Mobile Operator’s Opportunity: A slice of the cloud service revenue

20 09 2010

What is the market opportunity for operators wanting a piece of cloud services? We all know Cloud is growing and growing fast. All parties are in agreement, revenue is going one way – up!

Research companies are having a field day with Cloud market figures – we have market estimates from Gartner, IDC, Analysys Mason and others as well as leading cloud vendors. Figures can mislead as there can be huge differences as research is not always measuring apples to apples. Nevertheless, Analysys Mason, quoted in August 2010 that the global cloud computing market is set to grow to USD35.6 billion by 2015. So whether you’re a service provider/mobile operator, IT vendor or partner, enterprise cloud services are an opportunity not to miss.

Informa’s recent report add that the “mobile cloud” is set to increase from 42.8 million consumers in 2008 to almost a billion by 2014, jumping from 1.1%to 19% of all mobile phone subscribers. This scale of growth of what is being called, the “mobile cloud”, will force competitors to not only open dialogue but also work together. For those who fail to move quickly or identify how to monetise key services will face declining revenue and stagnant growth whilst other reap the profit.

This challenge has huge ramifications for the entire mobile ecosystem, changing the way that developers build apps and how OEMs, ISPs and Operators define app selection and distribution.

It was these topics and more that brought together operators from Turkey, Spain, Slovenia, Italy, France, Germany, UK and beyond as well as industry vendors (from Japan, USA etc) and one or two enterprise businesses to attend Informa’s kick off new event, Cloud Mobility Amsterdam 2010.

Initial attendance figures looked disappointing – was the topic so new and hot that few had heard about it, or was the term so vague as to miss the key audience it was targeting? Nonetheless, an interesting range of conference speakers had been attracted to present on topics ranging from enterprise SaaS, Mobility applications, to infrastructure services and case studies.

Event sponsor, HP, started the conference with an interesting keynote featuring Enterprise Mobility with Cloud services from both an operator and enterprise viewpoint. The presentation was billed as a “Mobile Operator Primer“, explaining the opportunity for Operators to aggregate enterprise mobility services to provide a single contact point for customers.

A cloud case study based on an implementation at SFR described the target market and structure of the Cloud services recently launched by this French operator. Proof that cloud implementations are taking off.

Catchmedia revealed an interesting new concept using cloud for their recently launched service Play AnywhereTM. Offering consumers the ability to access their content (music, games, films) on any device and vendor of their choice. While Vodafone described mobile app ecosystems.

An interesting dilemma thrown open during the event’s debate was the issues over new legal implications and considerations for the mobile cloud. Where does your data sleep at night? As content crosses boundaries around the world one needs to be mindful of data protection and other legal issues. An interesting viewpoint on these and other matters of law was presented by Stephen Ridgway from international lawyer group: DentonWildeSapte.

Some presenters lost credibility by making pure product pitches and thus losing a golden opportunity to show their leadership role in what is no doubt an up-coming “hot topic”.

The takeaway conclusion appeared to be that mobile operators have a great opportunity to grab – if they are quick and identify some killer app/services to grow revenue.

Cloud Vision’s Editor, Mike Knuckey chaired one panel debate on making the case for hybrid cloud: are we moving integration and management challenges off the network and into the cloud? This panel included viewpoint from Juniper research’s Dr Windsor Holden who added his cloud-based mobile apps prediction. Total market for cloud-based applications is expected to rise from must over $400 million – figure from 2009 – to nearly $9 Billion by 2014 – making an average annual increase of 88%!

For those who missed this conference, catch an extended version of the HP keynote, including Cloud mobility services examples. Watch Cloud Vision’s interview with Richard Arthur, Director Business Transformation Marketing, HP discussing their joint upcoming webinar on Enterprise Mobility through Services in the Cloud: A Mobile Operator’s Guide. This webinar will be moderated by Patrick Kelly, Research Director, Analysys Mason with HP Cloud Experts: Colin I’Anson and Richard Arthur.

Cloud Vision’s Webinar – Inside the cloud series – took place on 23 Sept 2010 – you can download the recording here LINK

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