Evan Kirchheimer, Research Director of Enterprise Services at Ovum shares his opinions about operators' enterprise cloud services. Watch the video now.
What is the role of service providers for enterprise cloud?
I think service providers have struggled in terms of their position with respect to enterprise cloud. So in the first wave, service providers used to develop their own public cloud services and most of the time, they weren't particularly successful.
In the second wave, which probably happened four or five years ago, a number of service providers tried to approach a cloud opportunity by essentially building kind of professional services around cloud migration but often, they weren't seen positively by enterprises who preferred to turn to systems integrators for those type of cloud services.
And what we see happening now is a kind of third wave of carriers that are approaching the cloud opportunity. And in the third wave, we see a focus on enterprise cloud connectivity. So what that means is providing a secure and adapted connection that's provided almost as a service in line with cloud demand, sort of network as a service. They're also building complimentary public and hybrid cloud services so obviously they were the Web-Scale providers and now service providers in certain geographies and for certain industries are building kind of complimentary cloud services that are sold in hybrid environments for enterprise that fill in the gaps where some of the Web-Scale providers haven't been able to succeed.
What are some network trends for wide area network in SD-WAN?
I've just talked a little bit about cloud connectivity. So one of the key trends in the enterprise wide area network, or WAN, is the trend to and the roll out of products that connect an enterprise efficiently to the cloud through a secure virtual connection. And so a number of service providers and their vendor partners have rolled out this technology in the last two to three years.
And currently, in kind of Ovum's understanding, SD-WAN or software-defined wide area network is actually a collection of features and functions more than a hard or definite product. So this is sort of the initial early stages of SD-WAN roll outs by major operators. So it's quite difficult to see how this will pan out in the medium to long term. But what's certain is that enterprises will be buying network much more on a feature basis and a function basis much more as a service or on-demand and there will be a lot more self-service programmability and self-provisioning involved through enterprise portals, for example.
How can vendors enable service providers in B2B?
So I think that vendors can help service providers and service providers can help vendors in jointly approaching this opportunity through research in terms of business process opportunities and better segmentation of enterprise plans. It's not just a technology sell. It's a business needs sell. And in that respect, I think vendors and service providers can get together and get to really understand enterprise buying triggers better than they do now.