How to get more from the cloud
According to STL partners, telco cloud initiatives have been disappointing to date. That’s largely because they have chosen the wrong targets. Simply emulating other players isn’t good enough – you have to play to your strengths and offer something that extends known capabilities. Real-time voice is the obvious place to start.
Well-known industry analysts STL Partners has recently updated its cloud research and forecasts, noting that “although the shape of the cloud industry turned out better than expected, most telco strategies in the cloud haven’t delivered.” While the cloud is now clearly established, most of the momentum has been with players such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google and so on – but not with telcos who might have been expected to have capitalised on the opportunities presented.
Well, while there may be several reasons for this, but to us, things are pretty clear. To date, many telcos have chosen to emulate services that are commonly available from such providers yet have typically not sought to play to their strengths. There’s no point simply building an infrastructure that supports services that enterprises can easily obtain elsewhere (storage, backup, on-demand capacity, etc.), or which, in turn, enable services from other providers (CRM, ERP, and so on). Enterprises will typically find it hard to choose their telco for these services in preference to an established known provider.
The thing is, telcos have established strengths (about which we have written extensively and will continue to write) but such offers do not play to them. Their customers know them for services such as voice, data and connectivity. They need to capitalise on these, before taking steps to broaden their appeal and introduce less familiar services to enterprises that don’t recognise them as providers of general cloud services.
Telcos are specialists and are extremely good at delivering their core offer. It makes much for more sense for a telco to invest in the provision of enhanced versions of things they already do than for them to step into the unknown and compete against other providers with more established track records.
To get more from the cloud, telcos should focus on services that enhance and extend their capabilities – such as voice and messaging oriented UC services, for example. Business customers are already familiar with telcos as providers of voice capabilities. Surely it makes more sense to start from this point rather than trying to emulate something with which telcos find it hard to make an impression and for which they are less well known?
The key to success is to play to your strengths. In the cloud, that means delivering high-performing real-time voice services, with valuable UC capabilities. Such services attract the predictable recurring subscription revenue that makes the cloud so compelling. They extend known offers and build on established strengths. If you are serious about the cloud, the best place to start is with a cloud version of your core offers. Start with UC and your strategy can develop from a position of strength. Talk to us and find out how.