As promised in their earnings call last week, glbc is making its move on the cloud communications market. Their announcement today covers phase 1 of this process, tying together the company’s audio conferencing service with the IPVPN and SIP trunking into a unified on-demand, pay-as-you-grow, integrated Communications as a Service product. Lots of useful stuff wrapped up with a bow on top and sold via a shared seat billing model. So if this is phase 1, what about phases 2, 3, and on?
Well, the order and timing aren’t there, but Global Crossing will be doing similar repackaging of video, telephony, instant messaging, presence, and email. Further down the line are more pure cloud computing services, i.e. virtual compute and storage, a range of security offerings, and eventually a hosted application development environment and hosted software applications. Those are big plans for any network operator, they’ll be working on that list for quite a while yet.
There has been something of a gold rush lately amongst enterprise-focused service providers of all sizes, as each positions itself and its product portfolio for the cloud revolution. Even earlier today we saw XO take its hosted PBX capabilities in that direction, though they target a rather different type of customer. For a long time, many of the products offered by network operators and purchased by enterprises were basically the same as those sold wholesale to other carriers. Those days appear to be ending.
Last year, whether network operators would be competitive in the cloud was a recurring theme in the media, but as a theoretical exercise. This year we get to watch it unfold in real time.
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