Digital Transformation

Telcos | Moving from Traditional to Thriving


It’s no secret that COVID-19 had a major impact on the technology industry, especially in the telco arena. Telcos are making important pivots to react to challenges and embrace opportunities, including taking more steps to diversify their portfolio, working to address growing volumes and shrinking revenues, and implementing changes to meet the demand for better customer service.

At the last CloudBlue Velocity Roundtable in September, top executives from telco companies across EMEA, including Everynet, MTN and Orange, came together to discuss the current state of the industry and how they envision the future.

One of the highlights was when our special guest, Jose Maria Cuellar, Global Cloud product director at Telefónica, provided keen insight on his four top takeaways from the pandemic and recent industry trends:

1. COVID-19 has accelerated digital consumption

The spread of COVID-19 has caused a shift in the culture for many businesses worldwide, creating environments where the adoption and consumption of digital services became a priority—in record time.

When COVID began disrupting the normal, in-house operations of companies, those that were prepared for digital transformation were able to survive and thrive. Jose Maria noted that Telefónica is driving  more sales through digital channels every year, and the trend has continued through the pandemic. The company is moving forward with cloud adoption, including IaaS, as he stated in a recent Innovadores article:

“We are still on the way of migration to the layered cloud like IaaS. According to Gartner, cloud penetration over total IT spending is 17% or 18%. A year or two ago, it was 15% or 16%.”
Jose Maria Cuellar, Global Cloud Product Director, Telefónica

2. Telcos need to stay ready for change

The last few months of the pandemic have highlighted the importance of creating an agile business that can adapt quickly. For Telefónica, the transition went smoothly, apart from the need to move some employees from desktops to laptops.

After observing that the new environment has caused a rapid increase in demand for remote solutions, Jose Maria highlighted the opportunity for telcos to deploy relevant technologies in this area and others created by the current environment and advancements in technology.

“Telcos in every sector must quickly adopt digital transformation or risk being left behind.”
Jose Maria Cuellar, Global Cloud Product Director, Telefónica

3. Telco transformation is in play across the world   

Whether telcos see themselves as hyperscale players in the future as an infrastructure source may largely depend on where they’re located. While infrastructure is an asset, in some regions it has not yet been commercialized or used very heavily to create revenue in the B2B space. As many things have moved to hyperscale, it’s important to look at what kind of role infrastructure will play in this scenario.

Telcos should either combine assets they already have and commercialize them, go deep into hyperscale or look to partner with others if there is not enough capacity for managed services.

4. More opportunities for telcos are ahead  

In the past, telcos wanted to host traditional offerings. Then, the data center became a less relevant part of the strategy. Now, 5G, edge computing and leveraging data center infrastructure are creating new opportunities for telcos.

“Edge computing is an opportunity to consume the network data, but also for telcos to become major cloud software providers and enablers.”
Jose Maria Cuellar, Global Cloud Product Director, Telefónica

He explained how many data centers are growing in local importance due to GDPR and local regulations, and that some telcos have benefited from finding new uses for very large data center infrastructure.

Sharpen your competitive edge with CloudBlue

Along with an increase in the consumption of digital services, cloud ecosystems and customer solutions are becoming more complex, with multiple components and players. It’s important that your business can manage the delivery of solutions that include services from multiple suppliers in a single experience. CloudBlue’s technology can help you seamlessly orchestrate solution delivery through an end-to-end system—now and in the future.

By taking a smart approach and becoming well prepared for ever-increasing complexity, your company can win. And CloudBlue can help you get there. Start by viewing a webinar to explore how you can overcome industry challenges and elevate your success by following a unified, multichannel distribution approach. If you have any questions, contact us at

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