AT&T's Caniano: Customers want choice with their hybrid cloud solutions

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AT&T continues to make progress with its hybrid cloud services strategy, one that is focused on giving customers choice by establishing partnerships with other cloud and data center providers.

Speaking at the Cowen Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, Steve Caniano, vice president, Networked Cloud Solutions for AT&T, said that it will continue to offer its own cloud services and give customers the ability to access other cloud services like Salesforce.

"As I mentioned in terms of the hybrid marketplace that we see evolving, we see really customers wanting choice," Caniano said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. "We also see customers wanting enterprise class services to be able to move more serious applications to a cloud type of model. And so, when we introduce the initial AT&T cloud offerings, we did it in what we call the network-enabled fashion, which was really tightly integrating our VPN technology and services with our cloud in a way that seamlessly created on net services we thought about that."

AT&T has created a three-pronged cloud strategy: putting all new applications in the cloud; extending VPN services into the cloud; and cloud-enabling cloud services that enterprise customers use from Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and other providers.

One of the clouds it is giving its customers access to is Salesforce. A key enabler of its partnership with Salesforce and others is its NetBond technology, which dynamically allocates VPN bandwidth, allowing customers to use as much or as little as they need.

Caniano said that business customers want access to a number of different cloud services, some of which AT&T today does not provide.  

"What we heard from customers is that that's the type of configuration that they believe they need for a multitude of clouds that they want to access today," he said. "If you look at Salesforce, for example, which is the most recent partnership that we have announced, that's a very different type of cloud than AT&T would offer, for example, in that it's a purpose built SaaS application for unique use case."

Besides Salesforce, the telco also established a pact with Equinix in February. Through that partnership, AT&T can enable other cloud providers to allow access to their services via AT&T NetBond from Equinix's growing set of global data center sites. 

"Equinix obviously is in the data center business and has tried to create communities, one of them being a cloud type of community," Caniano said. "I think they had been relatively successful in attracting a number of cloud providers into their various facilities of all different types of clouds, for example, from infrastructure to platform to SaaS type applications. And so we see potential synergy to be able to extend the NetBond into an Equinix facility and avail the various clouds that may reside there to also potentially come on that into a NetBond ecosystem."

Cloud has become a major initiative for AT&T. The company has been implementing cloud for its business consumers and for its own internal IT operations. In 2013, AT&T put nearly 20 percent of its internal apps into the cloud and over the next three to five years, it will be an entirely cloud-based enterprise.

For more:
- see the transcript (sub. req.)

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