Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Consumer clouds and lockers: implications for operators

What is cloud computing?
  • Internet-based computing, remote computing
  • Often subscription-based or free
  • On demand
  • Managed by third-party
  • Optional: automatic updates/back-ups, synchronisation across devices
OTT players (B2C):
  • Apple: iCloud, iTunes, iPhone, iPod, iPad.
  • Google: Android, Chrome, Chrome OS, Chromebook, Google Music, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Apps, YouTube, Picasa, Google Fiber, cloud connect for Microsoft Office.
  • Microsoft: Office 365, Lync, SkyDrive, Azure.
  • Amazon: Cloud Drive, Cloud Player, Kindle, Amazon Web Services.
  • Yahoo!: Yahoo! Mail, Flickr.
Services (B2C):
  • Any file: Amazon Cloud Drive,
  • Music: Spotify, Google Music (beta), Apple iCloud
  • Photos: Flickr
  • Video: Netflix, YouTube, Uitzendinggemist, BBC iPlayer, UltraViolet
  • Presentations: SlideShare, SlideRocket
  • Social networking: Facebook, LinkedIn, Hyves
  • OS (turn iPad or Chromebook into fully-fledged computer): Chrome OS
  • Office: Microsoft Office 365, Google Docs/Apps, Zoho
  • Individual file storage (for sharing): RapidShare, MegaUpload, zShare
  • Back-up, remote access: Dropbox, Mozy, Carbonite
Telco acquisitions (B2B), bringing data centers and services to the table:
  • NTT Com: Dimension Data, Frontline Systems
  • Verizon: Terremark
  • CenturyLink: Savvis
  • Windstream: Hosted Solutions
  • TDS: Visi
  • Cincinatti Bell: CyrusOne
  • Time Warner Cable: NaviSite
  • Telefonica: Acens Technologies
Operator initiatives (B2B):
  • Netflix is a big AWS (Amazon) customer for its Watch Instantly streaming service.
  • KPN launches SME Workspace: software and services from KPN CyberCenters at 40 EUR/employee/month (May 31 2011).
  • Telstra to invest AUD 800m over 5 years; 1 new datacenter, modernising existing, building new apps and a management portal (June 16 2011).
Developer platforms (B2B):
  • VMware: Cloud Foundry
  • Microsoft: Azure
  • Amazon: BeanStalk
  • Google: App Engine
Computer vs. cloud:
  • As the computer/files/hard disks are cut out of the ecosystem and the cloud replaces them: a. connectivity becomes more important, and b. the computer ecosystem (Microsoft, Intel) stands to lose.
Infrastructure and connectivity:
  • Syncing/back-ups/updates will be done over WiFi, so wireless will not be burdened (for now). WiFi becomes even more important. Ultimately, WiFi implies fiber.
  • Other network elements (CDN's, data centers, servers) may also become more important. However, Apple (and Google) are using their own private networks.
  • Operators have control over the last mile, but Apple (and Google) may control all the other network elements. Next battlegrounds: WiFi, FTTH (as in Google Fiber).
  • Amazon Web Services provides cloud services to smaller players.
  • Hosting, co-location, housing.
  • Enormous lock-in for Apple (and Google) will work in their favour. They control the subscriber's data. Will operators have an answer and provide these services: put all your data in our cloud, with automatic back-up and syncing?
  • Apple's system is closed: plays on iOS devices only.
  • Apple and Google are going OTT, while operators have their own managed and secure infrastructure.
  • Is email (Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, Gmail) the basis of developing a cloud strategy?
Other players:
  • Do cloud-based players such as Facebook, Dropbox, Zoho, Flickr, SlideRocket, Netflix, Evernote have a future?
  • Ericsson is in a way the biggest operator in the world, through its managed services. They can be a partner for telcos, which can then focus on sales & marketing.
  • Is UltraViolet still relevant? It's open, runs anywhere.
  • Cloud negatives: security (privacy), reliability (access), latency. Also: digital media fragmentation across multiple clouds and devices.
  • Cloud positives: better functionality and flexibility, faster and automatic updates (everything as a service), cost savings (lower capex/opex), shift from capex (hardware) to opex (subscription).
Benefits for consumers:
  • Lower cost (SaaS, Slim PC)
  • Buy once, play anywhere (streaming)
  • Sync across devices
  • Share among family members
What is the future role of a telco?
  • Infrastructure? Last mile (fixed and wireless) is too expensive to replicate
  • Cloud computing? Local and managed datacenters offer better security.
  • Services, sales & marketing? OTT players are building direct-to-consumer relationships, with credit card billing.
  • Telcos are squeezed: competition, regulation, device manufacturers, OTT players.
Apple iCloud limitations:
  • iOS devices only.
  • No TV/video.
  • WiFi only.
  • Video calls (FaceTime) limited to on-net over WiFi.

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