PARIS, July 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Orange and Google Cloud today announced a strategic partnership 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 innovative and widespread use of artificial intelligence (AI) and data in order to improve operational efficiency and the customer experience. The collaboration will also pave the way for the development of new advanced cloud, edge computing and cybersecurity services that will open up business opportunities for both Google Cloud and Orange.
Google Cloud and Orange will closely collaborate to ensure the partnership’s success. Google will provide its know-how in cutting-edge cloud technologies, world-class analytics and AI tools, as well as proven digital transformation methodology and dedicated resources. Orange will contribute its deep expertise in information and communication technology services and its multi-national network infrastructure.
The agreement signals a firm 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 next-generation data analytics and machine-learning platform with Google technologies. The partnership will also benefit consumers and businesses across Europe by bringing powerful cloud-computing capabilities to the edge of the network, such as in retail, gaming, and other industries.
The strategic partnership will also strengthen Orange Business Services’ portfolio of offers by bringing value-added analytics and additional cloud services based on Google Cloud solutions, building on Orange’s position as a multi-cloud services provider for its enterprise customers across the globe, and strengthening Orange Cyberdefense’s leading capabilities. With this agreement, Google Cloud further reinforces its presence in Europe as a significant player in the cloud sector providing advanced technologies and services across all major industries, including businesses both small and large.
Driving the next generation of cloud services
The partnership will also work on the development of future 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 new consumer and enterprise requirements for low-latency and high-speed services. The cooperation will combine the strengths of Google Cloud and Orange to provide flexible, secure and cutting-edge solutions for the B2B, Wholesale and B2C markets. It will contribute to the enhanced connectivity offerings that Orange provides to its wholesale, B2B and retail customers.
Orange and Google Cloud also agree 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.
Commenting on the partnership, Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange, said: “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. 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 datacenters, this is the perfect time to work on new services and opportunities in French and European markets.”
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said:
“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. 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.”
Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 42 billion euros in 2019 and 145,000 employees worldwide at 31 March 2020, including 85,000 employees in France. The Group has a total customer base of 253 million customers worldwide at 31 March 2020, including 208 million mobile customers and 21 million fixed broadband customers. The Group is present in 26 countries. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. In December 2019, the Group presented its new “Engage 2025” strategic plan, which, guided by social and environmental accountability, aims to reinvent its operator model. While accelerating in growth areas and placing data and AI at the heart of its innovation model, the Group will be an attractive and responsible employer, adapted to emerging professions.