AT&T has started a joint offering with IBM to provide better cloud services; IBM will provide data storage facilities and services while AT&T will allow users to retrieve the data through its global network.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, AT&T will give IBM direct access to the technology that controls the network for business customers. Andy Geisse, head of AT&T’s unit for business clients, believes giving customers the option to add cloud services from IBM onto their network will be a major asset. Competitors, including Verizon and Oracle, are also expanding their cloud offerings, and IBM plans on bringing in U.S.$7 billion in cloud revenue by 2015.
Yankee Group Senior Analyst Rich Karpinski comments
“Large global telecom service providers—including AT&T—are building successful enterprise cloud businesses, and this is the reason why: access to the cloud is as important as the computing infrastructure that is housed there. So it makes complete sense for AT&T to in essence wholesale out an intelligent ‘cloud access’ service to other cloud providers like IBM. The joint venture has tremendous potential as cloud services are not a one-size-fit-all type of offering...different cloud and telecom providers will lead different sorts of cloud offers. At heavy IBM IT shops, Big Blue will own the customer relationship while AT&T will gain the ability to offer a managed cloud access service versus having those customers lease dark fiber and manage their own connections. In other cases, AT&T will be able to entice customers with its own cloud solutions. The fact that traditional IT and telecom players realize they can’t own it all and are working out joint venture/channel issues is proof of a maturing cloud market.”
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