Brazil’s TIM partners with Ativas, Dualtec to launch cloud service aiming to increase data revenues

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Cloud computing is a fantastic way to sell more data.” By stressing this definition, the director of innovation at TIM Brazil, Maurício Cascão, defined the telecom operator’s strategy in launching cloud computing services offers in the country. Cascão said, during the TM Forum Latin America Summit, that the carrier’s role is to focus on connectivity, and that’s why the Brazilian unit of Italian TIM has chosen to partner with IT providers to offer cloud services.

TIM Brazil set alliances with Ativas and Dualtec Cloud Solutions, and is doing business to partner with one more company. TIM’s role is proving the connectivity, reaching customers and managing relationships with them, while IT providers will be in charge of private and public cloud offers, as well as managing the services.

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Cascão explained that TIM aims to partner with IT providers targeting different company sizes and needs, in order to attaract large, mid-size and small customers. “We know large companies want to have multinational players, such as IBM, HP. Mid-size enterprise prefer a more personalized and consultant approach, while small and SoHo (small office or home office) firms are more price sensitive.”

During its presentation, Cascão showed research that notes the Brazilian cloud services market is forecasted to reach US $6 billion by 2014. “The cloud growth is a consequence of the increase of the connectivity in Brazil.”

It is clear that TIM wants to increase its data revenues through cloud computing services but the carrier also aims to reach the corporate segment, facing off against Embratel, Telefonica and Oi, which have been the dominant players among enterprises. “The question we asked ourselves was if companies would have a telecom operator as their cloud provider. And we found out that for 65% of them it makes sense,” noted Cascão.

Indeed, a report from Pyramid Research found that the global cloud computing market has been strengthened by telecom competition, which has also placed those companies in a prime position to take advantage of that growing market.

Around the globe carriers are embracing cloud computing as a key corporate strategy. A recent cloud services study published by market research firm Infonetics Research shows that 70% of respondent operators are investing in cloud services in anticipation of demand.

TIM will face competition in Brazil, since carriers Oi, Telefónica and Embratel have already announced the cloud services launch.

Last February, Brazilian Oi announced its cloud strategy dubbed “Oi Smart Cloud.” The offering is designed to complement the carrier’s enterprise portfolio, which currently includes fixed and mobile telephony, connectivity and IT solutions. The telecom operator expects to double data center revenues driven by Smart Cloud within three years. The initiative cost Oi about US $17.25 million for servers, storage and virtual machine infrastructure.

On the same day that Brazilian operator Oi announced its Smart Cloud platform, América Móvil unveiled plans for cloud computing services across subsidiaries in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Brazil. Ney Acyr, executive director of Brazilian operator Emratel, told RCR Wireless News the new cloud offering is an initiative to expand its portfolio, and it will contribute to the convergence of América Móvil’s telecom and IT solutions for enterprise customers, which currently comprise storage and servers solutions, virtual servers, unified communications, telepresence and e-mail.

In March, Spain’s Telefónica announced the launch of a regional cloud hosting service targeting the Latin American corporate segment, including large companies and government. Named “Virtual Hosting 2.0,” the offering is supported by VCE’s VBlock infrastructure and will be provided through five interconnected data centers across Latin America. Those centers are located in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru.

When asked about how TIM Brazil will differentiate, Cascão said “TIM will show results by selling a lot of cloud services”.

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