Orange and Google partner on intelligent edge

  • July 29, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson
ORANGE People of Orange, Bordeaux, 18/10/2017 © Nicolas Gouhier

Orange and Google Cloud have partnered to accelerate the transformation of Orange’s IT infrastructure and the development of future cloud services, in particular edge computing.
The agreement reinforces Orange’s commitment, as set out in its Engage 2025 plan, to drive its internal transformation through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and data to improve operational efficiency and the customer experience. The collaboration will also pave the way for the development of cloud, edge computing and cyber-security services that should open up business opportunities for both Google Cloud and Orange.
“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, CEO of Orange. “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 centres, this is the perfect time to work on new services and opportunities in French and European markets.”
Google will provide its know-how in cloud technologies, analytics and AI tools, as well as digital transformation methodology and dedicated resources. Orange will contribute its expertise in information and communication technology services and its multi-national network infrastructure.
The agreement signals a commitment to use AI and data to increase the pace of transformation across Orange’s European footprint, placing data at the heart of the group’s innovation model. To do this, Orange plans to build a data analytics and machine-learning platform with Google technologies. The partnership will also benefit consumers and businesses across Europe by bringing cloud-computing capabilities to the edge of the network, such as in retail, gaming and other industries.
The strategic partnership should strengthen Orange Business Services’ portfolio of offers by bringing value-added analytics and additional cloud services based on Google Cloud, building on Orange’s position as a multi-cloud services provider for its enterprise customers across the globe, and strengthening Orange cyber-defence capabilities.
The partnership will also work on the development of edge computing services as 5G networks are rolled out across Europe and cloud computing increasingly benefits from integration into the network. Edge computing is set to become key in the race to meet consumer and enterprise requirements for low-latency and high-speed services.
Orange and Google Cloud also agree to create an innovation lab and a centre of excellence. The innovation lab will enable industry development based on data and AI within the broader framework of the evolving 5G and edge computing ecosystem. The centre of excellence will provide Google Cloud support for Orange France and other Orange affiliates as they engage in their cloud transformation. The centre will provide training in data, AI and cloud services for several thousand Orange employees.
“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. “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.”