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Enterprise PaaS: What's In It for Telcos?
In the digital services or "app" era, a strong application development capability has never been more important to an enterprise's ability to attract customer attention and compete efficiently. At the same time, application development has never been more complex. Enterprises are making big demands of their developers as they deal with a wave of business and technology change, from changing timescales for business decision-making to the implications of mobility, from the impact of IT consumerization and social networking to the need to drive value from big data.

Cloud is one of the largest disruptions with which enterprises are grappling. Enterprises increasingly want their applications delivered from the cloud in order to enhance their flexibility and speed of market response, to reduce operational costs and to take advantage of the trends that are turbocharged by the cloud, including mobile access, big data and social networking. It therefore makes sense for enterprises to start developing applications in the cloud, whether these are productivity, or "tertiary," applications created by line of business users, modernized versions of existing applications that previously ran on unvirtualized infrastructure, or a next generation of social networking/mobile-enabled/big data-based applications on which enterprises are basing their future competitiveness.

Telcos are treading cautiously when it comes to enterprises PaaS. This is not surprising since PaaS is the most immature and fragmented of the three cloud service models defined by NIST and telcos are up against formidable competitors.

Yet PaaS is a highly strategic service for cloud providers playing in the enterprise marketplace. As a result, leading cloud service and technology providers that want to encourage enterprises to use their cloud services (IaaS, SaaS) and/or infrastructure technology (virtualization, cloud automation platform) are busy developing PaaS solutions. So far, only a handful of telcos have joined them.

In a highly varied and rapidly evolving PaaS market, telcos must think carefully about their PaaS strategy. They should resist the temptation to build their own PaaS and seek partners that best address their enterprise customers' pain points. Presently, the business case for a PaaS is clearer for enterprises than it is for telcos. But without this strategic layer of the cloud stack, telcos may find they lose out at other levels to cloud providers that have invested in taking enterprise application development to the cloud.

Enterprise PaaS: What's In It for Telcos? looks at the enterprise PaaS market and the drivers for and benefits to enterprises as they seek to adopt PaaS. It discusses the evolution of enterprise PaaS and the opportunity for telcos to offer PaaS as part of a cloud stack of services. It provides a comparison of key PaaS providers, some of which would be telco competitors in this market and some of which are potential partners. The report concludes that while the enterprise PaaS market is immature at present, those cloud service providers that can begin to attract a substantial development community will reap benefits in the uptake of related cloud services.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (spiti0612toc.pdf)
This report suggests that it is inefficient and potentially costly for an enterprise to subscribe to (or maintain if the PaaS is hosted on-premises) multiple different PaaS for different development use cases. There is a strong argument from an enterprise perspective for a single, unified PaaS that supports all the differentiated application developments they undertake. The current PaaS use cases for the three areas of enterprise differentiated application development are summarized in the following excerpt.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Vendors profiled in this report include: Amazon Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN); AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T); Cordys Software B.V.; Force.com, a platform of Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM); Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG); IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM); Joyent Inc.; Kaazing Corp.; LongJump, a service of Relational Networks Inc.; Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT); OrangeScape Technologies Ltd.; RedHat Inc. (NYSE: RHT); and VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW).
Total pages: 36
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