After the start of the business relationship with NEC in 2009, Telefonica relies again on NEC and its Cloud Brokerage technology to offer all kinds of applications and services for SME market. Telefonica counts on NEC for all aspects of the service, such as deployment, management, operation, and support, becoming a key partner of Telefonica in regards to provide comprehensive digital solutions for the best connectivity in accompanying the digital transformation of small and medium enterprises.
In 2009, Telefonica Business Solutions, the leading Spanish company in B2B communication solutions, started looking for and trying to create new value-added service business model to boost revenue and profitability. They detected a need among small and medium enterprises, SMEs were not able to get IT solutions adapted to their needs without requiring a big investment. With a small initial investment and fewer risks, Telefonica selected a model of software as a service (SaaS).
Then, the Telecommunications Company began the search for a partner to deploy this model. After comparing different suppliers, Telefonica chose NEC. Among the main reasons was the fact that only NEC was able to offer an integrated IT solution faster than other competitors.
In March 2009, as part of the first agreement, NEC deployed the platform ncbs (NEC Cloud Brokerage Suite) in Spain under the name of "Aplicateca". Only two years later (2011), Telefonica Argentina joined the project, and then came O2 Ireland in 2013. Each country had its own ncbs platform and SaaS applications adapted to their markets.
After the initial success in these countries, Telefonica decided to expand its services globally, relying once again on NEC, on 15th April 2015, both partners, signed a new four-year agreement for the management, deployment, operation and support at a global level, using ncbs solution as the cornerstone of this strategy.
Similar to the European market, the vast majority of companies in Latin America are small companies with less than 10 employees, so Telefonica concluded that cloud applications could fit perfectly in this market.
But this time, Telefonica was looking to launch applications globally through the Cloud Service Broker platform integrated with the billing systems of each OB (Operation Branches). "In this case, the word "Global" made a big difference. We had to work together to define a Global architecture and processes that would allow any integrated service to be ready to be marketed by Telefonica worldwide" Said Mr. Jaime Serrano, president and CEO - NEC Ibérica.
The main challenge was to deploy a global cloud service platform, using the latest technology and providing enough flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of each new country.
Among NEC´s responsibilities, was the evolution and maintenance of the platform, and even support Telefonica Global and its different OBs involved in the project.
According to Telefonica's requirements, NEC developed a multiregional platform that allowed the commercialization of cloud services in different Latin American and European countries. In this way, the launch of new services was streamlined, simplifying and reducing integration and maintenance costs for each country.
Jaime Serrano said “The experience we've gained over the past few years thanks to more than 20 operators worldwide has helped us to design a very solid Cloud solution”. ncbs is a complete solution which consists of three front-end portals: an online store, where customers can view the offering, register and make purchases; a portal for sales agents, where they can perform actions on behalf of customers; and a management console for the end customer. Even one back-end portal from which each country can manage its offering.
“This solution allows every country to have its own platform, fully customizable, in terms of language, offer configuration, currency, taxation, look & feel, purchase forms and procedures”. Said Mrs. Lorena de la Flor Head of SME All-in Offer-Telefonica.
It also has advantages for customers, SMEs can easily access, manage and control all their applications and services from their management console, allowing them to buy new applications, add more licenses, perform upgrades and downgrades between different plans, or cancel services among many other options. Also, they can manage the allocation of licenses to users, obtain reports of the services purchased, as well as their use per employee.
“With cloud software, users pay for what they need to use every month, so companies can test services by acquiring licenses with basic functionality and grow as needed”. Commented Lorena de la Flor. Moreover, start using an application is as simple as connecting to the Internet, and updates are done automatically without cost or without requiring specialized personnel.
“We were looking to implement a global business application catalogue with horizontal services applicable in multiple countries, which would satisfy the needs of any company regardless their activity sector.". Said Lorena de la Flor. Latin and European countries will join this global platform in order to offer to their customers those global services as well as local ones. For his part, Mr. Alberto López, Telefonica Global Account Manager – NEC Ibérica, commented, “NEC has a very large and complete portfolio that covers the needs of different business areas, and in addition to our global presence, we have delegations in the different territories in which Telefonica operates which undoubtedly makes us a great added value”.
The results have been increasing year after year. Marketplaces deployed before 2015 agreement continue adding new users each year. Today, Spain has more than 230,000 registered companies, as well as Argentina and Ireland.
So far, Telefonica's global offer for Latin America and Europe consists of applications and services distributed in two categories "Applications for the business" and "Applications for employees". The first category includes solutions to improve online presence, digital marketing and business security, among many others. While the second category encompasses solutions to help employees improve their productivity and keep information always safe and available.
Must be said that some of the applications of NEC portfolio have been included in this global offer, such as contact center, marketing through social networks, email and SMS.
AAmong the countries in which Telefonica offers its cloud services are: Spain, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, United Kingdom, Germany and U.S.A.
The relationship between Telefonica and NEC has broad possibilities of continuity, Alberto López said “What it excites me the most is that this is just the beginning, we are already working on the creation of multiple bundles and promotional activities with Telefonica, and thanks to NEC’s strong position in IoT (Internet of Things), the possibilities to grow and bring better services and solutions to Telefonica’s clients worldwide are unlimited”.”.
Telefonica Business Solutions, a leading provider of a wide range of integrated communication solutions for the B2B market, manages globally the Enterprise (Large Enterprise and SME), MNC (Multinational Corporations), Wholesale (fixed and mobile carriers, ISPs and content providers) and Roaming businesses within the Telefonica Group. Business Solutions develops an integrated, innovative and competitive portfolio for the B2B segment including digital solutions (Cloud or Security) and telecommunication services (international voice, IP, bandwidth capacity, satellite services, mobility, integrated fixed, mobile, IT services and global solutions). Telefonica Business Solutions is a multicultural organization, working in over 40 countries and with service reach in over 170 countries.