Light Reading

BT, Cisco Claim Cloud Coup

Ray Le Maistre
12/9/2009
50%
50%

If you hear an increasingly loud rumbling noise, you'll probably find it's either: that chicken pesto sandwich you had for lunch; or the sound of telecom operators scrambling to position themselves as cloud services pioneers.

And carriers need to move fast if they're to play a significant role in the cloud revolution. (See Capturing SaaS Cloud Computing Business, TM Forum Seeks Enterprise Help With the Cloud, Outlook Cloudy for Telco IaaS, and Amazon's Lessons for Telcos.)

The latest operator to make a noise about its hosted services offerings is BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), though this isn't the British incumbent's first foray into the world of so-called cloud services. (See BT, Microsoft Get Cloudy .)

Today, the operator is taking its next big step down the hosted applications road. In cahoots with long-time partner Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), BT has unveiled a "global hosted IP telephony service" that "allows businesses to bring converged voice, mobile and data services to every desktop in their organisation, using BT and Cisco’s cloud computing-based technologies."

The Cisco technology in question is the Hosted Unified Communications Services (HUCS) platform. The IP giant, though, has plenty of other ideas about how it can help cloud services reign. [Ed. note: Geddit?] (See Cisco Plays in the Clouds.)



Neil Sutton, vice president, global portfolio, at BT Global Services , says the service should appeal to large companies with multiple international locations because it meets some of the key demands of that particular customer demographic: It offers the simplicity (and cost efficiency) of having a single communications platform, rather than multiple, disparate systems built up in different locations; and offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model, by which companies will be charged based on the consumption of IP telephony, voicemail, conferencing, and unified communications services.

Sutton also stresses the flexibility of the service -- customers can use it as much or as little as they want on a self-service basis, log into the service from any phone, and add new users to the platform themselves. And he points to the "resilient" nature of the underlying technology (Cisco's platform and BT's far-reaching MPLS network). The service can also be "blended" with existing IP-based and legacy voice services so that customers can migrate to the new service at their own pace.

Oh, and it counts as a "cloud" service because, in addition to the service's flexible, self-service, and utility payment attributes, the capabilities are being offered on a "multi-tenant" basis.

And BT, which is hoping the offering will attract new customers as well as meet the needs of its existing 400 multinational users and 1,600 other corporate customers with international operations, believes large companies are crying out for such flexible packages.

But it's not as if other carriers haven't launched such cloud services already, so what's so special about this offering? (See TM Forum Creates Cloud Ecosystem, TWC's Outlook: Cloudy, With a Chance of Ethernet , Verizon Offers Cloud Lessons, NTT, OpSource Bring Cloud Services to US, AT&T Joins Cloud Computing Set, Verizon CaaS Is a Top Pick, Brits Get Bullish on Business Services, Telstra Wins Cloud Deal, Cisco Nexus Wins in Thailand, Verizon Unveils Cloud Services, and AT&T Intros Cloud Storage.)

The partners are claiming a "breakthrough" due to the "global" nature of BT's offering. Sutton says currently extant hosted voice services aren't supported by multiple, regional IP centrex nodes that span the globe. BT's service will be supported by three main regional nodes to start with, but that could grow, depending on customer demand, which Sutton, naturally, expects to be strong. "Our plans are dynamic," he states.

However, BT is been a bit premature in making the "global" claim, as the service is currently only available in the U.K., where it's being used by the National Health Service (NHS), which has 1.3 million employees. So, for now, it's a national service.

The hosted voice offering will become commercially available in the rest of the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) region and the U.S. in 2010, followed by the Asia/Pacific.

Does that make it global? Answers welcome from our Canadian and Latin American readers on the hosted message board below.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Anshul Sadana answers questions from Steve Saunders, Light Reading's founder and CEO, about Arista's CloudVision, a global cloud network controller for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivering a turnkey solution for cloud networking.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Between the CEOs
Video Exclusive With Basil Alwan, Alcatel-Lucent

7|24|15   |   26:44   |   (5) comments


Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
VDF: Enable the Financial With Mobile Money

7|20|15   |   06:53   |   (0) comments


Ian Ravenscroft discusses how operators can expand to occupy the entire digital services value chain through service innovation.
LRTV Custom TV
Telefónica on OSS Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Jose Gonzales discusses the details of Telefónica's operation transformation program.
LRTV Custom TV
Judi Achmadi on Huawei's Cloud Storage Solution

7|20|15   |   03:33   |   (0) comments


Judi discusses the key business goals of TelekomSigma's public cloud service and how Huawei's solution helps them address challenges.
LRTV Custom TV
KPN Enlightening Digital Business & IT Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:19   |   (0) comments


Rob de Beer discusses the changes that operators need to make with service innovation now coming from the Internet world.
LRTV Custom TV
Stratus Telco-Grade Cloud Solutions & NFV

7|20|15   |   07:34   |   (0) comments


Ali Kafel from Stratus Technologies addresses high-availability concerns within the telco industry with a solution that enables telcos to provide high-availability and stateful fault-tolerance using a software-based approach.
LRTV Documentaries
The Six Million Dollar Business Man

7|20|15   |   01:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Saunders, publisher. A man barely alive after an acquisition malfunction imploded the company he founded. Gentlemen, we can rebuild Light Reading. Better, faster, stronger.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Anukool Lakhina, Guavus

7|20|15   |   38:51   |   (1) comment


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
LRTV Custom TV
IBM's Flash Storage With Intel QuickAssist

7|20|15   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Intel's Bev Crair and IBM's Eric Herzog discuss how IBM's V9000 Flash Storage System has helped customers around the world. Featuring real-time compression powered by Intel QuickAssist Technology, the V9000 is a next-gen flash storage solution.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
To keep up with consumers' increasing digital lifestyles, an IT system and operating model overhaul is required using a modern BSS, IES and analytics.
Hot Topics
Eurobites: Nokia Seals HERE Sale
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 8/3/2015
Cable Feuds With Senate Dems Over STBs
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/31/2015
Verizon Small Cells Ready to Rock in Chicago
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 7/31/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
I was pleasantly surprised when Ericsson recently agreed to let me interview its CEO, Hans Vestberg. Traditionally, mega-companies like Ericsson (or Cisco) have kept ...
Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
Cats with Phones
Comes With Free Phone Stand Click Here
Who says cats don't have any skills?