AT&T, Verizon and Other Major Telcos Have Cloudy Future

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A new report says the global telco giants will become major forces in the cloud computing market as interest from previously cautious end-users increases rapidly over the next two to three years.

The new report from independent telecoms analyst Ovum says AT&T, Verizon Business, Orange Business Services and BT have made considerable progress in the cloud in just over a year. In terms of services, they can now compete with established players from the IT industry.

The report says these telcos have led a “competitive march" from telecoms into cloud computing, and now have widely acknowledged credibility in the field.

“The major telcos have a long heritage in providing managed data center services and hosting and have combined this with their networking and security expertise to meet the needs of customers for cloud computing services," said Peter Hall, report author and Ovum principal analyst. “All of the players reviewed in the report see cloud computing as leveraging their core competencies and Orange has coined the term ‘IT operator’ to reflect its new role in IT services by analogy with its traditional role as a network operator. We believe that the global and major regional telcos will become strong players across the full spectrum of cloud computing services including Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

“But it’s still early days," Hall said, “and telcos that have not yet developed a cloud computing strategy should not feel that they have missed the boat as the market is still embryonic and many end users are still cautious about cloud computing. However, we expect to see interest pick up quite rapidly over the next two to three years, so the time is right for many telcos to be developing a strategy and roadmap for their entry to the market."

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