Posts tagged ‘cloud service’

Security and SLAs limiting cloud uptake in MENA, IT head says #cloudmena

Source: Business Cloud News

Despite strong projected growth, cloud services uptake in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) could be hampered by the speed at which local cloud service providers adopt new security controls, Emirates Investment Authority (EIA) IT head Furqan Ahmed Hashmi tells BCN.

The EIA, the sovereign wealth fund of the federal government of the United Arab Emirates set up in 2007 with the intention of investing in businesses and encouraging economic diversity.

Hashmi said that the organisation recently moved its disaster recovery site into a private cloud after it virtualised the majority of its production environment, which is hosted on-premise.

“We moved from bare-metal to virtualised workloads to save on opex and capex; we saved lots of money in hardware, power and cooling costs, and it definitely gives you better admin and control,” he says. “It also makes DR easier.”

The organisation moved over some of the physical hardware it saved by virtualising its production estate to its DR site to support the private cloud implementation, which is hosted by one of the local telcos.

“We have our own infrastructure, our own network links – but of course security is still the main concern,” he says.

Hashmi explains that the organisation may see a role for the cloud when it comes to non-critical applications currently in production, but he says it would be limited at best.

“There are some limitations and security capabilities need to be built up. If we look at major cyber attacks that have happened over the last couple of years, and the solutions that can be used to combat these attacks, most cloud providers in the Middle East are still implementing these controls. Many say that they are abiding by ISO 270001, but in practical terms they aren’t.”

Analysts have found reason to be more optimistic. Gartner this week said the public cloud services market in the MENA region is likely to grow 17.1 per cent in 2015 to reach $851m, up from an estimated $727m in 2014.

Software as a service revenue alone is expected to grow 25 per cent in 2015 to $205.7m, and the firm estimates that by 2018, total public cloud services spending in MENA region will rise to $1.5bn, with SaaS accounting for 28.3 per cent of the total market and infrastructure as a service accounting for 10.7 per cent.

Still, Hashmi is bullish, and suggests that while Middle Eastern cloud providers are starting to catch up to European and American providers in terms of security sophistication, it will take much longer until we see the kind of growth rates witnessed in either Europe or the US.

“If we’re talking about public cloud, the two main challenges are security and the SLA,” he says. “If someone has a production environment in the public cloud, they need to check the network and the availability of a telco line, whether an MPLS or other kind, plus the infrastructure and underlying storage – will it be sufficient? Will the OS performance be up to scratch? The app performance? Will the underlying storage be sufficient? These are all really important features of that agreement.”

“It’s going to take more time for consumers to build confidence in locally provisioned cloud services,” he adds.

Join Speaker Furqan Ahmed Hashmi, IT Architect at Emirates Investment Authority in Dubai at the Cloud MENA Forum, on 12-14 April 2015.

Registration is free of charge for telecom operators and enterprises.
Free exhibition open to all!

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Telco Cloud Forum pre-conference workshops announcement: Hosts include AppDirect, BCSG Huawei and Intel #telcocloud

Telco Cloud Forum 2015

Pre-conference workshops announced for the 6th Annual Telco Cloud Forum, taking place in London this April.

The Telco Cloud Forum will be opening in London in just 7 weeks. Ensure you secure your free pass today!

Pre-conference workshops are free of charge and available to telecom operators and enterprises only.

If you have already registered, don’t forget to make your selections from the four pre-conference workshops taking place on 27 April from 12.30 -18.00.

For more information click here.

For updates on the conference agenda, please click here.

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Register your interest in the AppDirect pre-conference masterclass

AppDirect workshop summary:

12.30 -15.30: “Building Successful Strategies for Cloud Service Commerce”

More companies than ever before are using cloud-based software and services to power their businesses. In fact, worldwide spending on cloud services is set to grow from $47.4 billion in 2013 to $107 billion in 2017, a CAGR that is five times faster than the IT industry overall. However, launching a cloud service marketplace—and ensuring its success—can be fraught with challenges.

This three-hour workshop, hosted by Cloud Service Commerce industry leader AppDirect, will deliver valuable insights to help you plan, launch, and optimize a cloud service platform. Led by AppDirect co-CEO Daniel Saks, the workshop will explore:

  • Partnering with software vendors
  • Customer segmentation
  • Curating a relevant application catalog
  • Technical and sales best practices
  • Differentiating your Cloud Service offering

Learn about these topics and more from the AppDirect team that has successfully launched marketplaces with Telstra, Samsung, Deutsche Telekom, ADP, and other leading providers.
This workshop will deliver the insights and information you need to take advantage of the Cloud Service Commerce opportunity, giving you the chance to expand your cloud portfolio and increase revenue per customer while delivering the best marketplace customer experience.

Daniel Saks, co-CEO, AppDirect
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BCSG

Register your interest in the BCSG pre-conference masterclass

BCSG workshop summary:
16.00 -18.00: “Driving SMB cloud adoption to deliver business growth plans” 

Case studies and best practices, from a team that has spent over 10 years developing cloud service propositions for small businesses. The workshop will offer insights and experience on what it takes to drive strong cloud adoption from your small business customers and how to build long lasting relationships through ongoing engagement and support.

  • Tailoring a differentiated cloud service proposition for SMB
  • Achieving a seamless and integrated brand experience
  • Making market waves to drive customer awareness
  • Enabling GTM channels to maximise sales volumes
  • Support the customer to grow value
  • Ongoing engagement to build loyalty and lasting relationships

Tim Marsden – Director, Service Providers – BCSG
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HUAWEI

Register your interest in the Huawei pre-conference masterclass

Huawei workshop summary:
16.00 -18.00: Maximise your profits, Value add your services, Generate more revenues and Meeting your Customer’s Needs”

Discover how Huawei’s ICT capabilities can help you to maximise your profits, value add your services and generate more revenues to meet your customers’ needs. This 2.5 hour workshop, hosted by Ronald W. Raffensperger, with his vast global experiences will share the current trends of cloud technologies that brings you to see future business values.

With our Cloud experts, we will bring you through a series of topics such as:

  • Carrier DC Transformation
  • Hybrid Cloud Architecture
  • SDN
  • VDC
  • Openstack and other Cloud technologies that will impact your economic and business endeavor

Ronald Wright Raffensperger, CTO (IT Solutions), Huawei
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INTEL

Register your interest in the Intel pre-conference masterclass

Intel workshop summary:
12.30 -15.30: “Insights into New Approaches to Running Cloud Services”

This half day masterclass led by top industry experts from Intel will provide you with insights into new approaches to running Cloud services.

This subject specific masterclass will give you a unique opportunity to drill down into the details of cloud service provision.

Experts from intel will share their recent experience, knowledge and insights.

More information coming soon…

The Telco Cloud Team.

Join the APAC Cloud Industry’s Leadership recognition awards #Cloudasia

Following the successful Cloud World Series Awards which took place in London this year, the Cloud Asia Awards are a celebration of the drive, innovation and hard work in the global cloud computing industry.

This year’s awards will take place the evening of day one and will feature 4 categories, recognising services from across the Cloud ecosystem. Similarly to the Cloud World Series Awards the Cloud Asia Awards will be judged by world-class experts whom will be announced shortly so watch this space!

Once you’ve signed up to attend the show, if you’d like to add your company’s branding next to the list of technology trailblazers entering the awards, click here and find out more about how to enter!

Entry deadline is Monday 13th October 2014!

500+ senior IT decision makers will come together across 3 days at the Sheraton Hotel in Kong Kong where the Awards ceremony will take place. Meet with 50 + Sponsors and Exhibitors who will showcase quick updates and  LIVE software building demos and deployments!  Visit the stands you want and only see the newest solutions you need (no tiresome product pitches at Cloud Asia!).

read more about Cloud Asia >>

 Winners will enjoy…

A Winner’s Trophy presented at the Cloud Asia Awards networking evening on the 25th of November 2014
A Winner’s photo of the presentation of the Awards
Inclusion in the Cloud Asia Awards Winners press release
Being featured on the Cloud Asia Awards Winner’s website
Being featured in a Cloud Asia Awards Winners HTML posted to the full Cloud Asia mailing list
Being able to use “Winners of Cloud Asia Awards” logo and icon on their own promotional materials.

In a constantly evolving industry, with so many cutting-edge Cloud providers and new entrants to the market, competition at this year’s awards is set to be the most fierce yet!

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to recognise excellence and progress in the sector!

Enter here today >>

Featuring 4 key categories:

-Best Cloud Service
-Best Cloud Application
-Best Cloud Platform
-Best Cloud Security Solution

Entry deadline is Monday 13th October 2014!

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Boosting Conversions in the Cloud @AppDirect #telcocloud

By Richard Dufty, VP of Worldwide Sales and Strategic Partnerships

AppDirect

Today’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are driving a software revolution. Just a few years ago, these companies went to retail locations to buy software, install it, and configure their systems to run it—or hire someone to do all of this for them. Now SMBs can simply go online to purchase and use powerful cloud-based software solutions.

In fact, more SMBs than ever before are turning to these cloud solutions; recent research indicates that 60 percent of SMBs currently use cloud services, a number that is set to grow rapidly within the next few years. Sparked by this growth, the worldwide market for SMB cloud computing is predicted to reach $40 billion by the end of this year.

Software providers are already starting to see real evidence of these trends. In late May 2013, Microsoft announced that the cloud-based version of its flagship productivity suite, called Office 365, reached one million subscribers in 100 days, faster than Dropbox and Facebook. Microsoft’s numbers translate to an average of more than one Office 365 subscription sold every second in the last three and a half months.

Demand for Cloud Services Rises, but Success Isn’t Guaranteed

As SMBs increase demand for cloud-based apps, cloud service marketplaces are increasingly common. According to Gartner, 50 percent of the top 100 service providers will offer cloud services to their customers by 2015.

“Service providers really do not have a choice,” the analyst firm adds, “but must offer cloud services to protect their current market and to stay connected to their customers.”

Despite the surge of marketplaces, SMBs still face challenges purchasing and managing cloud-based applications. Almost 60 percent of SMBs say they lack the resources to implement new technologies, while 57 percent say they simply don’t have the time to do so.

For these reasons, service providers are ideally positioned to become SMBs’ cloud partner of choice. These providers already serve an important role for SMBs, offering essential business services—including Internet, voice, and mobile—that companies rely on. For busy SMBs, the option of turning to a trusted provider for cloud solutions can not only save time, but also make cloud adoption less intimidating.

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25 Ways to Become a More Intelligent Consumer of Cloud Services

Five principles for cloud services adoption and 20 secrets of project success

Steve Hodgkinson is Ovum’s APAC Research Director, and in this report he summarizes five principles and 20 things that enterprise and public sector agencies should consider to make a success of cloud services procurement and implementation.

Recommendations for enterprises

We recommend that agency executives use this report to inform and challenge their thinking about how to approach cloud services adoption. There is a wide range of experience levels across agencies. Some agencies have extensive experience of cloud services adoption and are already experts, while others have little experience, and will benefit from reading and discussing the 25 ways in which they may become more intelligent consumers of cloud services.

Readers are encouraged to provide feedback directly to the author if they disagree with the 25 points or have additional insights to offer.

Recommendations for vendors

We recommend that cloud service providers consider how their service offerings and approach to engaging with prospects and clients align with the 25 points. In particular, vendors should note the points around the imperatives for agencies to test drive solutions and have a “prenuptial agreement” for data and a plan B. Although it may seem counterintuitive, the best way to make agency executives feel comfortable about “getting into” a cloud service is to make it easy for them to both “get in” and “get out.” The best way to win and maintain a customer relationship is to focus on delivering an affordable service that meets “cloudy is as cloudy does” expectations.

You can download this report from the Cloud Asia website. The 5th Annual Cloud World Forum Asia is taking place at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers in Hong Kong from 24-26 November 2014. Join 500+ IT decision makers, application developers, mobile network operators, operators, ISVs, Cloud Service Providers and technology specialists in data analytics and consumer insight, application management, virtualisation, system integration, mobile device management, security, business intelligence, CRM, ERM and ERP solutions.

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How to succeed in the Cloud by Tom Platt, Commercial Director, BCSG #telcocloud

In the run up to the Telco Cloud World Forum North America, speaker Tom Platt, from BCSG gave his view on what it takes to succeed in the Cloud!

To succeed in the cloud you’ll need to make some changes

When small businesses move into the cloud, they’ve chosen to make a big change in the way they do things. This change will help them save time, find new customers, and more. But it’s so radical it’s no surprise they often need time to think about it, before making the move.

It’s no different for their providers. In a previous post I wrote about telcos changing their approach to sales to get customers signing up to – and using – cloud services. At the heart of that change is a shift in mindset that needs to go beyond sales and take in the whole organisation.

a. Start at the top.

Senior management must lead the way and set the tone and the agenda for your cloud service. Because everyone in your business needs…

To view the full article, visit: http://northamerica.cloudworldseries.com/to-succeed-in-the-cloud-by-tom-platt-bcsg/

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Three quarters of businesses still find cloud performance assurances lacking #Cloudwf

Join the discussion with the The Cloud World Series in London, Africa, Sao Paulo, Berlin, Hong Kong and USA!

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Are you an enterprise IT professional? Do you agree? Join the discussion today!

A report published Wednesday that includes survey responses from over 740 senior IT professionals globally suggests that the majority of IT professionals believe typical service level agreements (SLAs) built around availability and performance fail to address the risks of moving and managing applications in the cloud.

The survey, commissioned by Compuware and carried out by Research In Action, found 79 per cent of survey respondents believed their SLAs were “too simplistic” and failed to address key risks associated with moving and managing cloud apps.

“Entrusting mission critical business applications that drive revenue and critical business processes require ultimate trust and accountability in a cloud provider,” said Michael Masterson, director of cloud solutions for Compuware APM’s business unit. “

Vanity metrics like simple uptime do not capture well-known issues such as ‘noisy neighbours,’ which can be detrimental to traditional enterprise apps that were not designed to scale and fail horizontally.”

The report confirms that there is still a great deal of fear, uncertainty and doubt among enterprise IT professionals when it comes to cloud.

Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) said they believe their cloud providers could be hiding problems at an infrastructure or platform level that impact on the performance of applications. 62 per cent said limited visibility into the infrastructure made it difficult to both monitor their application performance and troubleshoot problems in the cloud.

“The truth behind performance is what the end customer or user feels – that is all that really matters,” Masterson told Business Cloud News. “The vendor should be responsive, but the general rule seems to be innocent until proven guilty, with fingers usually pointing back to the application or database vs the infrastructure.”

“Customers that encounter this often discover it on their own, then blame the provider for poor performance, when the reality is that it’s another tenant over consuming shared resources.”

Masterson explained that the results suggest an underlying problem with the way cloud service providers often make guarantees on their services.

“There are two primary issues with “technical guarantees”. First, if everyone tries to grab maximum rates at once. It’s like a run on the bank and very quickly you’ll discover that the provider (the bank) doesn’t actually have all that reserve bandwidth (the cash) on hand. Instead, they’ve made assumptions and provisioned based on estimated usage and normalised workloads – thereby offering you capacity at a discount compared to dedicated hardware,” he said.

But “users are not typically normally distributed – they have spikes and troughs in demand. Software is inherently virtual and should be able to match the demand with appropriate supply – much more so than tradition fixed goods and complex logistics and fulfilment systems. Yet they run into the same bottlenecks, often with catastrophic failure,” he added.

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