Monday, 09 August 2010 11:04

Asia Pacific a multinational cloud bonanza for Telstra and other telcos


Local telecoms carriers, such as Telstra, Optus, Macquarie Telecoms, and others are set to reap a bonanza from the provision of cloud services to multinationals operating in the Asia Pacific region. This is the belief of global telecoms analyst Ovum, which believes that local telcos are well placed to shut out their US and EU rivals.

Ovum believes that the local players can either compete successfully with their northern hemisphere counterparts or act as regional partners, with both cases offering lucrative opportunities.

According to Ovum, a growing share of MNCs' investment is dominated by neither the US nor the European group of telcos, so the Asia-Pacific region is likely to become the most competitive and dynamic place for global services in the near future.
'Regional players are also lifting their game and alternating their position between fierce competitors or partners of choice for global telcos building their regional offerings and trying to unlock the market for themselves and their MNC customers", says Claudio Castelli, Ovum Senior Analyst.

According to Ovum, telcos aim to increase their service scope in order to avoid the risk of being commoditized as merely providers of global pipes. Most are increasing their offerings in managed and professional services, and some are also developing IT capabilities. However this means entering the low margin IT services game.

Ovum believes that cloud computing may offer the new opportunities that they have been waiting for. Telcos can take advantage of their global scale networks, which provide capabilities to offer quality of service guarantees and end-to-end SLAs. However to provide real time and critical business applications in a cloud computing approach for MNCs operating in Asia-Pacific, telcos will need to invest in regional facilities and services.

Besides customer portals and online tools, telcos are also recognizing the importance of professional services, especially at the early stages of CaaS deployments, to support MNCs with their virtualization transformation and adoption of cloud computing services. MNCs are not going for 'pure cloud' approaches initially but are starting with hybrid solutions (integrating cloud-based and on-premise applications), which are project-based and require more integration and consulting services.

"Regional professional services capabilities or partnerships with local companies will be essential. This seems to be acknowledged by most global telcos, who have developed professional services teams in the region." says Castelli.

There are also good prospects for long-term differentiation in areas such as customer support, network integration, consulting, and outsourcing services that build longer-term and more strategic relationships with MNC customers based on 'inside knowledge' of customer requirements, according to Ovum. Local and regional presence, support and operations center are extremely important.

"Most telcos see long-term opportunities in ICT outsourcing. The stability of a 3 to 5 year outsourcing contracts is preferred to that of a 2 year telecommunications contract," says Melbourne-based Castelli.


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Stan Beer


Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.



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