Pipeline Publishing, Volume 7, Issue 9
This Month's Issue:
The Cloud Beckons
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The Cloud Services Opportunity
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Traditional service delivery platforms have one product catalog in the ordering system, another in the provisioning system, and another in the billing system—plus a stand-alone shopping cart application. Because of the large number of components involved in delivering cloud services, service providers either need a mechanism for tight integration across catalogs or, preferably, a single catalog across all systems. Having multiple product catalogs has always been difficult for telecommunication service providers, who must maintain up to a dozen catalogs in different systems. Without a well-designed cloud service delivery platform, cloud services will simply take this mess to the next level.

Service providers need to have a Cloud service delivery platform of interdependent, cross-platform components.

platforms cannot manage such complexity, nor do they typically have enough internal integration points to provide a seamless experience to both user and service provider.

Attempts to integrate multiple vertical platforms typically end up as partially connected stacks of parallel functionality. For example, even if integrated systems can provision multiple service components at once,

Because of the scale of any reasonably sized cloud service provider, the back end of its underlying service delivery platform has to be highly automated, eliminating the need for manual intervention in processing, provisioning, and managing the cloud services. Automation is needed not only to support the need for an extremely high degree of self service, as described above, but also to maintain margins and profitability. For example, a $10 per month service simply cannot afford any manual operations—or even a single support ticket.

The Way Forward

To succeed at delivering profitable public cloud services, service providers need to have a complete cloud service delivery platform, managing a large number of interdependent cross-platform components in perfect order. Traditional vertical service delivery

de-provisioning usually must be performed manually in each system. While such an approach might be acceptable for traditional services (e.g., voice and data services that people keep for extended periods of time), cloud services are often consumed on-demand, and with the addition of each new service component typically requiring reintegration of existing systems, the resulting service levels would be unacceptable in today's competitive marketplace.

In short, a complete cloud service delivery platform must be purpose-built for the cloud, with the goal of providing the full set of services and a seamless user experience for the entire service lifecycle, from ordering to consuming to de-provisioning. Given the innate complexity of cloud services, this is the only way to ensure profitability.

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About Parallels:

Parallels enables service providers to rapidly launch and efficiently deliver the most profitable Cloud services by automating the delivery of the broadest set of solutions demanded by small businesses. Founded in 1999, Parallels is a fast-growing company with 700 employees in North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information, please visit www.parallels.com/spp/feedback/.

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