Pipeline Publishing, Volume 7, Issue 1
This Month's Issue:
Into the Cloud
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Uniting App Trend with Cloud’s Potential

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By Wedge Greene

Play in your own sand box?

Strategy involves creating realistic, meaningful goals; assessing the landscape; identifying opportunities; and neutralizing roadblocks. Most often, the goal is economic success, but it need not always be directly aimed at higher revenue. Sometimes the goal is gaining or maintaining market dominance. This is why, we assume, Microsoft just made some of the features of Office and many of the features of the legendary Groove application free and available to the public as a cloud-based application. To get to the cloud storage holding this article from my computer, and likewise for the Pipeline editing staff to share and edit it, the electronic article crosses several service provider networks. None of those service providers are getting a dime for this significant value added service, which a short decade ago would be a costly internet business service. How can service providers develop a winning strategy in this new landscape?

Just how should telecom ecosystem companies [networks, vendors, SI] develop strategy in this new ecosystem of Cloud platforms and over-the-top applications?

chains were spreading that Microsoft approached major OSS/BSS vendors with cash incentives to develop Azure (their cloud development platform) based versions of their OSS/BSS money suites. Would this be a good strategic direction for Microsoft? How much

Sophisticated clouds are no longer a futurist prediction. They are no longer just for major business projects. Now they are real with dramatic market impacts on software sales and delivery and also on how networks and business work. Desktop productivity software was the high revenue application for decades. After cloud enabled market incursions from Google and others, Microsoft is hitting back big time with ‘Office Web Apps’. They have gotten firmly behind the cloud concept. Now core desktop productivity applications and offline storage are available as a cloud application from the company that was built with this revenue stream.

So, “play in your own sandbox”? Not.

Companies are committing to the Cloud. Microsoft is leaning on its developer community to adopt Azure and build in the cloud. This includes the telecom ecosystem community. Microsoft seeks new vendors to join their community. At the TMF, rumor

money would it take to flip an Oracle platform-based BSS vendor into their camp? It certainly costs ISVs scarce cash to re-engineer a product on a new platform. Would the risk to the vendor match the opportunities? Microsoft would not be alone in such a strategy. Platform vendors typically woo developers with cash, free software, and valuable training. It’s a proven strategy. But how would this move prove Microsoft’s foundation technology superior? After all, theirs is an image problem, not simply a problem of introducing new technology. Perhaps they gamble that building using Azure, vendors will then think Microsoft’s complete platform suite superior to Oracle, Google, or IBM. But would their buyers, the traditionally UNIX/sparc loving service providers, agree to buy this? That question opens our big unknown. Just how should telecom ecosystem companies [networks, vendors, SI] develop strategy in this new ecosystem of Cloud platforms and over-the-top applications?

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