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The Transformation to Telco Cloud

Telco_Editor

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Part I – Not just any cloud, a Telco Cloud

It’s not news that over time OTT competitors and increased infrastructure costs have squeezed Communications Service Provider profits. But since CSPs are who we all rely upon to provide the core connectivity that link us as consumers to providers of network-based services, they are not going extinct any time soon. In fact, when you take a closer look it’s clear that CSPs are actually very well-positioned in this competitive landscape to thrive and not just survive.

Why? CSPs have unique strengths – strengths that set them apart from would-be market competitors. They have pervasive presence – serious infrastructure investments in central offices (COs) and point-of-presence (PoPs). Because they have infrastructure-level control of the connectivity that makes the world go they can play a critical role in ensuring that customers get the service they need, especially for stuff like video.

But most importantly, CSPs have customer intimacy – they know customers, and customers know them. Practically-speaking, that means financial and transactional relationships with millions of individuals with whom they transaction billions of dollars of commerce. Any way you slice it, that’s an incredibly valuable resource.

So where could CSPs leverage those strengths? There are no shortage of opportunities to expand business with existing customers – both individual consumers and enterprises – and create service offers to go after new specialized market verticals or creatively partner with other market players (like those OTTs) to drive ‘win/win’ business growth and better customer outcomes.

So what’s stopping CSPs from using their incumbent market position to go after these opportunities? The truth is CSPs will not get there with the wonderfully useful networks and operations models they built over the last 20 years. To thrive in the new market reality they will have to be much more agile, efficient, and innovative. They need to do this not only to make going after those opportunities practical, but also to make doing so financially attractive to internal stakeholders and shareholders.

What CSPs need to evolve to be – how they need to transform to get them the agility, efficiency, and innovation they need to compete - is what can be called a Telco Cloud. To understand what Telco Cloud means for this transformation we have to talk about where CSPs need to go without losing sight of who they are and what they do.

The wellspring idea of Telco Cloud is that CSPs need to embrace and use all the wonderful technologies that have emerged in Enterprise IT – standardization virtualization, standardization – ultimately manifest in cloud as a transformative service delivery and consumption model. These core technologies will be the catalyst to help CSPs compete. But that’s only half the story; the kind of cloud model we are talking about here is not just taking enterprise technology and dropping into Telco networks. Though the technology underpinnings are shared, building and running a Telco network is not at all similar to operating an Enterprise IT environment. Telco Cloud means starting with that great Enterprise technology, adapting it, and implementing it in ways that meet the unique requirements of a Telco network environment.

In the next post, we’ll break down the characteristics of Telco Cloud, what existing and new technologies will play a part, and describe what CSPs need to do to ensure successful Telco Cloud transformation.

 

Learn more at our HPE OpenNFV website, and follow us on Twitter at @HPE_NFV and @HPE_CSP.

Join us at Mobile World Congress Fira Gran Via, Barcelona to experience the journey to the Telco Cloud in Hall 3, and visit our OpenNFV partner ecosystem showcase in Hall 3.

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