Special Report: Telco cloud strategies in Asean: Page 2 of 3

Telco strategies
The growth in cloud computing in the Asean region is expected to accelerate further by the entry of telcos. Telco players bring a few advantages with them when compared with the pure-play cloud service providers.

 Special Report: Telco cloud strategies in Asean: Page 2 of 3

Figure 1: The telco advantage

The ownership of network infrastructure positions telecom service providers uniquely against the other three types of service providers. The visibility of the network helps them better manage cloud services and provision for foreseen challenges.
Apart from an end-to-end control over service delivery, telcos have a strong partnership and support network that allows them to create customised solutions that are tailored for their clients’ unique business requirements.
Furthermore, they have greater bundling capabilities than any other market participant in the ecosystem.
Telecom service providers are able to scale more rapidly than pure-play IaaS providers due to the breadth of their customer base and the trust that is reposed by their customers on their execution. This ability to scale rapidly also results in cost savings that could be passed on to customers, making the telcos one of the most cost-competitive market participants in the IaaS space.
Telecom service providers learnt the ropes of ‘glocalisation’ much earlier than other participants through extensive network hubs across the globe and further complemented that with a deep local presence that offers the best of global and local environments.
This is important for the SMBs as they do not get intimidated while doing business with a telecom service provider.
The one point that’s missed by many is the fact that the telcos themselves are also cloud users. Some of the telcos have transferred their business functions and computing requirements to the cloud to take advantage of the flexibility and faster time-to-market advantage.
They have already migrated their existing services and support functions onto shared infrastructure, therefore reducing total cost of ownership.
Areas like consumer media and business applications should be the core focus of telcos.
There are significant differences in each of the markets in Asean when it comes to the maturity of local telco cloud service providers. Singapore has the most mature set of telcos, while other countries are still witnessing local service provider evolution.
In Singapore, all three prominent telcos have already established their cloud portfolios to tap into this growing opportunity. Their cloud offerings range from simple cloud storage to extensive applications and CDN (content delivery network) services. They provide services across the cloud value chain: IaaS, PaaS and SaaS.
These players also provide their services to customers across the region, not limiting themselves to the Asean region but also to Asia Pacific as a whole.
Both SingTel and Starhub have also won contracts in cloud deals for the public sector.
SingTel, having consolidated its group companies NCS, Optus, Alphawest and its managed services into one business unit, has established itself as a key player in the region, offering a range of services across all delivery models.
Apart from its own services, SingTel has also established a cloud marketplace that offers third-party applications (including Google Apps) to its customers.
On the other hand, Microsoft’s Office 365 and public cloud IaaS are the two key service offerings from Starhub.
Maxis and Telekom Malaysia (through VADS) are offering various cloud solutions and their traction in this market is increasing.
Over the last one year, Maxis has been the more proactive telco in Malaysia when it comes to cloud computing. It has set up a new data centre, has strengthened its cloud computing team and is putting into action new initiatives to expand its current portfolio.
Telekom was late in the game. However, it is rapidly enhancing its capabilities and introducing new services to meet current requirements.
Government has emerged as a key vertical by demonstrating strong initial uptake of its cloud services.
The telco market in Indonesia is led by Telkom Indonesia and IndoSat.
Telkom Indonesia offers its cloud offering through TelkomSigma. It offers infrastructure and applications through its cloud portfolio. Its infrastructure services range from private cloud to public cloud solutions, with bursting options. Its SaaS solutions include financial services solution, mobile workforce management, and office automation.
IndoSat, has recently partnered with Dimension Data to launch an enterprise-class public cloud service. The Indosat Cloud, a public cloud IaaS offering, supports on-demand provisioning of cloud servers with customised CPU, RAM, storage, as well as management of compute, storage and networking.
This is an example of the earlier highlighted partnership between telcos and IT service players.
The key telco players in Thailand offering telco services are True IDC and TOT.  Both True IDC and TOT offer IaaS and SaaS cloud services.
The current demand for cloud is being serviced by IT service providers, therefore requiring the telcos to rapidly improve their marketing and delivery strategy to further entice more of their voice clients to move to their cloud offerings.
The Philippines
In the Philippines, the key player in the telco market offering cloud services is PLDT, which has launched its own public cloud infrastructure that is expected to further boost cloud computing adoption in the country.
PLDT has recently invested on network enhancements and data centre expansion, which would provide support for present and future ICT needs as businesses become more complex and competitive.
The telcos in Vietnam are very small providers of cloud services. The major players are Viettel and Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications (VNPT).
VNPT has teamed with DTS Communication Technologies Corporation (DTS) to provide MegaERP (enterprise resource planning) services in Ho Chi Minh City.  It has also teamed up with Polycom to offer MegaConference, which a subscription based Video as a Service (VaaS).
Other players
While the players highlighted above are local telcos, there are other global players like AT&T, BT, NTT Communications, Orange, and Verizon which provide their services in the Asean region.
While NTT Communications has expanded its presence into Malaysia, others are primarily targeting the Singapore market and looking to serve smaller opportunities through their Singapore data centre.
BT (British Telecom) is planning to expand its Asean footprint by doubling its market share in Asia. BT’s core focus moving forward would be the Vietnam market, where it expects strong growth for local businesses.
Orange is also expanding its business operations in the region.
Next Page: Roadblocks for telco cloud service providers

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