Nokia struck a deal with India-based consulting firm Infosys to combine their offerings into a digital transformation platform targeted at enterprise customers. The vendor also signed $2.3 billion worth of equipment contracts with a trio of Chinese operators.
With the Infosys deal, Nokia is providing its technology, media, and services to the partnership. This includes its work on mobile broadband and IoT networks. Infosys is leveraging its engineering and operations management platforms. The combination will provide access to artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, optimized management, and network connectivity.
Target verticals include transportation, energy, manufacturing, media, entertainment, and education. The initial offering will provide digital asset management for the first three of those verticals.
Nokia explained that the partnership continues the expansion of its focus outside of its traditional telecom space.
John Byrne, service director for global telecom technology and software at GlobalData, said that Nokia has been active in using AI and automation to increase network operation efficiency.
“This is crucial right now given the hyper-competitive market, and particularly as we enter the 5G era,” Byrne noted in an email. “Infosys has established strong credentials in this area so Nokia can effectively jumpstart its AI activities by leveraging Infosys’ substantial investment here.”
Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri late last month said the company was cutting thousands of jobs as part of a major restructuring to reduce nearly $800 million in costs by 2020. Those cuts will be across all of its offices around the globe and that it expects to incur $1.02 billion in costs from the workforce reduction.
During the company’s third quarter earnings call, executives told investors that while it has achieved early success in 5G by securing a number of operator deals, the company will still need to significantly reduce its operating expenses. Nokia plans to do this by adding more automation to its systems, simplifying some of its processes, and significantly reducing its support functions. It also will prioritize its research and development so it stops investing in legacy products.
Infosys recently signed a $700 million IT outsourcing agreement with Verizon. The deal is structured so that Verizon employees that currently handle those jobs will become Infosys employees. Verizon wouldn’t say exactly how many members of its IT team are impacted by the outsourcing deal, but the The Wall Street Journal indicated it was somewhere around 2,500 employees both in the U.S. and overseas.
Verizon indicated that impacted employees will receive comparable, competitive offers, and are expected to transition to Infosys in the fourth quarter 2018.
The $2.3 billion in contracts with Chinese operators could add a bit of sunshine to Nokia’s financial picture. The deals are with that country’s three largest operators: China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom, and run through the end of 2019.
They call for Nokia to provide radio access, core, passive optical networks, IP routing and optical transport, SDN, network management, and professional services to China Mobile.
China Telecom will receive a boost to its current 4G LTE network with radio access equipment, home consumer product equipment, core routers, multi-service edge routers and optics, and professional services. The two will also work to support China Telecom’s 5G plans.
For China Unicom, Nokia will deploy radio access equipment, Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), virtualized IP multi-media subsystem, SDN, IP routing and optical transports, and fixed network equipment. Similar to China Telecom, the equipment will initially target the operator’s 4G LTE network, with further work on enhancing its 5G plans.
Nokia earlier this year scored a one-year, $1.17 billion deal with China Mobile to provide mobile radio access, fixed access, IP routing, and optical transport. Nokia is also providing customer experience management software as well as operational support and services. That deal runs through the end of this year.