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The Third Wave of Cloud Computing:Releasing the Value of Verticals

Telecom Operators have begun to make headway with their Cloud Offerings but the real opportunity lies in the next wave of services.

Shinya Kukita Chief Manager of International Sales at NECShinya Kukita Chief Manager of International Sales at NEC

The first wave of cloud computing was the exclusive domain of large internet players like Amazon and Google who saw an opportunity to grow their own business by creating a model in which they shared more openly the benefits of scale. The Cloud Computing model was a new way to deliver IT resources and services, and many enterprises experienced the benefits of only paying for the IT services that they used, as and when they used them.

However, security and privacy considerations have kept many enterprises from fully exploiting the benefits of these Public Clouds. Larger enterprises had the option to build their own private cloud which was a useful compromise but not one that brought the full benefits of the cloud model.

The Cloud Computing model continued to evolve. NEC, along with a number of major telecom operators, has led the way in this evolution as a part of the second wave of cloud computing. This was the first chance for telecom operators to step in and build on the infrastructure they had already put in place by expanding and adapting the service models for their existing customers. A good example of telecom operators taking part in this second wave of cloud computing has been the Carrier Cloud services, such as those delivered on the NEC SaaS Market Place. These services are delivered in a cloud model but with more focus on specific needs of the customer such as security and localization.

NEC has partnered with telecom operators to build successful cloud programs from Latin America to Asia.

The approaching third wave of cloud computing is about connecting more than IT resources and services. The next wave will be about bringing specific services to vertical industry such as healthcare, education, retails and government. One of the resulting trends will be to accumulated data out of the cloud. The increasing need to integrate services with process will require a broader number of sensors and devices to be connected to the Carrier Cloud. Increasingly, we will see machine-to-machine (M2M) communications come to the forefront of services focused on industry verticals.

A big chance for small business

Until now, only vertically integrated industries such as healthcare, hospitality, education, logistics and retails have required large capital investment in integrated software packages to manage their core industry functionalities. This has often meant that traditional IT offerings have left large customer groups, such as SMEs, underserved in these verticals as vendors focus on those segments with higher margins.

NEC' s third wave Carrier Cloud proposition lets telecom operators address opportunities like SME. Shinya Kukita, Chief Manager of International Sales at NEC, explains, "In the first wave of Cloud, the telecom operators weren' t invited---so we came up with the second wave. But, it is for the third wave that telecom operators are uniquely positioned to leverage their communications advantage and their ability to focus on the national markets. Within each industry, key offerings are company-appropriate bundles of applications that include common functionality delivered from cross-industry horizontals such as M2M connectivity, fleet management, digital signage and biometrics-based authentication." NEC has a proven track record of delivering such integrated systems customized for specific verticals. Each enterprise has the flexibility to aggregate the package of services most appropriate for it. The bridge between these services and the SMEs that have been left out until now is the local telecom operator.

Wider Cloud with NEC

Big data, Big Opportunity

The connected world of smart objects, from mobile terminals to sensors, meters and networked appliances, is a world full of fast-flowing and rapidly accumulating data. The growing prominence of M2M connectivity, as well as the big data that comes with it, is a problem for which growing companies will have to find solutions.

Big data is a problem that telecom operators are in a unique position to solve. Wherever data is widely spread and changing rapidly is an opportunity for a telecom operator to provide valuable services to new and existing customers. The time for asking whether the cloud is serious business for telecom operators is over.

The question that remains is, do telecom operators have a greater role to play in the third wave of cloud computing than dumb-pipe provider? With NEC as their partner, the answer is yes.