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Mgmt World: Vendor Caution Overshadows the Cloud

Ray Le Maistre

NICE -- Management World 2010 -- Wonders will never cease.

Despite the hyperbole, and the packed presentation sessions here in Nice, the majority of the telecom software community (so prone to jumping aboard the latest buzzword bandwagon) has resisted the temptation to position themselves as cloud services management experts. (See Management World: Making Sense of the Cloud.)

Without doubt, there's a lot of interest from both the service provider and supplier communities about the possibilities and potential that cloud services -- whether software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), or infrastructure as a service (IaaS) -- have to offer. Many of the cloud-related conference sessions here were so packed that people were turned away.

And there were evangelists here talking up the potential for cloud services to boost the telcos' top and bottom lines. Joe Weinman, strategy and business development VP at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), is undoubtedly one of the keenest cloud evangelists you could ever meet, and he was here talking about how AT&T has built its capabilities to help its enterprise customers, partners, and its own operations benefit from the global availability of cloud platforms and applications. (See Time to Do the Math on Cloud Computing.)

But overall, the telecom software crew is holding back, and not committing itself. The take from many of the vendors here is that they have considered how they might be able to fit into the cloud services food chain, and are ready to bring their software out of the labs when the needs of the service provider community have crystallized.

That's not to say that cloud wasn't in evidence on the show floor at all, just that it wasn't plastered across all 65-or-so expo stands. Here, though, is a rundown of the companies that have taken the plunge and aligned themselves to the shift toward the cloud.

  • Of all the companies here, CA Technologies (Nasdaq: CA), which has just changed its name, is the boldest in terms of its cloud capabilities, though that's probably not surprising given the company's IT heritage and position in multiple verticals. "Cloud and service assurance -- those are CA's areas of focus in telecom," says marketing VP for global telecommunications Vadim Rosenberg.

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) was here showing off its telecom partnerships and talking about its Azure cloud platform. (See BT, Microsoft Get Cloudy and MSFT, NSF Create Research Clouds.)

  • HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) were both focused on how service providers can make money from the cloud, while EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) was promoting its "on-line cloud and compute service."

  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) focused on "personal content in the cloud" -- about how people can store and manage their digital content in cloud environments.

  • Cordys Software B.V. was very focused on enabling network operators to develop a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering with its cloud network software development kit (SDK) and cloud orchestration software.

    — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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    Steve Hateley
    Steve Hateley,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 4:35:14 PM
    re: Mgmt World: Vendor Caution Overshadows the Cloud

    Thanks Ray for writing this interesting article. Your point of view concurs with analyst discussions I had this week at Management World.


    There is plenty of talk about Cloud to generate Marketing Buzz, but in many ways much of the reality will start from evolved VPN and managed services – going through the stages of application-awareness, WAN Optimization, Hosted Communications and Applications (making the MSP a broker for third party applications and content) and of course a flat and consolidated "mostly" IP infrastructure that encompasses network and data centre. These are the fundamentals or “under the hood” as I referred to it this week. You need to get the management of these right before you start “getting cloudy.”


    Thanks for your observations - Steve Hateley, InfoVista

    User Rank: Light Sabre
    12/5/2012 | 4:35:13 PM
    re: Mgmt World: Vendor Caution Overshadows the Cloud

    With a couple of exceptions, enthusiasm for cloud was muted at TMF Management World -- although as Ray points out, the sessions on cloud were very well attended. Focus continues to be on the still unsolved issue of tackling B/OSS cost reduction. It's time to wonder whether telcos are missing an opportunity for reveune growth by putting cloud initiatives to the side.

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