17 Jan 2011
But there's a catch to this kind of telecom outsourcing for cloud deployment: Lock-in with a single vendor, she said.
Larger telecom cloud vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Huawei "take a more pure 'outsource your multi-vendor platform [to us]'" approach similar to HP and IBM, partnering with various cloud infrastructure vendors, Robinette said. Those vendor-agnostic services generally appeal more to service providers than "the 'pure Cisco-only' approach," she said.
DeCarlo cautioned that service providers may not be able to differentiate their cloud services as easily if they adopt telecom outsourcing services that uniformly pre-package cloud infrastructure -- especially if business enterprises demand further customization that requires carriers to enlist the vendor again.
"Then you're going to have to spend for extra development cycles [for services that] you haven't really built into that model," she said. "On the flip side, the providers that have built their own stuff and are incredibly flexible might [have] some barriers they run into that we don't see right now."
Verizon Business, Orange Business Services and Swisscom recently commissioned Cisco to build and implement Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) infrastructure to deploy UC and collaboration services from the cloud.
Orange had experience operating hosted communications services with Cisco gear, but those deployments were designed with dedicated infrastructure for each client. Building multitenant clouds with automatic service provisioning was new territory for Orange that would require telecom outsourcing services to support design and integration, according to Paul Molinier, vice president of the unified communications and collaboration business unit.