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Cloud enablement

Cloud Plans Need IT/Telco Unity

PARIS -- Broadband World Forum -- Thierry Bonhomme, executive VP, Networks & Carriers and R&D, at Orange (NYSE: FTE), once again stressed the importance of bringing telecom networks and IT together during a keynote address here Thursday.

Bonhomme had already highlighted the French carrier's commitment to what Light Reading calls Bridging the Chasm when he spoke to us during the summer and noted that France Telecom is an organization "largely based on the integration of IT and network capacities." (See Orange Takes New Language Course, Mind Your Language and The Top 20 Bridge Builders.)

And on Thursday he told a packed Paris auditorium that the "skills and competencies from the IT world and telco world" need to come together, especially in the cloud services market, which is a major focus for the French operator.

"Cloud computing is one of the key drivers of growth at France Telecom" and is one of the key elements of the operator's five-year strategy unveiled in May. (See France Telecom Presents Five-Year Plan.)

It's still early for that market, though. Bonhomme noted that France Telecom generated €50 million (US$67.3 million) in revenues from cloud services, such as Business VPN Gallery and Flexible Computing Premium, in 2010 and aims to bring that figure to €500 million ($673 million) in 2015. (See Orange Touts Cloud Wins.)

The carrier's enterprise services arm, Orange Business Services , has been developing cloud services for several years now and has just been shortlisted in Light Reading's annual Leading Lights awards for its Business Together unified communications offering in the Best New Service or Application (Telecom) category. (See Light Reading's 2011 Leading Lights Finalists, Orange Fluffs Up UC Cloud and Orange Unveils Cloud Formation.)

And Orange Business Services (OBS) fortified its Bridging the Chasm position Thursday with the appointment of a new head of Global Communications Solutions, Didier Jaubert, who is tasked with leveraging the operator's "strengths in both network and IT."

Bonhomme noted, though, that telecom operators can't hope to achieve their next generation service goals all by themselves. "New partnerships and alliances are needed to shape the future," he stated, before name-checking Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW), EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) and SITA . (See Alliance Gives Orange's Cloud an Edge and SITA and Orange Business Services join forces to build a global cloud computing infrastructure.)

Check out all our coverage from the Paris show at our dedicated BBWF show site.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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