FierceTelecom: Are you finding that these segments you mentioned (government, health care, financial) are embracing cloud security services?
Costello: They are embracing it. I am in front of our customers and every enterprise wants to talk with AT&T and other providers about what they are doing in the cloud space. I am finding that some of the most popular use cases around cloud and utility computing services as well are around some of the newer technologies starting out with a test and development environment. What it takes for a client to stand up that kind of environment could take up to 120 days if they are procuring and building the services themselves. Being able to plug into a service provider's cloud instantaneously to begin computing certainly is beneficial. I am also seeing a lot of customers use cloud services to archive their data. Those are very popular uses of cloud.
Disaster recovery is another use of utility computing and cloud services. An example would be in the event of a disaster, the customer has a means to communicate leveraging an alternative set of technologies hopefully in a different geography of data center systems. When they invoke their disaster recovery plan, they are able to use utility computing or cloud technologies so they can convey critical information to employees, suppliers and customers.
FierceTelecom: AT&T's recent disaster recovery survey revealed that "three-fourths (77 percent) of the survey respondents said that wireless played a major/minor role in their plays a major/minor role in the business continuity plan." How much of a role wireless play in AT&T disaster recovery portfolio?
Costello: 77 percent of the most recent survey (respondents) indicated that customers are using wireless devices as part of their plan and that number continues to increase. Also, from a budgeting perspective, 72 percent of those we surveyed are investing in new technologies-mobility being a big part of that investment along with virtual services and cloud computing. Some of the things AT&T has been able to do in helping customers with disasters is we have cells on wheels and we can virtually replaced a satellite that's suffered an outage. We have also helped with virtual recharging stations for wireless phones. Generally, customers when they are leveraging mobility networks and mobility solutions are heavily reliant when they are dealing with call center issues or there's a landline outage in their office, they'll turn to cell phones as a means to communicate information across their organizations.
FierceTelecom: Can you give us an example of a recent disaster and your role there?
Costello: Generally, when we help out with natural disasters we provide emergency communications. We have a fleet of 300 self-contained equipment trials with data, routing and switching gear as well as a team of experts. We're able to come in and ensure emergency communications in a region so the team members focused on the disaster at hand have a means to communicate with their key constituents. It's a combination of our specialized personnel in chemical and biological disasters and the communications vehicles on a near real-time basis to bring to the disaster.