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Security Platforms/Tools

How IT Is Learning From the Telcos

LONDON – Cloud Computing World Forum -- It has long been recognized that communications service providers (CSPs) need to brush up on their IT skills so they can properly participate in the disruptive new world of cloud services, over-the-top applications and so on. (See The SPIT Manifesto 2.0 and Bridging the Chasm: A Manifesto.)

At the same time, though, there are major technology companies that are learning new tricks from the telco world and seeing positive results.

Take security firm McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE), for example. It's here at the Earl's Court exhibition center in London (a venue stuck in the 1990s) showing off enhancements to its cloud-based security services (including Web security, email security, identity management) that it sells direct to enterprises but also white-labels to CSPs such as AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), XO Communications Inc. and Dimension Data (which are at various stages of deployment, it seems). (See AT&T Offers Network-Based Email Protection and Verizon Taps McAfee for SMB Security.)

In talking about the company's services, cunningly named the McAfee Cloud Security Platform, the company's product marketing manager for SaaS Web Protection, David Bull, noted that McAfee's direct service offering had become much more popular since it adopted some traditional telco tactics, namely service provisioning using technology from Parallels Inc. and a regular billing schedule. "Enabling monthly billing made the major difference," notes Bull. (See Parallels Finding Cash in Clouds.)

The company's cloud security offering was also boosted following McAfee's acquisition by Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), which contributed the services gateway and identity management modules, he notes.

The company is also pushing its enterprise mobile device management platform, which is now available to CSPs and large enterprises as a cloud-based managed service. (See Security Vendors Set Sights on Mobile Operators and 4G Forces Mobile Security Rethink .)

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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