Thursday, October 15, 2009

Comptel Update

I was at the Comptel show in Orlando, FL earlier this week and everything appeared to be pretty much business as usual. The number of exhibitors were down about 10% from the last Comptel show, but overall the quantity and quality of business activity was good. The last year has not been a bad recession for the telecom sector.

The interesting new development apparent at this Comptel show is the new emphasis on managed services and the emergence of cloud computing. I suppose capital limitations are forcing some operators to avoid capital outlays and prompting others to repackage their services to meet the demand. I had been skeptical about cloud computing, thinking it was just another marketing buzzword for hosted services. However, Kelly Sparks, Chief Architect for Pac-West Telecomm gave me an insightful description of their cloud computing plans. It will be much more than just hosted servicess. The Pac-West Telecomm cloud computing offer will leverage their private network in ways that cannot be matched by cloud computing services offered over the Internet. Their plans make a lot of sense. They will not be competing with the likes of, instead they will focus on customers and telecom applications that need a dedicated network and service level assurance (SLA). In some respects Pac-West will become a distribution channel for their cloud application vendors. An interesting new carrier business model that is beyond simple network management.

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