SoMoClo Descends on Dublin
And that, in turn, provides traditional network operators with a tough new challenge.
Caroline Chappell, senior analyst at Heavy Reading and a longtime Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) specialist, says communications service providers (CSPs) see their enterprise customers as their main source of potential profits in the future and those enterprises are all clamoring for their systems to have social features, be mobile-enabled and have a cloud component.
That places pressure on CSPs to be able to deal with the so-called "Big Data" challenges that go hand-in-hand with opening applications to social and mobile networks, notes Chappell.
What Chappell believes enterprises want from operators is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) supported by NoSQL database and development tools that enterprises can experiment with in the cloud.
"But PaaS is a tricky business case for telcos," notes Chappell. "It's the likes of IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) that have the capabilities, and while they may be open to partnerships with service providers, the likes of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), which are building their own PaaS offerings, will not," she believes.
"Enterprise Mobility is where it's at," concludes Chappell, "and the cloud is changing everything."
That's not to say that none of the operators are getting in on the act. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has a PaaS offering based on LongJump's cloud apps platform onto which it has added its own APIs (application development interfaces), notes Chappell.
And the new need to understand apps development and software-defined networking was a key reason why Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) acquired Terremark and CloudSwitch, notes Chappell, "to get their software development skills. The world is becoming a software world and the developers will hold the power. And traditionally, the telcos haven't been any good at that." (See Verizon to Buy CloudSwitch and Verizon Keeps Terremark Brand on Cloud.)
For more on Chappell's thoughts on cloud's impact on Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT), see Carrier Cloud Stirs the Telco Pot and Standards in the Cloud.
— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading