Thursday, 23 September 2010

Haze Around Mobile Cloud Computing?

In a recent report by Juniper Research it was reported that Enterprise customers will be a major force behind the growth in mobile Cloud services and by 2014 one third of all the mobile applications could be Cloud-based valued at $9.5 Billion.

When cloud is used to deliver a service that is consumed over mobile can the consumer tell?  No, and in practice a consumer will not care.  It is a service they subscribe to and hopefully it adds value.   Cloud for a pure mobile operator needs to be  understood as a means to provide existing and new services.  Indeed it is reasonable to suggest that existing services are already cloud.  Voice calls and SMS are already network accessed, pay per use services.

Cloud for mobile operators can be an enabler of new customer benefits.  Cloud style deployments can reduce the cost of existing implementations and new cloud services, delivered from internal applications or from a third party, can increase the service portfolio and increase potential revenue, increasing ARPU.  The mobile operator has a key advantage as they already have a customer relationship with millions of potential customers but as is proved by the number of apps in found in the Apple app store this is a long tail market.  With means to exploit both the developer community and also to advertise and sell their applications the mobile operator would be ideally placed to increase revenue.

What the mobile operator needs is a cloud mobile application store.  Unlike applications that are downloaded onto the end user’s phone, these applications run inside the cloud and be accessed by any mobile phone with a browser.  They are naturally persistent and do not need to be reacquired/transferred when the users device is changed.  This is a key differentiator.

Enterprises too can receive extra value via cloud services from the mobile operator.  The mobile operator can host for an enterprise a service that they want to deliver to their employee’s and customer’s mobile devices.  Furthermore these services may benefit from intimate linking with the additional capabilities a mobile operator can provide – payment means, authentication, etc.

Even more interesting is a move into PaaS.  Platform as a service is the little brother of IaaS and SaaS, so far, with limited adoption.  A mobile operator can use PaaS to enable ISVs and innovative developers by providing a development cloud service and then a delivery cloud service that includes hosting and key common platform capabilities like databases and also the additional mobile specific capabilities mentioned earlier.

Haze around mobile?  A mobile operator who has a clear view on how to focus on using their special assets will benefit from their adoption of cloud technology.  And will the end user care where the service comes from? No!

If you are interested in how Telcos can play a leading role in Cloud Computing you can sign up for the next Cloud Vision webinar featuring HP Cloud experts and moderated by Patrick Kelly, Research Director of Analysys Mason titled “Enterprise Mobility through Services in the Cloud: A Mobile Operator’s Guide”. Places are limited – register now .

View the recordings of the previous Cloud Vision “Inside the Cloud” series of webinars featuring thought leaders and Cloud experts here

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