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Nokia snuggles up with Google Cloud as it aims to switch off on-prem servers within next two years

Yep, there it is. 'Digital transformation'

Nokia has inked a five-year deal with Google Cloud to migrate its existing IT infrastructure away from on-premises iron to the ads-and-software juggernaut.

Neither party has disclosed the terms of the deal, but it is understood the Finnish comms provider will avail itself of Google Cloud's storage, compute, analytics, and AI/ML products.

Both have drawn up an accelerated migration schedule, which has already started and is expected to last between 18 and 24 months. Google has pledged to assist its new pal by deploying dedicated integrators, solutions specialists, and engineers.

This move is expected to deliver "operational efficiencies", freeing Nokia from the burden of managing multiple disparate data centres. It is not known how much in costs Nokia will claw back from the disposals.

Some of these facilities, as noted in a Bloomberg interview with company veep Ravi Parmasad, are hangovers from previous acquisitions.

In a statement, Parmasad said the timing of the deal was "ideal", adding that Nokia was on a "digital transformation path". "Given Nokia's digital ambitions and plans, this is an ideal time for Nokia to be taking this step with Google Cloud to accelerate our efforts; and doing all of this in a secure and scalable way."

Coincidentally, Google Cloud is also the preferred provider of HMD Global, the Finnish startup that produces Nokia smartphones under licence.

HMD began its transition to Google's public cloud in June 2019, with phone activation and performance data stored at a Google Cloud region in the sleepy harbour town of Hamina, Finland. This move was seen as precipitated by a minor SNAFU that saw plaintext data sent from devices located in Europe to China-based servers, potentially in violation of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation ®.

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