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Orange, Cisco, et al. Forge Cloud Alliance

Ray Le Maistre
9/27/2010

Orange Business Services , the global business services division of Orange (NYSE: FTE), has formed a cloud services business alliance called "Flexible 4 Business" with just about the biggest names in the carrier cloud technology sector -– Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW), and EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC). (See Orange, Vendors Form Cloud Alliance.)

The vendor trio are already close buddies, having formed the Virtual Computing Environment coalition in November last year, and have already proven their commitment to the broader telecom cloud service market. (See Cisco, EMC, VMware Team Up, Orange Business Joins VMware Group, BT, Cisco Claim Cloud Coup, Cisco Plays in the Clouds, and Verizon, VMware Create Cloud Services.)

Together with Orange Business Services, they are aiming to offer a complete cloud services package to enterprises globally.

Orange Business Services (OBS), which has ambitions to be the leading provider of international communications services worldwide by 2015, has already identified itself as one of the early movers in the telecom cloud services market, having launched a number of services in 2009. (See Orange BS Gets Ambitious and Orange Unveils Cloud Formation.)

And in setting out its ambitions earlier this month, OBS set itself a target of "generating 500 million euros [US$673 million] on cloud computing by 2015 by accelerating its developments focusing on four areas: cloud-ready networks, "as-a-service" infrastructures, "as-a-service" collaborative solutions and communications, and application stores."

Today's move is clearly a step toward that goal, and toward securing its broader, global goals, supported by its global network (166 countries and territories, 967 cities and towns, nearly 1,500 PoPs) and major global operations centers in Brazil (Rio), Egypt (Cairo), India (Gurgaon), and Mauritius.

OBS is to deliver four types of pay-per-use managed cloud solutions initially, comprising infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), including private cloud and backup services; and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, including security and unified communications services. OBS says it will commit to "tiered end-to-end service level agreements" for the cloud offerings.

"This offering goes beyond the simplification" of a cloud services offering, stated Vivek Badrinath, the CEO of Orange Business Services, on a Webcast press conference Monday. "This is a pre-assembled and tested offering that enables a speedy implementation. We have a broad range of business models and support services," from pre-deployment consultancy to 24-hour global managed services. "It's a combination of assets, from the operational space to the technology space to provide a rainbow of solutions," added Badrinath.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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