1. The maturing cloud will need "Five 9" service-level agreements and enterprise grade cloud services
IDC believes that the combination of "five 9" guarantees (99.999), plus a robust business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) capabilities delivered by virtual private clouds and multilevel service level agreements (SLAs), will be the new "killer application" in cloud services and the hallmark of progressive telecom carriers in the region. This will be one of the triggering factors for broader adoption of cloud services.
2. New unified communication as a service players will shake incumbent conferencing players out of complacency
With the onset of the global economic crisis, enterprises were suddenly faced with the predicament of operating with fewer resources. Unified communication (UC) tools and its ability to improve productivity of a geographically distributed workforce came into the limelight within the CIO's scheme of things. However, cash-strapped enterprises found Opex-based models for adopting UC more plausible in an environment where every penny spent came under the CFO's scrutiny. Progressive UC vendors seeing the opportunity for UC as a service (UCaaS) have launched these services.
Many UC services, such as voice and Web conferencing, have been traditionally offered as a service by pure-play conferencing SPs and telecom operators. Today, these services are facing the prospects of obsolescence unless the SPs evolve these offerings into full-scale UC services. This is mainly because the incumbent SPs see imminent competition from the UC vendors that are taking a holistic approach of UCaaS, often as part of a larger SaaS platform. With the pure-play conferencing players' services looking increasingly like plain vanilla offerings, they are doing some soul-searching to work out their forward path.
3. Converged fabric and evolving datacenter will be centerpiece of transformation
Any organization that is planning a major datacenter upgrade in 2010 will have a hard time escaping vendors pushing converged fabric products. Vendors have been refreshing and adding converged fabric to datacenter solution portfolio over the last 12 months. IDC believes that converged fabric solutions will significantly address some of the IT sprawl and its resulting large amount of expenditure on maintenance.
4. The economic crisis gave Chinese networking vendors opportunity to prove themselves
Chinese technology dragons - Huawei and ZTE continued to prosper despite the global downturn in 2009. The recession also meant that carriers were willing to try alternative brands, allowing the two vendors to gain the technology recognition by tier one incumbents. It is their success in the international markets that is giving the likes of Ericsson and Cisco a run for the money. Huawei claims to have worked with 31 of the world's top 50 operators and ZTE with 30 of the world's top 100 operators. In fact, the downturn played a role in helping these vendors grow in 2009. The progress charted in 2009 sets the precedence for growth in 2010 for Chinese vendors.
5. India carriers join inner circle of global service providers (GSPs)
India telecom carriers led by Reliance Global, Tata Communications, Bharti, and BSNL embarked on a journey to extend their presence outside India and have set out on their global ambitions. Buoyed by the global success of their business process outsourcing (BPO) counterparts and the insatiable desire by India enterprises to go global, India SPs have built investments and partnerships across the globe, transforming themselves from a India provider to a global player. The country's BPO, services and software legacy will play a major role in today’s emphasis on greater ICT and business process alignment.