BT Global Services is the biggest business unit of the six customer facing lines in BT. Over the last year, it has been focusing on the ‘Cloud of Clouds’ technologies, which allow CIOs to freely choose and combine public and private clouds and services & platforms from independent software vendors in any combination. Kevin Taylor, president, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, BT Global Services, spoke to Anup Jayaram on how the Cloud of Clouds is changing the way companies communicate. Excerpts:
The Indian government has initiated many programmes like Smart Cities and Digital India. Do you see BT Global Services integrating with any of these?
We are definitely interested in applying our technologies here, though not so much in Smart Cities. We have lots of technology components—network, industrial Wi-Fi, call centres, security, professional services, cloud computing. These components fit well into the digital strategies of the Indian government. I think India is in a very forward looking environment when it comes to technology. We’re happy to support technology expansion in India.
How is your Cloud of Clouds Strategy panning out?
Cloud of Clouds basically links commercially available clouds like Microsoft Azure, Amazon, Google with companies’ public and private cloud strategies, whether they are data center strategies or industrial strategies provided by third parties in BT. We have our own cloud technologies as well, surrounded by strong security. We are able to provide the right mix of cloud across the globe for our multinational customers, so that they can buy on a price-per-seat basis; essentially the type of cloud services they want.
We launched Cloud of Clouds this year and have close to 700,000 end-users globally working from our cloud platforms. We think telecom-based organisations are superbly fit to run cloud strategies. Our customers can pick and mix the cloud technology they want. An example is our Radianz services, which connects banks and stock exchanges across the world.
How do you see Cloud of Clouds happening in India?
From a regulatory perspective, we are not able to carry voice, but we can carry everything else in terms of data. It will be interesting to see whether there will be Indian technology companies who will join us on Cloud of Clouds; in fact, it will be exciting to have an Indian element in the Cloud of Clouds system. Also, we serve around 7,000 large corporate and public sector customers in more than 170 countries; in effect, we are giving them access to the Indian market.
Do you have any big announcements to make in India?
Looking at the growth of various multinationals, India is growing incredibly. BT will be following customers and will be providing services as it has for many years. It will be interesting to see marketing and logistics sectors develop strongly. We are looking at double-digit growth in Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA). Our business in India is as healthy as any other country in the region.
Will you continue to invest in the country?
We will invest in network, in people and our portfolio. One of the portfolio products I’ve asked in India to drive for AMEA is network services integration strategy (NFSI), where we will be managing companies’ technology on an end-to-end basis.
How has the acquisition of EE helped BT?
To acquire the number one mobile company in the UK is fantastic. We’re bringing together BT, one of UK’s leading IT and communications companies, with EE, UK’s biggest, fastest, super-reliable 4G mobile network. Outside the UK, we already help our global customers manage their fixed and mobile services. By joining forces with EE, we reinforce that capability. Indian and other global customers with operations in the UK will have more services to choose from, over time. We’ll continue to launch new services to transform business communications.
Now that you have acquired EE, do you plan to look for a similar play outside the UK?
I don’t think there is any plan to do that.
What are the challenges that you might face in India?
We are very excited with the regulatory position; that’s good. The focus on getting corruption out of the system is a good approach. Further, ensuring more and more people get access to technology is a challenge India is now addressing, and it will also give us an opportunity to reach out to more people.