02/01/2014  |  by Parallels
Categories:  Service Automation

Telefonica Digital powers growth for Telefonica’s local operating companies with a scalable, flexible cloud services platform based on Parallels Automation

Parallels Automation and APS are enabling the digital division of Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica to provide a flexible cloud services platform to its local businesses, helping them modernize their SMB offerings, reduce customer churn and drive growth.

Partner Summary

With over 270 million connections in 25 countries, Telefonica is one of the world’s largest telecoms service providers. Telefonica Digital is the business unit responsible for providing resalable digital services to its local country organisations, including Machine-to-Machine (M2M), eHealth and cloud services.

In 2013, Telefonica Digital was looking for an optimal technology platform that would enable country organisations to deliver cloud services to SMB customers quickly and easily. Telefonica Digital selected Parallels Automation as its cloud service delivery platform, thanks to its fast implementation, flexibility, scalability and openness, and the richness of the Parallels partner ecosystem.

After an implementation period of just weeks, Telefonica Digital is now rolling out its Parallels Automation-powered cloud services platform, featuring Microsoft Office 365 and a cloud backup solution, to Telefonica’s European operating companies. More countries and services will be added throughout 2014. As a result, Telefonica will soon be delivering country-specific bundles of traditional communications services and cloud-based applications to its SMB customers around the world.

Business Challenges

Telefonica has always been confident that existing and prospective SMB customers are keen to expand the range of services they consume, if those additional services are easy to access and have clear benefits. However, the best way of approaching this opportunity was not always so obvious as Tim Marsden, Head of SaaS at Telefonica Digital, explains. “Telefonica has been offering cloud applications to SMBs for some time. We recognised that to achieve greater success, we needed to create compelling, bundled SMB offerings that combine cloud services, our core communications services and devices, and which are tailored, to specific countries and customer types. We needed to find a technology platform that could help Telefonica deliver differentiated cloud services with simple and fast access to the best services, wrapped in an outstanding customer experience."

However, Marsden and his fellow decision makers had several key requirements that any cloud services provisioning technology and/or partner would have to fulfill, in order to meet Telefonica’s needs. “We were looking for a partner and a platform that could be launched in a number of countries very quickly; provide an accompanying ecosystem of service providers and applications to ensure local market differentiation; and support rapid expansion,” adds Marsden.

While assessing a number of alternatives, Telefonica Digital was running an installation of the Parallels Automation system together with Telefonica’s cloud hosting subsidiary, Acens. Great results, and a wealth of positive feedback from Acens (which had used the platform to successfully migrate 400,000 users from hosted Microsoft Exchange to Office 365), were key to a decision being made in favour of Parallels Automation.


Parallels Automation is the leading hosting and cloud services delivery system used by hundreds of service providers worldwide, from the largest telecom operators, to top hosters and providers of vertical solutions. Parallels Automation delivers a combination of great software and access to thousands of hosting and cloud services. Not only that, it’s backed by the expert professional services and support required to help telecoms operators and a wide range of other web hosting companies build a highly profitable cloud-based revenue stream. As such, it provides a state-of-the-art platform that is enabling Telefonica’s country businesses to sell cloud services to their SMB customers via their own instance of Telefonica Digital’s Parallels Automation infrastructure. Each country organisation can manage its platform autonomously, and even replicate it for local channel partners.

APS, an open standard founded by Parallels, is the industry standard for packaging and automating the delivery of applications and infrastructure as services. It enables providers with platforms that contain an APS controller such as Parallels Automation, to deploy applications and services far more quickly and cost-effectively than would otherwise be possible.

Telefonica Digital set Parallels an extremely challenging implementation target to have a Telefonica-branded Parallels Automation platform featuring Microsoft Office 365 up and running by December 31st 2013, despite the contract only being signed in mid-November. “Thanks to the commitment of the Parallels team, the deadline was met with time to spare, and we are now rolling the platform out in Europe," confirms Marsden.


Parallels Automation is helping Telefonica Digital to:

• Enable local Telefonica country businesses to grow by offering a broad range of cloud services to existing and new SMB customers.
• Easily broaden its service offering by leveraging APS for easy, fast integration of new services onto the Parallels Automation platform.
• Enhance the ‘stickiness’ of Telefonica’s local offerings from a customer attraction and retention perspective.
• Increase sales and share of wallet (Average Revenue Per User) for Telefonica local businesses through the creation of attractive, country-specific cloud services bundles.

“The Parallels Automation platform makes it easy for country organisations to create the right bundles of cloud services for SMBs in their markets,” says Marsden “This flexibility, combined with ease of use, straightforward management and the simple integration of new services makes it a powerful driver of competitive advantage for Telefonica, because it means we can get new cloud services to market quickly,” he adds.

Speaking about the future of the partnership between Telefonica Digital and Parallels, Marsden concludes, “We have been very impressed by the commitment shown by Parallels in making their offering relevant and effective for telecoms operators. Their willingness to adapt their solutions to our requirements, however complex, delivers real value for us. And you can see that other telcos share this opinion, given their increasing presence at the Parallels Summit every year. We are very much looking forward to working more closely with Parallels to maximize the value of the Parallels Automation solution, APS and the unique Parallels ecosystem of partners, ISVs and service providers for the benefit of Telefonica’s local country businesses.”