Public cloud not yet a cash cow

Carol Ko
Asia Cloud Forum
Last January, South Korea-based SK Telecom announced the opening of a new cloud computing data center in Seoul with 1,500 cloud servers installed to deliver public cloud services to small and medium businesses (SMBs).
 
At the moment, SK Telecom’s public cloud computing market is yet to mature to become "a cash cow" for the company, according to Han Nam-Seuk, CIO of SK Telecom. "We accumulated technology through our R&D (research and development) investment," said Han. "With regard to the infrastructure, we are taking a conservative approach as it can be expanded with the increase of subscribers."
 
In an interview with Asia Cloud Forum, Han outlines the major deployments of cloud services for SMBs in 2011 and the estimated cost benefits, how businesses can reap operational benefits from "mobile cloud" adoption, and his three key lessons learnt about cloud computing including what he calls a "select and concentrate’ approach." Excerpts below:
 
Asia Cloud Forum: What were your key cloud service offerings and deployments in 2011?
 
Han Nam-Seuk: We launched a server hosting service named ‘T cloud biz’ in January 2011 for corporate customers (mainly SMBs). As the main product, we have cloud server (a public infrastructure-based server hosting service located at the SK Telecom Cloud Center) that enables customers to use server resources matching their specifications for a wanted period.
 
This allows SMBs to borrow servers at 20% less cost than the existing IDC (Internet data center) product. Without a cloud server, venture companies or one-person enterprises would have to pay heavy initial investment costs (Approximately KRW 10 million [US$8,707] instead of KRW 40,000-90,000 [US$34.8-US$78.3] per month) as they themselves have to purchase servers and consume a long period of time building the infrastructure (About two to three months instead of within a few hours).
 
Our target market segments include B2B (business-to-business) public cloud, B2C (business to consumer) public cloud and in-house private cloud.
 

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