Cloud Services

Cloud Expansion Paves Way for Partnerships

Carrier cloud "enablement" services that help enterprises reach an increasingly diverse "multi-cloud" are becoming an increasingly important facet of the business service portfolios of communications service providers (CSPs).

The cloud services market is currently dominated by Web 2.0 players such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google and the perpetual innovation required to offer competitive like-for-like services appears relatively unsustainable for most CSPs, especially in a sector in which most enterprises users seek out "best of breed" options.

But there are other options for the traditional CSPs. While the cloud services market maybe be dominated by others, the CSPs continue to control the best means for connecting with the cloud -- their physical networks. As a result, enterprise users turn to their CSPs with their multiple cloud connectivity problems.

Private cloud access, meanwhile, is rapidly growing in importance and popularity, as latency and security concerns with Internet-based "public" cloud access render the latter increasingly problematic for enterprise customers.

As the cloud becomes both more complex and more essential across a widening range of applications, network reliability becomes ever more important, further enhancing the relative value of the secure and predictable private network access offered by carrier cloud connectivity services.

An increasingly diverse and thus highly complex "multi-cloud" environment is thus becoming the norm for sophisticated enterprise customers, with early adopters often using up to 10 different clouds from as many different providers.

As the most recent Heavy Reading Service Provider IT Insider, "The Cloud Enabler Model: The Carrier Perspective," illustrates, one of the results of these trends is that CSPs and the cloud specialists are forging cloud connectivity and service networking partnerships that enable better cloud service delivery to enterprise customers. Increasingly integrated partnerships between carriers and other cloud providers will proliferate in the coming years, growing in variety and complexity as well as number, and involving not just the cloud market's dominant players but also many niche participants in such verticals as healthcare and retail.

The future will see both greater specialization and diversification among cloud specialists and correspondingly an expanding variety of such partnerships. Cloud connectivity or "enablement" strategies are likely to become increasingly important to traditional CSPs, more so than their own cloud services businesses.

— Steve Koppman, Analyst at Large, Heavy Reading Service Provider IT Insider

The Cloud Enabler Model: The Carrier Perspective, a 16-page report in PDF format, is available as part of an annual subscription (6 bimonthly issues) to Heavy Reading Service Provider IT Insider, priced at $1,499. Individual reports are available for $595.

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