Cloud Computing to save the world?

13 09 2011

Can cloud computing save us from going into the red?

In January 2011 at the Davos World Economic Forum, Switzerland attendees have indicated that via Cloud Computing services/technology the world will be pulled out of the current recession. Strong words you may think but the world’s economic leaders are apparently using the Cloud phenomenon as “the third industrial revolution”. Its’ importance to the future of the world’s economy cannot be understated.

A freelance editor, Frank Booty, on Cloud recently stated “The Centre of Economics and Business Research (CEBR) reckons that the expected upcoming Cloud adoption will bring the top five EU economies a €763 billion infusion over the next five years, creating 2.4 million jobs in the process. Back up confirmation can be found through analyst cohorts speculating that a fifth of all companies will not own their IT infrastructure by 2012, but be in the Cloud. The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) emphasises the utility angle, indicating that in 2016 IT will become the next utility, being bought like electricity, gas or water.”

As a result, I believe strongly that Cloud Computing issues will continue to be “hot” and a valid topic for debate at industry events during 2011-12.

As reported on Cloud Vision, “In 2011 there will be some significant announcements about mainstream organisations adopting new Infrastructure as a Service propositions as an alternative to the Amazon Elastic Cloud. Last October HP announced that it was partnering with French alternative telecom provider SFR to offer competitive IaaS services to its 1400 business customers. The new services will utilise SFR’s datacentres and come with end to end Quality of Service guarantees and integrated billing. The opening of the infrastructure market and the introduction of new standard APIs such as OpenStack will make it possible for Cloud “spot pricing” where businesses can trade their excess computing capacity aided by Cloud Storage Brokers.”

The Telcos have been stung by the thin revenues gained from the “Over the Top” Cloud services such as Apples AppStore and want to leverage their own assets to generate new revenue streams from business Cloud services. These assets include reliable communications (the fixed and mobile operators can provide 24/7 end-to-end service monitoring backed by SLAs), long term billing relationships enabling Cloud services to be bundled with other services onto a single bill and customer location intelligence. The leading Telcos have been gradually assembling a team of IT specialists and are also establishing partnerships with the leading IT services companies.

What needs to be thoroughly thrashed out are the security and resilience pros and cons of community, private and public cloud services for public bodies. The ENISA report suggests that national governments and EU institutions should investigate the concept of an EU Governmental Cloud. For the report and recommendations go to: http://www.enisa.europa.eu/act/rm/emerging-and-future-risk/deliverables/security-and-resilience-in-governmental-clouds/

There is the opinion that a national Cloud strategy would have to address the effects of national/supra-national interoperability and inter-dependencies, and cascading failures. It would need also to include Cloud providers into the reporting schemes of articles 4 and 13 of the new Telecom Framework Directive. So much to figure out and a lot at stake. Who will be the winners and losers? Will the Cloud bring economic salvation?

All the signs are that 2011 will be a breakthrough year for Cloud Computing adoption by Enterprises, Telecoms and Government. It’s certainly got a good start with the Davos accreditation.

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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





Management World – Cloud on the Horizon in Nice?

17 05 2010

Spring is in the air – the Cannes Film Festival is well under way – dodging the annual rain showers – the Monte Carlo authorities are clearing the roads once again, after their annual Race and TM Forum hits the Acropolis, Nice, for its’ annual Management World conference.
Now in its 11th year, Management World 2010 is a key service management event for the telecom industry but now also including representation and content for the IT, media and entertainment industries.

The event includes the required keynote thought leader presentations, real world case studies and various interactive debates. It also features 15 proof of concept demonstrations via its catalyst project, as well as membership displays in their Expo hall.

Bucking the trend, this event has grown some 23% ahead of 2009 with more than 3,000 attendees planning to attend. Over 55% of attendees represent C-level executives and decision-making senior managers. Attendees will learn how to drive their company to focus on growing revenue through new business models, increasing operational efficiency and cutting costs, whilst addressing the challenges of revenue assurance, customer experience and retention.

Their double-edged theme “Cloud on the Horizon?” is well selected. In recessionary times, adversity offers opportunity… This is good for an organisation that helps service providers becoming more efficient and effective.

As the telecom industry struggles to remain in profit (due to market saturation and flat revenues) as networks are doubling each year and prices are reducing by 50%, what is the solution? There is a silver lining to this cloud, by way of cloud services (but of course not the only possibility). Services such as mobile broadband is helping to deliver success. As the TM Forum state, people need to change the way they do business. The mantra be very lean, mean and cost effective is the path to follow.

They are promoting 3 pillars for success:

Investment to grow revenue,
investment for improved customer experience
and investment to cut costs.

Will industry players agree to change the way they are doing business? Will they make the necessary investment to build smarter networks? Can they cut out waste whilst hanging on to their customers by improved customer care ? Time will tell.

Meanwhile, 200 speakers, 5 major summits, will be looking at these issues – Nice will be the place to learn more – Assuming you can dodge those ash cloud, hope to see you there!

Fact file:

Management World 2010 will be held at the Acropolis Convention Centre, Nice, France, May 18-20, 2010. For further details on the conference visit Management World 2010 at http://www.tmforum.org/mw2010

• The 2010 conference features more than 200 influential speakers through a range of interactive presentations, panel debates and case studies, across six conference summits: New Content & Innovative Services; Cloud Services; Successful Business Transformation; Driving Operational Excellence; Revenue Management & Profitability and Excellent Customer Experience;

• Complementing the conference are more than 10 TM Forum training courses to help companies adopt TM Forum best practices and standards.