At a time when traditional wireline revenues are flattening or dropping, IBM is offering a new way for service providers to increase revenue. The company announced the IBM Cloud Service Provider Platform, a carrier-grade platform with a comprehensive set of hardware, software and services pre-integrated to enable faster deployment.
"As telcos get into the market where they will offer public cloud services or managed cloud services to all their customers, they need a platform that goes beyond what's available in the market today," said Craig Wilson, Vice President Sales, Global Telecom Industry at IBM in an interview with FierceTelecom. "So what we've done is we've taken our cloud platform, IBM Service Delivery Manager, which provides the middleware and security and management and orchestration, and ... with that platform, we're extending that for carrier grade capabilities and carrier grade scale. "
The company's push toward integrated cloud services platforms for Communication Service Providers (CSPs) makes sense as the cloud services market could hit $89 billion within five years. With fixed-line revenues drying up, offering IP-based services including an array of managed cloud technologies is becoming a profitable niche, particularly for Tier 2 and 3 providers and for CSPs in emerging markets.
"They're moving to a Web-based model to be able to really provision or deliver services in the cloud, so the speed and effectiveness in which they can create new services, the extent to which they can really manage end to end-which really differentiates the telcos from other service providers-the ability to manage and monitor the service end to end and to guarantee service level agreements (SLAs) is a key requirement and differentiator for them," Wilson said.
IBM piloted the platform with several clients in different regions, including Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Orange Business Services, ChinaTel and SKTel were among those participating.
The pre-integrated applications are part of what IBM calls a complete ecosystem built into the platform. More than 200 of IBM's business partners contributed applications, services that can be white-labeled and wholesaled to a carrier which can then offer them to its customers, whether business or residential.
"They need to be able to take a lot of what are really nontraditional telco services and be able to drive ... market acceptance," said Wilson. "So a lot of what we're introducing is the actual platform to manage the service and launch the service ... a set of IBM and partner service creation tools and ecosystem programs for them to create onboard services a lot more quickly."
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