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Cloud Expansion Paves Way for Partnerships
Steve Koppman | Analyst at Large
The "cloud" of on-demand virtualized shared service is increasingly central to computing and communications worldwide.

And as the "multi-cloud" continues to expand, cloud service provider partnerships are also expected to increase.
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The Cloud Enabler Model: The Carrier Perspective
The "cloud" of on-demand virtualized shared service is increasingly central to computing and communications worldwide. Pure-play cloud players are generally those in both overlapping environments that are growing fastest. Though a significant number of carriers offer some cloud services on their own, the large majority of the cloud market is held by non-carrier, Web 2.0 market participants, and not even the most successful carriers appear to approach double-digit cloud service market shares. The cloud environment is strongly dominated by large non-carrier entities Amazon, Microsoft and Google which collectively account for the good majority of the cloud market, reportedly followed by players like VMWare and IBM.

The cloud is an increasingly pivotal and fast-growing presence in computing and communications worldwide. Carriers participate in a major way both as cloud service providers and network providers "enabling" others. The cloud is an extremely diverse and complex web of environments, with a large number of specialized providers and services. At the same time it is dominated by a handful of huge Web 2.0 players.

While providing cloud services themselves, carriers increasingly recognize the limits of their abilities to compete comprehensively as cloud providers and the centrality of their network service capabilities to success of their cloud strategies. Whether providing some of their own cloud services or not, carriers are accordingly increasingly providing cloud enablement services that help business customers use superior (for performance and security) private network access across a growing range of cloud providers (the multi-cloud), and these are typically becoming the driving element in carrier cloud strategies. The multi-cloud is becoming the norm as early adopter end users already typically use several different cloud services from a range of providers.

Over the next few years, there will be a much greater number of direct connections between carriers and cloud service providers. Most carriers of significant size will be connecting directly both to most major cloud providers and a large selection of niche vertical providers in such domains as healthcare, retail and beyond. Carrier wholesaling of cloud services will also grow significantly in a range of forms.

As the sector matures further, increased specialization is inevitable, with some players more clearly claiming advantages for some use cases versus others. On the one hand, current market shares are highly stratified and the market dominated by a few players, notably Amazon and Microsoft. Yet the ease with which new services are launched continues to support market diversification and specialization, and in the longer-term, its increasing "democratization."

The Cloud Enabler Model: The Carrier Perspective reviews how U.S.-based carriers are addressing cloud connectivity and the cloud enabler model. It discusses the market context and strategies carriers are employing, and contains profiles exploring how carriers are implementing those strategies and planning for further development into the future, derived from recent interviews with 10 U.S.-based service providers.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (spiti1214_toc.pdf)
The following excerpt summarizes which of the top three cloud service providers major U.S. carriers currently regard as "partners" with their own cloud connectivity/enablement arrangement. (Carriers will, by contrast, typically provide individualized custom interconnections from customers to any cloud service provider or any entity or location they can physically reach, but this is typically not nearly as advantageous from cost, functionality, time or convenience perspectives as regularized partnership arrangements.)
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies profiled in this report include: AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T); CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL); Comcast Business, a subsidiary of Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA); Equinix (Nasdaq: EQIX); Level 3 Communications (NYSE: LVLT); Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ); Windstream Communications (Nasdaq: WIN); XO Communications, owned by XO Holdings Inc.; and the Zayo Group.
Other companies mentioned in this report include: Amazon Web Services (AWS); Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG); and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT).
Total pages: 15
NOVEMBER 2014
Operational Infrastructure for Value-Based M2M Business Models
This report examines trends in the M2M market, including the increase of M2M devices, M2M solutions, and the importance of data. It also focuses on managing and monetizing M2M opportunities and data-centric AEPs in the market.
READ SUMMARY
Including table of contents, executive summary, and financial metrics
AUGUST 2014
Performance Monitoring Proves Key for Cloud Services
This report examines the cloud performance testing market. It discusses drivers and challenges in the industry, including a comparative analysis of solutions on the market. Finally, it examines the geographic landscape of the market and details trends that are likely to occur in the industry over the next 18-24 months.
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Including table of contents, executive summary, and financial metrics
MAY 2014
Disaster Recovery Hits the Cloud, Finds Silver Lining
This report examines the cloud-based disaster recovery market, analyzing the drivers and features that will most likely be implemented over the next two years. It includes a comparative analysis of available solutions, examines the geographic landscape of the market and details trends that we anticipate over the next 18-24 months.
READ SUMMARY
Including table of contents, executive summary, and financial metrics
ANALYST
Caroline Chappell
Caroline writes the Services Software Insider research newsletter, addressing the latest developments telecom service delivery technology.
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Caroline Chappell
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ANALYST
Denise Culver
Denise is the author of IP Services Insider. She has more than ten years' experience in technology journalism.
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Denise Culver
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ANALYST
Tim Kridel
Tim writes for both Mobile Networks Insider and Cable Industry Insider. He has previously covered the wireless and cable industries for a number of research firms, including Heavy Reading.
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Tim Kridel
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