Telco cloud services are expanding, but are they right for you?
Traditional communications service providers have continually been updating the services they offer as technology changes. Basic voice services have given way to the video and data services that we now expect as part of any monthly package. As technology moves to the cloud, cloud services are swiftly becoming another integrated part of the package. But as consumers, it’s helpful to first figure out what these cloud services entail, and whether or not we really need them.
Telco Cloud Service Basics
First offered only by a few service providers, in the past year more and more major telecom companies have jumped on board the telco cloud service train. Today, everyone from Verizon to Nokia Networks offers some sort of cloud service, but these can differ in terms of what they offer and who they’re meant for. Some cloud services are better for business customers, while others are oriented for individual consumers.
Advantages for Consumers
There’s a high likelihood that you already use cloud services in your day-to-day life, particularly if you are a regular mobile app user. If you’ve made a call on Skype or use storage programs like Dropbox or Google Docs, this is all enabled with cloud computing. It’s a natural next step that you’d be able to access further cloud services as part of your subscription telecom package, allowing you to communicate more efficiently. The big advantage of cloud computing for consumers is that it allows you to communicate and access valuable data remotely from any device. Accessing it with a telco cloud service gives you the streamlined service and security that a major telecom company can provide. Cloud services can be more cost efficient, providing an improved performance in terms of data speed and service uptime.
Challenges to Overcome
On the other hand, some critics say that telco companies aren’t yet able to provide the same level of service as other, IT-based cloud providers. In order to become competitive in this market, they’ll need to be able to lower costs and become more scalable. To do this, they’ll need to offer services that have already been proven to be in demand, including hosting, storage, and popular office applications, potentially teaming up with established players in the cloud industry. From there, they can grow to include cloud security and communication as a service. This includes services like VoIP that you may already use. It would also be a good idea for telecom companies to allow their users to switch between different cloud vendors for a more personalized and optimized user experience.
The Bottom Line
There are a number of reasons why telecom companies are eagerly jumping into the cloud market. Cloud computing services are in high demand from users, so it makes sense to provide the services that customers want. But they’ll need to be able to tailor the services they offer to best meet user needs. If you’re thinking about signing up for cloud services, you’ll want to compare your options carefully in terms of price and features. And if you’re looking at telco providers overall, choosing one that offers cloud services shows that they are forward-thinking and looking for ways to distinguish themselves from competitors.