Cloud enablement

Getting Down to Earth on Cloud

NEW YORK -- Carrier Cloud Forum -- Cloud services might be a hot topic, but the hype around the emerging sector isn't going to be enough to help communications service providers (CSPs) establish themselves in a market that some Tier 1 players see as crucial to revenue growth. (See Cloud Plans Need IT/Telco Unity.)

While the publicity and expected benefits of cloud services might help draw attention to the services that telcos, cable operators and competitive carriers are developing, those CSPs face a tough set of challenges that no amount of hype can overcome: major infrastructure adjustments, serious Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) transformations (in OSS, billing, SLA management and network security) and the development of new relationships between the networks and IT teams within the CSPs all need to be addressed. (See 7 Truths About Cloud Computing and Verizon Crashes Silos to Build Clouds.)

A primary goal of Light Reading Live!'s Carrier Cloud Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 5, is not to add to the cloud hype but instead to dig deep into the reality of what cloud service provision means for CSPs at operational, cultural and network levels. (See Interop Announces Carrier Cloud Forum New York.)

That reality is this: Enterprises want on-demand, pay-as-you-go, highly reliable, available and secure services that save them both capex and opex. Providing that level of service won't be easy -- providing it profitably will be even trickier, given the existing competition in the cloud services market from the likes of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), among many others.

The Forum will feature two keynotes from leading providers of cloud services. Matt Laslie, technical director - network technologies for Savvis -- now part of CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) -- will provide the morning keynote, while Ellen Rubin, VP of cloud products for Verizon Terremark -- now part of Verizon Enterprise Solutions -- anchors the afternoon session. Both bring real-world cloud experience.

Another cloud industry veteran, Kip Turco, now SVP of data center operations at Windstream Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: WIN) Hosted Solutions, joins the morning panel on cloud infrastructure, while Scott Cain, head global portfolio manager for BT Global Services is the one returning speakers to Carrier Cloud Forum, bringing his expertise to a discussion about revenue generation. (See Windstream Unwraps Cloud Strategy.)

Chris Drumgoole, SVP - client services at Terremark, will talk about the crucial issue of delivering SLAs in the cloud realm.

Two other cloud veterans -- Scott Bils, a partner with Everest Group, and Troy Angrignon, VP of sales and marketing for Cloudscaling -- will offer a perspective on what enterprises are expecting from CSPs.

In addition, the conference's vendor sponsors -- Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) and Parallels Inc. -- will have the opportunity to share their views on carrier cloud opportunities, and they have plenty to say on this subject.

By the end of the event we expect to have a clearer picture of CSPs' cloud service prospects and the options that can lead to revenue growth and profitability for cloud services players.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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