Between the Telco and the Enterprise – will the Cloud be the new glue?
Read online: http://www.lightreading.in/document.asp?doc_id=211853&site=lrindia&
The Clouds' circle of influence within the Indian telcos is growing and Aircel signing up with Virtela cloud services last week is one more endorsement to it. Virtela is one of the world's largest independent managed network and cloud services company with over 500 carrier customers providing services in over 190 countries. Aircel always had an enterprise focus and is largely perceived as a progressive data-savvy operator. This recent announcement has added to a growing list of Indian Telcos signing up with cloud service providers including Tata, Bharti Airtel and BSNL.
While Telcos are trying to engage deeper intro enterprises with long term service contracts, enterprises are trying hard to cater to their ever-changing business needs. Enterprises are therefore finding it saner to focus on their primary business and worry less about IT / telecom application infrastructure management. Thus, in a rapidly changing world, both are trying to adapt and the Cloud appears to be a great enabler that will make this possible. Two factors come into focus here: changing role of the enterprise CIO and a realistic assessment of the enterprise Cloud.
Sitting in the epicenter of this phenomenal change is the chair of the CIO. Structural changes in the enterprise to meet work pattern changes (part-time work from home to full time work from home employees with ever growing access device variants, global logistics supply chains now interacting over Twitter and social nets, remote IT management monitoring thousands of ports) and shareholder pressure to turn 'green' are driving attention to the CIO.
Several years ago, telcos sowed the first seeds of enterprise telephony on the cloud with IP-Centrex type services as they moved to NGN infrastructure. BroadSoft was an early entrant in this space and created the early version of a hosted Telephony App server with extensible application suite which Telcos could configure-on- the-fly to meet their enterprise customer needs. Broadsoft's current suite covers a range of contemporary business apps and is deployed with over 400 operators globally.
Enterprises today demand a larger spectrum of services beyond voice and multimedia – including integration with productivity applications such as sales force automation, contact management, web collaboration, IM & Presence, Unified Communications on the fly. The Cloud model ideally abstracts all the hardware / system integration, portability, device support issues from the enterprise.
The Telcos have a savior in the Cloud only if they understand clearly how to tier their services bundles, structure them to best fit the enterprise customer profile, price it right and market it correctly. While the Cloud allows some level of luxury in bringing in SaaS for everything from a Web conferencing session to video call, it is crucial for the Telco to understand enterprise customers' consumption pattern, organization demands and requirements not just today but over the next few quarters. The Telco needs to tie in the supply-side application suite to ensure that no enterprise demand will go un-served while at the same time, be realistic about price packages (at $x per session per user per month) and progressively introduce the service suite to a growing enterprise. For example, if SIP trunking / MPLS VPN bundling could be an entry strategy, Collaborative apps could come in later within specific business groups in the enterprise.
The cloud is a great tool to convert enterprise capex into opex, paid as a rental for services used from the Telco but cross-bundling can quickly become expensive for the customer, unless well thought-through. Price-sensitive Indian enterprises need to be made aware about what they are getting into before hand as they can be less tolerant than a retail consumer who has had a bad experience with his mobile Pre-Paid top up.
As more action builds up in this space, it will be interesting to watch how things play out in the new playground: the CIO's corner office where Web 2.0 meets Telco 2.0.
Sridhar Pai runs Tonse Telecom, a Bengaluru-based telecom research and consulting house that is a research partner to Light Reading India.
Read More: http://www.lightreading.in/document.asp?doc_id=211853&site=lrindia&
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Electro Power Systems selected as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer 2012
Torino, 1 September, 2011. Electro Power Systems SpA (ElectroPS) has been selected by the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer 2012, a prestigious award granted to visionary companies whose cutting edge technologies are transforming business and society. The honor was presented in recognition of the company's use of fuel cell technology to provide clean back-up power, and power grid/renewables extension and optimization, anywhere in the world.
"An integral part of the ElectroPS advantage is the ElectroSelf fuel cell system, the World's only self-recharging, logistics-free backup power solution. ElectroSelf is an enabling technology for Distributed Energy. It significantly increases the value of small-scale renewables infrastructures by minimizing the mismatch in energy production and consumption. It does this by efficiently storing energy from the grid or when renewables are plentiful, and instantaneously releasing energy whenever there is a power dip or outage.
More information can be found at www.electrops.it