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    Airtel and Amazon Web Services ink pact to build cloud expertise

    Synopsis

    Both companies will make joint investments to build cloud expertise and train hundreds of employees to sell services to corporates and SMEs, Harmeen Mehta, chief information officer at Bharti Airtel said.

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    The Airtel-AWS pairing will be pitted against the Reliance Jio Infocomm-Microsoft combine as they compete for a share of the surging public cloud market in the country, which is expected to touch $8 billion by 2023, as per Boston Consulting Group.
    NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel has signed a multi-year pact with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to offer a comprehensive set of cloud solutions, with a special focus on small and medium enterprise (SME) customers in India and on data security.

    Both companies will make joint investments to build cloud expertise and train hundreds of employees to sell services to corporates and SMEs, Harmeen Mehta, chief information officer at Bharti Airtel, said on Wednesday.

    “300 people are already AWS certified and the next round of training is starting,” she said.

    Along with SMEs, which is a big focus area for both companies, Airtel said it is focusing on ensuring security for its enterprise and retail customers. “It is an area where we are focusing on immensely since there is a big rise in phishing attacks on customers. While it is easier to manage this in the enterprise, a lot of this is happening for our regular users who face these issues via SMS, personal email and even WhatsApp,” Mehta said.

    ET reported about the impending tie-up between Airtel and AWS in its August 5 edition.

    The Airtel-AWS pairing will be pitted against the Reliance Jio Infocomm-Microsoft combine as they compete for a share of the surging public cloud market in the country, which is expected to touch $8 billion by 2023, as per Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

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    Mehta said India is seeing a lot of acceleration in terms of cloud adoption especially after the lockdown in the country.

    “As we went to the lockdown situation, companies on cloud found it easy to keep operations running, which is one of the reasons why many organisations are thinking deeper than before how do they want to run businesses… cloud is biggest enabler… they are going to invest in this. There has never been a better time to rethink policies about this even though they are tighter on spend,” Mehta added. Airtel said that it will co-create cloud solutions and services for various verticals and industries.

    The telco already serves over 2,500 large enterprises and more than a million emerging businesses and companies with an integrated product portfolio, including Airtel Cloud, a multi-cloud product, and solutions business.

    “For new customers, we at AWS have a large team and will be focusing on solving industry-specific problems,” Puneet Chandok, president-commercial business, India and South Asia, at Amazon Internet Services, said in a statement.

    Airtel Cloud will build an AWS Cloud Practice supported by AWS Professional Services, as well as develop differentiated Airtel Cloud products and capabilities, leveraging AWS services, Airtel’s data centre capabilities, and Airtel’s network and telecoms offerings.

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