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The CSP cloud: Moving from rhetoric to reality

By April 3, 2012 No Comments

Currently, CSPs have some unique assets that confer on them a competitive advantage for the cloud, namely better billing, smarter networks and knowledge of customers. As more applications and services move to the public cloud, these are especially compelling.

But with hype making it appear as though the cloud is everywhere, the reality of cloud strategy and monetization for CSPs can be lost amid buzzwords and shaping of market expectations by internet and technology competitors.

To answer the question of what a CSP cloud could look like, we investigated the topic with IBM. Our answer comes in the form of a whitepaper, sponsored by Openet and IBM, and created by IDC. Here are the findings:

Don’t build a strategy on commodity cloud offerings
From the outset, CSP public cloud offerings must be built around their network.  While CSPs may offer a generic compute and storage model, this should be a building block, rather than an end state. Both mobility and a dynamic network will create a more compelling cloud experience: enabling prioritization of applications, assigning an appropriate Quality of Service and supporting ad hoc requests for service access and speeds.

Embracing and fully exploiting CSP delivery capabilities
With more companies looking to deliver their services via the public cloud,  CSPs have a number of assets that are attractive to developers – creating new offerings and market for their services. Classic service delivery features such as payments, bandwidth boost and end-to-end SLA, are valuable services that OTT cloud companies simply cannot match, and that fill gaps in a developer’s service portfolio to improve profitability and service quality.

Investing in an open, flexible cloud infrastructure
CSPs need to rethink their cloud platform to ensure they have the capabilities to innovate, enable new business models and improve execution. For example, what constitutes a successful business model will be regularly changing depending upon new services and subscribers, making an open, configurable infrastructure a must. Specifically, integrated policy, charging and subscriber data management software can act as a de facto cloud services innovation toolkit, improving the time-to-market for new services and supporting innovative packaging of offerings, along with providing better insights into subscriber behavior.

These are the key strategic principles required for carriers to monetize the cloud. For the full report, please click here.