As a Principal Analyst for the Current Analysis Business Network and IT Services team in Europe, Michal's coverage areas include leading and emerging providers of managed services. He has a special focus on managed unified communications, data center services and the cloud.
Treating business continuity and disaster recovery services as ‘must-haves’ can obscure value and cost
Cloud-based business continuity and disaster recovery services can adjust to variable values over time
The best businesses (buyers and service providers) develop effective business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) strategies well in advance of natural and man-made catastrophes. AT&T’s investment and development of physical solutions to help customers recover from major outages is a good example. Some other organizations become focused later, and may survive (through good fortune). This can result in BCDR services later being assumed and treated as ‘must-haves’. They may then be bundled with underlying services, which can obscure the true value and cost of BCDR to service provider and customer alike. BCDR teams: does your organization value your service highly enough, or do colleagues see ‘must-have’ BCDR as a cost weighing on underlying service? Continue reading “Undervaluing Disaster Recovery in Data Center Services”→
Big data solutions are improving management information
Big data market growth means buyers need help to recognize where management information is decisive
Organizations in all industries have come to use measurement of more and more aspects of markets and the workplace to provide management with data to make informed decisions. In many cases, the more information, the less room for error, and management decisions improve. For instance, trivial matters or decisions that need to be made innumerable times so that only machines can make them efficiently. Continue reading “Big Data, Big Risk”→
Permission by presence status fits some corporate cultures but clashes with others.
Customers and providers of UC services cite low adoption and usage by end users as challenging. Both buyers and providers of UC services have a stake in encouraging end users to adopt UC services; once demanding UC projects have been rolled out, finance directors are keen to see some sorts of return on investment. Some UC features fare better than others (typically telephony gets high use) and they vary from user to user, but the power of ‘presence status’ to give contact permission can both deter and appeal to users. Continue reading “UC Hanging On Users’ Permission”→
Automation jeopardizes flexibility when needed by clients deploying new technology
Smaller services deals expose buyer shortcomings that need early due diligence and lifelong flexibility by providers.
The cloud brings exciting innovations that increase the potential of, and customer choices for, unified communications and workspace services. With that fresh potential comes the possibility of clients making more errors in buying decisions and specifications. Service providers and third parties are also likely to make genuine mistakes when advising clients on strategies that exploit new technologies. Continue reading “Keep Flexible to Keep Customers”→
It is a common belief that the public face of selling requires passion. Pure cloud services, such as those from Google or Amazon, offer plain and direct solutions that can satisfy straightforward storage, compute and applications needs. So, pure cloud solutions play a useful role for IT managers. They can also be readily understood by customers and believed in by sales people. Hybrid cloud is, however, growing in popularity among buyers and sellers, because not all IT problems are straightforward and hybrid cloud offers wider choices to match more needs. Continue reading “The Passion of Selling the Cloud”→
Be ready to exploit a round of telecom industry consolidation
Potential for merging telco, ITSP, OTT and media assets and abilities
Telecom operator mergers and acquisitions have been sparse during the current economic downturn, though there have been some interesting ones, e.g., Verizon buying Terremark and CloudSwitch, NTT buying Dimension Data, Level 3 acquiring Global Crossing, and CenturyLink buying Savvis and Qwest. The lack of more merger and acquisition activity is surprising given the depressed state of some telco and ITSPs’ share prices. Now in 2012 there have been two attempts to acquire Cable & Wireless, from Vodafone and Tata Communications. Vodafone remains in the running with a GBP 1 billion bid. More recently Carlos Slim of America Movil in Mexico offered US$3.8 million to up his stake (to 28%, from under 5%) in Netherlands-based KPN. In keeping with speculation that expansion in Europe is of interest, Slim is also reported to be ‘eyeing’ Telekom Austria. Continue reading “Fantasy Telco League – Building Dream Service Providers”→
UC services are becoming increasingly feature-rich.
Not all features are valuable enough to sway business buying decisions.
Unified communications (UC) have long held promise for service providers as an opportunity to differentiate services, add value for the customer, add revenue streams, and make their services ‘stickier,’ and in 2012, more players are building up a head of steam to drive new service elements such as video conferencing. Those already in the video conferencing game will respond by offering more features or competitive pricing. Each UC feature has a value in price for the service provider, as well as a cost in development and manufacture that they pay technology vendors. Even long-established, standard features are an ongoing cost in order to keep them interoperating with new features. There are already numerous features offered in today’s UC services, for instance: abbreviated dial plans; call hold; music on hold; caller ID presentation; call waiting; call logs; directory/contacts; call park; find-me/follow-me; click to call; dial ‘0’ for company operator; softphone; audio conferencing; distinctive ringing; do not disturb; net conferencing; direct international dialling; call forwarding; reservation-less, scheduled and assisted audio, video and telepresence conferencing; real-time utilization statistics; and many, many more as standard and optional. Continue reading “The True Value to Business Users of UC Service Features”→
Data centres and networks, above all else, are key to enabling any cloud service.
The gatekeepers of infrastructure will not reap the early and mid-term rewards of cloud services.
Data centres and public networks are key to enabling clouds, whether they are IaaS, PaaS or SaaS; hybrid, private or public clouds. The very notion of ‘the cloud’ springs from the visualization of networks and data centre elements as a cloud. Without data centres, cloud content and applications have nowhere to be stored and interaction would not be possible. Without public networks, cloud customers could not access centralized data centres. So, data centre owners and network providers reasonably expect to gather a major chunk of the value from customers’ spending in the growing cloud market. Continue reading “Who Should Provide Your Cloud Infrastructure and How Would You Like to Pay?”→
Later adopters learn from occasional disappointments of early public cloud services users
Broadening cloud classes (public, hybrid, private) complement traditional services
There’s some industry talk of a backlash against the cloud. That’s inevitable, given the hype over its promise. In general though, ‘backlash’ presents things too strongly – some individuals understandably feel angry, but market-wide momentum is still behind the uptake of cloud services.