Vodafone picks Google Cloud to develop and host its global data platform

In its quest to be a digital operator, Vodafone Group has partnered up with Google Cloud to host its cloud platform for data analytics, business intelligence, and machine learning.

Vodafone’s Neuron big-data analytics platform, which "act as a brain and driver for AI and business intelligence" for Vodafone’s global business, will be hosted on Google Cloud.

Neuron serves as a single "data ocean" of analytic insights to support services and applications such as 5G optimization and smart retail. Neuron is currently being used across 11 countries where it combines data from more than 600 servers.

Vodafone will also rely on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for hybrid infrastructure and containerization and to develop its next-generation business intelligence platform. The container approach will deliver faster insights in a more standardized way, making it easier to compare performance across departments and local markets. 

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Neuron will leverage Google Cloud to improve its operations by making Vodafone’s existing software cloud-compatible, which allows local markets to tap into new platform capabilities without disrupting existing campaigns. 

"The project is complex and multi-faceted," Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said in a blog post. "Vodafone’s existing on-premises group data platform is a shared service consisting of eight clusters with more than 600 servers and is used in 11 countries. The platform relies on legacy Hadoop architecture that lacks the agility or scalability to support demands for analytics and an increasing list of innovation projects.

"To begin, Vodafone will perform a large-scale migration of its global data into our highly secure public cloud. It will also create a custom platform for data performance that lets disparate data from across the organization be aggregated into one data ocean—rather than multiple data lakes—within which analytics and business intelligence can take place."

To simplify the integration, the Neuron platform will also use other Google Cloud services including Dataflow, Dataproc, Cloud Composer, Data Fusion, BigQuery, and Google Kubernetes Engine. 

“We want to lead the industry in capturing the benefits of digital," said Vodafone Group CTO Johan Wibergh, in a statement. "The capabilities that Google Cloud gives us will help accelerate our digital transformation.”