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MTN, Microsoft hasten public cloud projects in South Africa, Nigeria

By , ITWeb
Africa , South Africa , Nigeria , 28 Mar 2023

MTN Group, Microsoft and Accenture are collaborating to accelerate the telco’s digital transformation into the public cloud, with initial focus on MTN’s biggest markets – South Africa and Nigeria.

Part of a five-year strategic partnership, work has already begun with the establishment of Project Nephos to migrate carefully selected, business applications to Azure. 

The core of the programme announced yesterday will focus on migrating MTN’s business support system (BSS) and operations support system (OSS) applications to the Microsoft Azure cloud, with the telco saying it is aiming to realise operational benefits and cost efficiencies.

In a statement, MTN says it will work closely with Microsoft and Accenture, which will be providing technology implementation, integration and support services, to successfully enable the migration and operations of the targeted environments.

One of the key elements of the programme is the migration to Azure of EVA, MTN’s core big data platform.

The telco says: “Beyond infrastructure optimisation, MTN will evolve further its common data model to enable use cases that bridge typical divides across network, IT and commercial domains, taking advantage of native Azure capabilities, including machine learning and artificial intelligence.”

It adds: “Through the partnership with Microsoft, with Project Nephos we have embarked on an extensive skills development programme in cloud technologies, DevSecOps and data management.

“Hundreds of MTN employees in Nigeria and South Africa have already benefitted from the Microsoft Enterprise Skills Initiative (ESI), which provides hands-on technical training and certification in Microsoft Azure technologies; the programme will run across multiple countries where MTN operates to maximise the impact of the partnership.”

Project Nephos, MTN says, is built around selecting the most suitable applications to be migrated to Azure with a fixed migration cost and carefully designed operational costs.

The telco says: “Working together with Microsoft and Accenture, MTN is taking a unique approach to the deployment of workloads to the public cloud, seeking opportunities to improve customer experience and enhance organisational agility while pursuing cost transformation in a predictable and committed way. This approach has already enabled MTN to complete a proof of concept for the world’s first 5G standalone core network solution deployed in Microsoft’s Azure public cloud in just a few weeks.”

Nikos Angelopoulos, MTN Group chief information officer, comments: “Our strategic partnership with Microsoft will enable us to transform the way we deliver products and services to our customers.

“We will bring the power of cloud computing to life, driving development and innovation with speed, flexibility and predictable investments and operations.

“We remain focused on nurturing the digital skills within MTN and in the societies we operate in and building digital platforms to drive digital transformation across Africa and the Middle East.”

Nitesh Singh, communications, media and technology lead for Accenture Africa, says: “Harnessing the power of MTN, Microsoft and Accenture, we will be working closely together to build the next wave of compressed digital transformation across the continent. We see this programme becoming a global standard in the industry for years to come.” 

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