The consistent focus on cloud computing is opening up new opportunities for service providers seeking to improve their operations while also generating new revenue. The main focus for the service provider is to increase business agility, efficiency and speed, while cutting costs at the same time. The right approach to cloud technology can enable service providers to leverage this new platform to meet the growing demand for next-generation cloud services.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
A recent Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) white paper, The Carrier Cloud: Driving Internal Transformation and New Cloud Revenue, demonstrates that the carrier cloud is at the heart of new opportunities. Service providers can leverage the carrier cloud to enjoy a single, elastic environment that will support the internal transformation. At the same time, the carrier can deliver next-generation cloud services with guaranteed availability and performance.
Opportunities afforded in the cloud often drive the service provider to make the move, yet the cloud also offers an important opportunity to transform the business model, overall operations and the infrastructure. The resulting efficiencies increase business agility, cut costs and accelerate the delivery of service. New business models allow for aggressively streamlined operations, which directly impact the bottom line.
The cloud also offers a number of advantages for today’s service provider. For one, services are no longer delivered from segregated silos that demand dedicated equipment, resources and applications. All services are pushed out from a single, elastic environment in which equipment and applications are virtualized and processes and operations are simplified. New services are added quickly and easily to generate new revenue streams. Such efficiencies are critical in the service provider realm as their environments are already complex operations.
In addition to enterprise applications, service providers also support the equipment and applications necessary to operate and manage their networks and services. These applications require careful cloud deployments that define compute and storage characteristics, in addition to strict KPIs (key performance indicators). With the granular control of the network service providers already claim, they can leverage this power to virtualize their operations and transform services to gain the total benefit of the cloud.
Research conducted by Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs identified a number of powerful advantages that are extended to the service provider when moving to a cloud environment. This move reaches deep into the network and layers of service delivery, affecting as much as 80 percent of network equipment and software through virtualization.
This move also significantly reduces CAPEX and OPEX (News - Alert) for the service provider, including 60 percent savings from base station virtualization to reduce civil work; incremental capital investments for adding a subscriber can be reduced as much as 70 percent; data center operations can be reduced by 40 percent; services operations can be reduced by 25 percent; and engineering and network planning costs can be reduced by 20 percent.Aside from the obvious cost benefits promised in the cloud, service providers come to this delivery model with experience deep in rich service delivery, the right infrastructure and strong customer relationships. When these advantages are combined, they set the service provider cloud offer clearly apart from the data center offering, allowing the service provider to make the most of the incremental revenue opportunities that exist in the cloud.
Edited by Peter Bernstein