• Globe Business exec imparts telco’s expertise in IT, cloud

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    Globe Business took active part in the recently-held 2nd Annual Telco Cloud Strategies in Singapore, which brought together telecommunications operators, industry experts, enterprise end-users and solution providers to provide them with a better grasp of the Asia-Pacific cloud landscape through first-hand intelligence, case studies and expert advice covering multiple aspects of the cloud ecosystem.

    Vice President for IT-Enabled Services Product group Cocoy Claravall, shared to the audience that business generated by services of telecommunications companies is “big and stable,” and that opportunities abound for expansion. However, revenue growth is slowing as reflected by global trends due to commoditization and intense competition – thus the need to create business-enabling units focusing on information technology (IT) services.

    Claravall echoed the key message of the conference, noting that currently, “the role of telco operators has evolved from a mere communication service provider to that of an IT solutions provider. Hence, they must now develop strategies to effectively expand their business offerings with shorter time-to-market in order to remain competitive in this industry.”

    Mandate in IT. To particularly focus on providing these high level of professional services, he explained that Globe Business created a new group which will “enable solutions that accelerate the performance of business ecosystems using best-in-class IT capabilities, platforms and services,” thus the establishment of the company’s IT-Enabled Services Group.

    “The time was apt as Globe was already generating a notable year-on-year growth, earning global industry certifications and leveraging on its network and IT modernization, thus the Globe IT-Enabled Services Group was created,” he said. He also told that the company’s move is in accordance to the five-year Philippine Digital Strategy with its four focus areas, namely ICT infrastructure, cyber services, human capital development and e-governance.

    He shared the company’s observation that customers avail of IT services differently. “To optimize their efficiencies, they could subscribe to our data center or cloud offering, whether a dedicated private cloud or an enterprise virtual private infrastructure. If they want to innovate, they could go for dedicated managed platforms or shared hosted platforms. If they are to disrupt their industry, they could opt for end-to-end business application services. The entire gamut of offerings can only be best served with world-class facilities, certified people and processes.”

    For “Infrastructure-as-a-Service” or IaaS, he disclosed that by 2016, the worldwide market will generate over $5 billion, and local demand in 2017 will range between P600 million to P1 billion. “Proof of the interest in the service is Globe Business making a name for itself with its recent Frost & Sullivan Philippines award as ‘Emerging IaaS Vendor of the Year.’”

    Potential of the cloud. Claravall also expressed his optimism on the brisk adoption of the cloud locally, citing a Cloud Security Alliance article which surveyed various organizations around the world: “Of the 207 respondents outside the US, more than half were less likely to use US-based cloud providers, and 10% had canceled plans to subscribe to American services.”

    A telco-based provider of cloud services both has its advantages and disadvantages. “The key is to maximize strengths hinged on infrastructure, customers, scale, coverage, ability to offer end-to-end service level agreements and credible billing capabilities to overcome weaknesses based on perceived lack of customer centricity and IT and network ‘silos,’ among others,” he explained.

    Looking ahead. In terms of cloud take-up, he observed that “in the Philippines, customer adoption of cloud services is starting to increase, but it has to cross a proverbial ‘chasm’ or breakthrough point to gain traction,” noting that since launching the first cloud product in 2011, the company has been receiving a lot of inquiries from customers big and small, but actual adoption can improve further.

    With regard to spending for cloud services, he said that this aspect should not pose as a hindrance to adoption, but rather, the provider should help its potential customer on the problem it is trying to solve. “There is always the danger on relying on cheaper options, but the idea here is to evangelize heavily on its benefits and focus on it as a higher-value managed IT service.”

    In closing, he said that the company’s IT segment has what it takes to lead the industry, with its focused and dedicated organization, skilled people, certified set of processes, a scalable, world-class infrastructure based locally, key partnerships with industry leaders, and a clear direction of where it is headed to.

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