Increasing competition among the global cloud giants, the entry of new public cloud players into the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, coupled with rising concerns around data sovereignty and security are opening up opportunities for service providers in APAC to position themselves as providers of managed hybrid environments. However, they need to eliminate complexity across public and private cloud environments among multiple vendors to be competitive in the market, suggests leading data and analytics company GlobalData.
In their quest to differentiate from simply reselling cloud, several telcos are combining cloud services from multiple vendors into a single managed service that encompasses advisory, integration, and monitoring, orchestration, automation of workloads through to other areas such as failover and disaster recovery. Service providers are also being asked to support both legacy applications, (e.g., n-tiered architectures) through to next-gen workloads such as containers and micro-services.
However, as cloud services are increasingly adopted by enterprises, the cloud environments become increasingly complex, with many businesses working across three or more different cloud environments to meet all their storage, high availability, security, compliance, compute and back-up needs.
GlobalData says that telecoms players can instead add value by removing this complexity for the enterprises and provide a simplified single pane of glass view, easy management tools, integration and advisory services around setup and security.
Malcolm Rogers, Telecom Technology and Software Analyst at GlobalData, says: “While the global players have more data center assets overall, telecom operators will continue to be strong partners for the last mile. However there are other opportunities in matching connectivity technologies to workloads, helping businesses to pick the right IaaS/PaaS partners and advisory services.
‘’Whether it is due to data privacy regulations, a need for low latency or the ability to offer a more complete ICT and networking package, telcos can add real value to both cloud vendors and enterprises beyond a simple resale channel.”
Meanwhile, many cloud providers are also seeking out telco partnerships. Leading global players like Microsoft, Amazon and IBM are engaging telecoms companies as channel partners as they look to further expand in APAC markets. On the other hand, younger cloud players like China-based AliCloud and Huawei are seeking to improve brand recognition and service adoption by selling through telecoms companies in Asia with established enterprise customer bases. Google is also well-regarded for software defined networking and enterprise services.
Rogers concludes: “These partnerships benefit both sides, helping telecoms companies to expand their cloud offers, and supporting the cloud providers to rely on sales channels and partners to address the increasing demand for cloud solutions.”