Datacenter and managed hosting provider Savvis (news, filings) [a subsidiary of CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL, news, filings)] has signed a three year managed services contract with All Nippon Airways. Specifically, the Japanese airline will be leveraging their managed hosting offerings to support its web of 70 websites, both internal and external, all served from the company's Tokyo data center, which they had recently expanded. Savvis is looking to rebound in 2010, and an aggressive strategy in Asia seems to be a big part of it. That makes sense, given all the new transpacific capacity that is coming online. It should open up new opportunities for companies on both sides of the ocean.
Savvis has been positioning itself as a provider of cloud infrastructure, and this kind of deal is precisely what they have in mind. But they didn't actually call it a cloud services contract, just a managed services contract. That highlights what seems to be a bit of a marketing puzzle across the sector right now. Now that the cloud is here but remains indeterminately defined, just when is a deal a win for cloud computing and when is it not? And when should you push it as such?
The problem with the cloud it isn't actually a new product, rather it's a better way to deliver an old product that may someday lead to new products. You can put the cloud label on just about anything, but if you do that then it will quickly lose its power. For what it's worth, I think Savvis's light touch is the right way to go - the product is managed services, the underlying engine either is or soon will be powered by the cloud.
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