Sprint joins with CSC to take on IaaS market

Sprint (NYSE: S) is expanding its cloud services capabilities, establishing a partnership with systems integrator CSC (NYSE: CSC) to provide its business customers a set of everyday services such cloud-based e-mail, managed hosting and colocation.

Playing up its wireline and, of course, wireless capabilities, Sprint said the joint venture will deliver public, private and hybrid cloud services from any device.

This agreement joins CSC's Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions with Sprint's Unified-Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) offering launched in March. Existing and new business customers will use Sprint's IP/MPLS backbone to connect to the CSC Trusted Cloud.

With the new IaaS service, Sprint will be able to meet the demand for services such as computing services, including hardware network and storage, and data center space.

Craig Safir, director of cloud and converged solutions, Sprint, said in an interview with FierceTelecom the IaaS service and partnership with CSC builds on top of the UCaaS offering.

"At the end of March we launched our Sprint Complete Collaboration service, and I think that was the start of putting rich applications and workloads onto a network," he said. "This is an evolution from that in that we're going to offer Infrastructure as a Service to our clients and Greenfield clients as well."

Competing with a number of strong competitors such as CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ), which have been building up their cloud portfolio via acquisitions, the new venture with CSC for Sprint is all about time to market.

Through its relationship with CSC, Sprint can immediately extend its wireline IP/MPLS network to CSC, which has one of the largest data center footprints serving the public sector and Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 segments.  

Safir added that working with an established data center operator like CSC versus buying or building out more data centers is the best option for its cloud services strategy.

"They will manage will go data center piece of it and we're bringing the network," Safir said. "We feel like both parties focusing on the pieces they do best in terms of delvering value, and we'll invest in bringing our network with their data center such that we can offer the combined solution."

Sprint's movement into the cloud services arena is timed well.

While cloud services have not been adopted universally by every business, they are growing. A new Gartner Group report forecasts that public cloud services will grow from $91 billion worldwide in 2011 to $109 billion in 2012.

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