-specific services to where they are being used. By bringing Google Cloud's compute and capabilities to the edge, service providers like Orange can move infrastructure from centralized locations to the edges, and run applications closer to end users, which lowers latency and optimizes operations.
When competing against Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud highlights its ability to put AI and ML into its core offerings. Orange plans to build its next-generation data analytics and machine learning platform using Google's technologies.
For its part, Orange is bringing its expertise across information and communication technology services and its multi-national network infrastructure to the partnership.
“The strength of Orange’s network, combined with Google Cloud’s platform, will help pave the way for new advanced cloud and edge computing services for the telecommunications industry in Europe," said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, in a statement. "We look forward to working together with Orange to bring new services and applications to customers and businesses alike, while also continuing to grow our support for European enterprises in their digital transformation journeys.”
The partnership will also add heft to Orange Business Service by adding more analytics and cloud services to its portfolio as well as strengthening its cyberdefense capabilities.
Orange and Google Cloud also agreed to jointly create an Innovation Lab and a Center of Excellence that will both foster innovation and growth. The Innovation Lab will enable new industry solution development based on data and AI within the broader framework of the evolving 5G / edge computing ecosystem.
The Center of Excellence will provide Google Cloud support for Orange France and other Orange affiliates as they engage in their cloud transformation. The center will provide training in data, AI and cloud services for several thousand Orange employees.
“Orange is a pioneer of digital transformation and is pleased to partner with Google to accelerate its data and AI transformation and continue towards a better service for its customers," said Stéphane Richard, chairman and CEO of Orange, in a statement. "Google has been a long term partner of Orange and, as Google is eager to invest in Europe —and especially in France—to develop new data centers, this is the perfect time to work on new services and opportunities in French and European markets.”