April 19, 2013
By David Byrd
This week I represented ANPI at IP Possibilities 2013 in Minneapolis. The event is produced by NTCA The Rural Broadband Association which represents nearly 900 independent, community-based telecommunications companies. IP Possibilities had nearly 500 attendees with 67 exhibitors. Given my onsite meeting schedule I was not able to listen to all of the sessions but I was able to get a good feel for the types of discussions taking place during the event. On Wednesday, I participated in a panel discussion, Monetizing the Cloud.” Also on the panel was Arun Pasrija, CEO of CHR Solutions, and Steven Pickett, CEO of Aspira Networks.
The overview for the panel discussion was as follows: Industry blogs are filled with discussions on cloud services and ‘big data.’ But how do smaller telecommunications companies play in this space? How is this industry evolving? How many data centers are enough? And, what cloud applications can you leverage in your business? Technology experts will answer these questions and more.”
How well we answered the questions can be debated but we did have a lively discussion. We approached cloud computing not from the perspective of features and functionality but by examining the demand, infrastructure requirements and revenue opportunities.
The demand is clear: Revenue for hosted communications and services is growing at 22-35 percent per year based upon varying sources. SMB interest in a hosted solution is approaching 50 percent for those considering or expected to implement a hosted offering within the next 18 months. Although, if the definition of cloud computing includes email, accounting software, and online SEO / SEM management tools, I believe the use exceeds 80 percent.
Infrastructure requirements include geographically distributed servers with failover capabilities, scalability, ease-of-use with online customer portals for service management, and integration of mobile devices (smartphones, tablets and laptops).
The revenue opportunities are many ranging from Web hosting and data storage to a business communications solution utilizing common broadband transport or SIP trunking.
David Byrd is chief marketing officer and executive vice president of channel sales for
ANPI ZONE . He previously spent five years as vice president of marketing and sales for Broadvox and before that was vice president of channels and alliances for Eftia and Telcordia.
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