CLOUD & DATA CENTRE SPECIAL REPORT: Why having a cloud platform matters
Just how important is it for a carrier to have a cloud offer?
It could be argued that the provision of cloud services is so far from a carrier’s core activities to constitute an inessential distraction – a fad perhaps that won’t last more than a few years. “Cloud services let operators reconnect with their subscribers and once again own the end-user experience they provide to them, in a way that adds value and reduces churn,” says Chris Halbard, EVP and international president at Synchronoss Technologies.
“Operators can retake ownership of the user experience from their OTT rivals by positioning themselves in the pivotal ‘enabling’ role for providing all cloud-hosted content to the subscribers. They can do so by establishing and securely curating a unique digital profile for each of their subscribers that gathers together their personal information and acts as their identity in the cloud.”
A cloud service works best based on a strong bond between cloud platform provider and user. The former must understand the needs of the latter in a way that is much easier for a telecoms operator than an OTT. Those Tier 1 players with a track record will already have earned and developed an established relationship with their subscribers as a reliable, trusted and secure provider. “At the same time, users today are creating and consuming ever-increasing amounts of content and data, which they want to access wherever they are, across a broad range of devices,” says Halbard. “Operators are in the ideal position to meet this demand, as a trusted and highly secure means for transporting and accessing data.”
But don’t think just conventional consumer or enterprise service areas. The cloud is set to play an increasingly prominent role in activating and enabling IoT innovations such as wearables, and new services like remote automated control of home appliances.
An investment in a cloud offer doesn’t just change how operators relate to customers, but creates a new paradigm of partnership. Operators can use the cloud as the foundation for working with partners, such as developers and data centre operators, to quickly create, roll out and monetise a range of new services and features to users - and pull them down quickly if they don’t pay off. An operator can establish the cloud as an effective, efficient and economically appealing channel for partners and developers to access large numbers of subscribers or paying consumers.