The potential of cloud service brokers on communication service providers
For the most part, the telecom industry has understood the concept of cloud services, and its basic premise of enabling carriers and service providers to take advantage of an opportunity to address specific IT and network infrastructure needs, as cheaply as possible.
Most recently, the concept of “cloud services brokering,” a term defined by Gartner (News - Alert), has described the implementation of this premise to reflect a focus on the integration, aggregation and customization of third-party cloud services and applications.
For communication service providers (CSPs), especially IP telephony and VoIP providers seeking to leverage the cloud, this model can enable carriers and service providers, including Internet telephony service providers (ITSPs), to overcome expensive, legacy operational complexities that typically plague service fulfillment across disparate applications, partners and platforms.
In other words, the premise of cloud service brokering can greatly help IP-enabled service providers to adopt standard, branded, unified solutions for automating, aggregating and integrating voice services and B/OSS connectors or APIs, as well as exposing unified APIs for internal and external use.
Moreover, leveraging brokered cloud-based voice services can even simplify the acquisition and management of products such as telephone numbers, SIP trunks, PBX (News - Alert) hosted seats and Access (circuits), enabling services providers and their trading partners to more easily buy, sell and manage VoIP service applications and products from one another.
For forward-thinking communication service providers, tasked with reducing voice service fulfillment and internal complexities and expenditures, the adoption of cloud services within internal IT organizations is typically happening in two ways: either by pushing the acquisition, management and risks of running data-centers into the cloud, and effectively reducing the administrative burden of network, server and software infrastructure; or by leveraging existing solutions and applications that can help carriers and service providers to improve time-to-market and reduce the cost of running IP telephony solutions or applications. In fact, a growing number of CSPs are seeking cloud-based voice applications and service fulfillment services and solutions that are already available within the cloud.
Likewise, many IT organizations are already reaping the benefits of cloud services, and recently Gartner industry analysts have predicted that IT expenditure on cloud services would hit the $100 billion mark by the year 2014, focused on the overall objective of reducing IT capital and operating expenses.
Now, while the advantages for implementing cloud-based voice applications and services are many, adopting them can be complex and costly. Recently however, in the telecom space many VoIP providers have begun leveraging cloud service brokers that specialize in the integration, aggregation and customization of third-party services and applications to streamline the process of buying, selling, and managing their inventory, such as DIDs, and products.
As more and more CSPs, from carriers to service providers, begin simplifying the fulfillment of VoIP services by brokering their cloud-based components, cloud service brokers are beginning to set a new precedence for the fulfillment of global IP-enabled services.
C. Enrique Ortiz is head of products at Shango (www.shango.com).
Edited by Stefania Viscusi