MSP, Enterprise, SI, Networking

Kyndryl-Nokia Partnership Pursues 5G Private Wireless Network Projects

Credit: Kyndryl

Kyndryl, the managed infrastructure services spin-off from IBM, continues to ink enterprise partnerships with major hardware, software and cloud companies. The latest deal involves a Kyndryl-Nokia relationship focused on 5G private wireless network opportunities.

After spinning out  from IBM in November 2021, Kyndryl has incrementally unveiled relationships with Nokia, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.

The big question: Can those partnerships help Kyndryl to reverse the MSP's recent revenue declines? Some initial answers may emerge on February 28, when Kyndryl is expected to announce Q4 2021 earnings results.

In the meantime, Kyndryl and Nokia have announced a global network and edge computing alliance. The goal: Help enterprise customers to "accelerate their digital transformations with industrial-grade reliable and secure LTE and 5G private wireless networking," the two companies said.

Some initial steps include combining the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) application platform with Kyndryl’s consulting, design, implementation and managed services. Early adopters include Dow Inc., which is piloting several proof-of-concept applications, the companies noted. Potential revenue figures from the joint work was not disclosed.

Kyndryl-Nokia Partnership - Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the partnership, Paul Savill, global practice leader of Network and Edge computing for Kyndryl, said:

“As enterprises across every industry are seeking new ways to digitally transform their operations, 5G and edge computing are growing so they can harness the promise of these emerging technologies. By collaborating with Nokia, we’re taking another step forward in helping our customers unlock the power of LTE and 5G through a secure, private environment that helps them deliver tailored enterprise-grade edge solutions that drive new value for their bottom lines and next gen customer experiences.”

Added Chris Johnson, head of the Global Enterprise Business at Nokia:

“By combining Kyndryl’s world-class services expertise and global reach with Nokia’s mission-critical, industry-leading private wireless and industrial edge computing solutions, we will enable even more organizations to transform their operations, accelerate their digitalization journey and reap the benefits of Industry 4.0.”

Can Kyndryl Grow Top-Line Revenues, Evolve Into Cloud MSP?

Although the MSP and managed cloud industries are growing, Kyndryl’s annual revenues were shrinking while under IBM’s ownership. Among the reason: Under IBM's ownership, it was difficult for Kyndryl to ink third-party cloud partnerships that compete in some ways with IBM's own cloud efforts.

As an independent company, Kyndryl is now seeking to drive growth across six managed services markets. They include:

  1. Cloud
  2. Applications, Data & AI
  3. Security & Resiliency
  4. Core Enterprise & zCloud
  5. Network & Edge
  6. Digital Workplace

Still, Kyndryl will likely wind up competing against IBM’s own consulting business in the managed cloud services provider market. Indeed, IBM has been busy acquiring cloud cloud consulting companies worldwide. Moreover, Kyndryl could potentially compete against the IBM Security business, which ranks among the world’s Top 250 MSSPs, according to MSSP Alert research.

And of course, Kyndryl will face intense competition from global systems integrators such as Accenture, AtosCapgemini, Deloittte, and other firms that already have growing cloud MSP business practices.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.