Cloud World Forum: Do Telcos Have A Role In Enterprise Cloud? Unlikely

Dan Swinhoe reports from the Cloud World Forum in London on the future role of telecoms companies in the Cloud.

Dan Swinhoe reports from the Cloud World Forum in London on the future role of telecoms companies in the Cloud.

‘What Role Do Telcos Play in the Future of the Enterprise Cloud?’ was the topic of discussion by a panel at this year’s World Cloud Forum, and the answer seemed to be not much, according to those looking to use the Cloud.

Acting as the panel moderate, Camille Mendler, principal analyst at Informa, revealed some of the results from the Global Insights Survey taken before the Forum. Telcos came 4th when people were asked which type of provider they were mostly likely to use for their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) needs. [Amazon Web Services came top - the full results are yet to be revealed.]

Kassir Hussain, Director of Technology at British Gas, backed up the findings. “Telcos want to play in the Cloud, but the jury’s still out,” he said. “You need a different mindset.” He explained that people want companies with ‘Software DNA, the Amazons and Microsofts of this world. ’ Rather surprisingly, Jon Vestal, VP of CDN Products at Pacnet, agreed with him, but did say the Teclos are in the process of change in order to move into that area. In support, Uri Gurevitz from Amdocs noted that many Telecoms companies are buying more and more Enterprise Service Providers and making huge investments in an effort to move into this area.

While the panel was split on whether the legacies of telecoms companies would work in their favour or not, there seemed to be a consensus around the group, also featuring Dave Renwick of Air Watch, that the reputation and transparency of the service provider was key.

There was some good news, however. Mobile is still a big part of the Teclos’ mandate, and according to Mendler, the Forum survey showed SMBs trust them the most for advice about mobile Clouds.

Personally, while I doubt AWS will be the outright king of Cloud services forever, telecoms companies should stick to mobile Clouds. If that’s the area that SMBs trust them the most in, embrace it, don’t fight against established giants.

By Dan Swinhoe, Editorial Assistant, IDG Connect

What do you think? Do Telcos have a role to play in the Cloud? Comment below.