Cloud computing and communication as a service (CaaS) are technologies that telecom operators could add to their portfolio to enhance their presence in the corporate market. In a recent interview for a feature report on enterprise trends, Elia San Miguel, principal analyst with Gartner Research, said that CaaS solutions are an evolution of unified communication (UC) and a driver of future actions. “CIOs have to see communication strategy as something that transcends any means, and cloud computing is an enabler,” she said.
Miguel advises that UC and Caas represent excellent opportunities for carriers to expand their portfolio. “They need to understand corporate needs and address them,” she said. However, carriers still have to improve their approach.
Julian Nakasone, IT solutions director at PromonLogicalis, agrees that CaaS could be a good strategy for carriers in the near future. However, he emphasized that before jumping into a sophisticated service like CaaS, telecom operators could improve some ordinary corporate services, such as mobile device management. “Carriers are really good at meeting mass demand, because they have done it for many years, but they have difficulty attending special segments,” he said.
Indeed many carriers have included cloud computing services, and some are looking to offer value-added services. Brazilian Oi added managed services, including mobile device management system and WAN management service, to its enterprise portfolio. The largest Latam groups Telefónica and América Móvil have also launched cloud computing services. They aim to increase the enterprise share of their total revenues, and they plan to reach that goal by adding different services.
From the vendors’ perspective, the carriers’ move presents a great opportunity. PromonLogicalis, for instance, wants to be known as a cloud builder. “The market is moving toward a cloud computing model, so our services are focused on becoming a cloud builder,” said Rodrigo Parreira, Logicalis Latin America’s CEO. ”We want to help our customers build their private and hybrid clouds. As for carriers, we aim to help them to build a cloud service that can be offered to their clients.”
Parreira believes that offering cloud computing is a good strategy for telecom operators to reach small and medium businesses, since they have a lot of experience working with a mass market. “Carriers also see CaaS as an opportunity,” he said.
Brazil up 52%
At a June 28 press conference in São Paulo, Logicalis stated that its Brazilian operations has grown 52% in its 2012 fiscal year, compared to 2011, reaching net revenue of U.S.$317 million. Brazil accounts for 71% of Logicalis’ total revenues in Latin America of U.S.$447 million. Latam represents 36% of its global revenues.
When the company’s total Latam revenues are broken down by segment, the telecom segment still accounts for about 60%, while the corporate market represents 30% and the public sector, 10%.
However, the forecast for the 2013 fiscal year is lower: Parreira said the company expects to grow about 20% in the region. When asked about the reasons for this huge reduction, the CEO pointed to the economic uncertainties in the region, especially in Brazil whose GPD is not reaching estimated goals. In addition, Argentina is passing through a difficult political and economic time, which could have a negative impact for the company.
Parreira noted that LTE development is one of the main opportunities for growth as well as carriers’ strategies for 3G offload, which has become a hot topic in the region.
Logicalis is known in Latin America as Cisco’s main partner. Indeed about 65% of its business derives from Cisco projects, but during the press conference, Parreira aimed to place company as the “best of the breed,” and he cited IBM, HP, EMC, RSA and Arbor, among others, as other vendors with whom Logicalis works. Also the company has partnered with Apple to sell iPads, wholesale or as a service combined with MDM and applications offerings.
The company has had organic growth until now, and Parreira did not rule out possible future acquisitions to increase Logicalis’ presence, especially in countries such as Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. “We are looking for a firm that is similar to our business to purchase in the Andean region,” he said. “As for Brazil, we are searching for a firm that complements our current portfolio, such as in outsourcing business.”