When people talked about cloud technology two decades ago, they meant the telecom cloud. When cloud computing took hold a few years ago, the word ‘cloud’ was co-opted by the larger IT industry.
Can telecom take back some of the cloud mindshare and earn a larger share of the cloud-based revenues? The answer is yes, especially in the area of delivering cloud applications to enterprises.
In general, any enterprise application that could benefit from real-time network analytics is a great candidate for a winning use case that can be offered as a network service.
Here are a few examples:
In the past few years, mid- to large-sized enterprises have upgraded their network capacity to support the huge demand for Internet access, cloud services and other WAN applications. Yet bandwidth-hungry sites such as YouTube or tasks such as large file transfers can overload the system, resulting in a bad user experience for mission-critical business transactions.
A telecom cloud application that prioritizes network traffic knows which applications are critical and which are not and is aware of users, end point locations and the service levels required to maintain an optimum user experience and performance of key business applications.
Telcos own an incredible amount of subscriber data that goes beyond basic information such as age, gender and type of phone. It includes unstructured data on customer behavior and preferences, and when combined with the mobile phone’s ability to track precise location results in a gold mine of intelligence that can help businesses sell more products and services. The key is making it available in real time, which CSPs can already do.
Another key application is the mitigation of Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks to corporate websites, which can be done much more efficiently from the telecom cloud.
Being able to monitor and analyze IP traffic in real time from the telecom network results in faster threat detection. And once an attack is discovered, a network policy can be implemented immediately to neutralize the attack.
The power of such a telecom cloud approach is even more compelling when you consider that its detection scheme is behavioral – it learns on the fly – and doesn’t rely solely on searching a huge database of known DDoS attack signatures. This means it can actually detect zero-day or other unknown attacks.
Cloud computing effectively moves enterprise IT activity and systems into a CSP’s backyard, which will allow them to start earning the cloud revenue streams that lie dormant in their sprawling networks.
And without having to worry about giving a cut to partners, this is a great way for CSPs to leverage capabilities and infrastructure they already have to bring new cloud services to enterprise customers.
Photo by Maxime Guilbot with Creative Commons license
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