Pipeline Publishing, Volume 7, Issue 1
This Month's Issue:
Into the Cloud
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CSPs Can’t Afford to Miss the Cloud

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By Jack Zubarev

It could be argued that Communication Service Providers (CSPs) missed some opportunities in the last 10 years. They certainly didn’t lead the market in the mobile application revolution. The next big opportunity is with Cloud services. And, simply put, CSPs cannot afford to miss the Cloud.

The Good News

The good news is CSPs are in a fantastic position to capitalize on Cloud services for two main reasons: they own the underlying network infrastructure and they have existing commercial relationships with millions of customers. Further, some CSPs are already offering certain Cloud services like web hosting. However, very few have invested enough in the infrastructure or marketing to make them successful or bringing them meaningful revenues relative to their traditional network and voice services.

In general, all customer segments will adopt, or already use, some Cloud services, whether

There are over 73.5 million small business and easily another 100 million home or small offices worldwide.

resources and they can benefit the most from the Cloud services and applications. There are over 73.5 million small business and easily another 100 million home or small offices worldwide. Virtually all need a “web presence” and simple email. However, the majority of

its enterprise, small business, consumer, education or government, and CSPs must provide Cloud offerings that align with the specific market being addressed. To date, CSPs have been focusing their Cloud energies on their Enterprise and public segments. This is delivered largely through a direct sales model and the product centers around their core network and data center services with some branching into virtualized infrastructure and storage.

The Small Business Opportunity

While the Cloud opportunity in the enterprise and government sectors is exciting in terms of potential deal size, in this article I’d like to draw attention to another market - Small Businesses. These are the businesses that typically have very little in terms of their IT

them would also greatly benefit from a range of applications, including some which were traditionally available only to bigger organizations, such as messaging and collaboration, backup and archiving, customer relationship management, and hosted PBX, especially as their business and marketing needs evolve. Small Businesses are and will be adopting these Cloud services very quickly, partly because it improves productivity and efficiency, and partly out of necessity, since they do not have an internal IT department. This becomes the easiest and best way for them to consume technology. Cloud services also make sense financially for small businesses, as there are no large capital outlays required and they can pay for just the services and applications they need, easily adjusting for both good and bad markets.

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