Data center operators have an opportunity to transform their businesses and deliver complete cloud solutions by adopting on-demand connectivity platforms. Using these self-service models, data center operators become hubs for cloud enablement and in turn expand their role in the cloud ecosystem.
As the enterprise cloud continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, data center customers are looking for operators that deliver both network and data center infrastructure. They want simple solutions to rapidly roll out cloud services in their organization or product portfolio.
This demand for the cloud is changing the role of data center operators and giving them a chance to increase their revenue through more than just traditional services. On-demand connectivity platforms allow operators to expand their service capabilities with new network services that have been specifically designed to serve the cloud.
The opportunity in the cloud is huge, and data center operators can position themselves as complete solution providers for enterprises when they add on-demand cloud connectivity to their service portfolio.
Replacing Traditional Networking Models
With the cloud driving change in the global networking market, expectations of enterprises have transcended traditional models. Networking is now expected to mirror utility and go beyond simple A-to-B connectivity.
Cloud-focused data center businesses and enterprises need network services to evolve and be completely tailored to the cloud ecosystem. They want infrastructure that enables them to provision global connectivity, optimize networks for specific applications, monitor performance end-to-end and turn up multiple services on demand.
Today, data center operators must adapt their network infrastructure to mirror the simplicity, agility and efficiency of the cloud or face becoming obsolete or useless to users.
Working With Cloud-Service Providers
Global on-demand connectivity shouldn’t be treated as separate from the cloud ecosystem, but rather as an enabler. Data center operators can seamlessly integrate it as a fifth component to their service offering, following data center suites, powered shells, colocation services and custom solutions. They can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty from enterprises by adding on-demand cloud connectivity.
Working with cloud-connectivity platform providers is a great way for operators to add new revenue streams to their business and gain streamlined access to cloud ecosystems around the world. Operators can brand the cloud-connectivity provider’s platform as their own and sell it as a complete service wrap to their enterprise customers.
Partners will have already built relationships with network-service providers and created an integrated platform that is ready to support the needs of a data center operators’ enterprise customers. They have already done all the hard work. In the best cases, the connectivity platform is built with service-level-agreement (SLA) enforcement, a range of enablement services and quality-of-service monitoring, all of which make managing the enterprise experience even simpler.
This channel model exists so that data center operators need not be experts in networking to sell on-demand cloud-connectivity services. They can use their own brand and existing relationships while capturing new revenue with high-margin services.
The Power of Automated Platforms
Network access to cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure can be streamlined through a cloud-connectivity platform. Using a single physical connection to a platform, data center operators can connect to multiple leading cloud-service providers virtually.
When using a cloud-connectivity platform, procurement and management of global network infrastructure can be moved online. From anywhere in the world via a web-based portal, customers can provision global connectivity on demand with greater agility. This automated approach to networking gives users the ability to meet their business needs by rapidly customizing and scaling their services.
Automated online portals enable data center operators to provision their network infrastructure similar to the way you would buy a cloud service from a provider such as Microsoft Azure—with complete visibility, ease and agility. The operator must simply log online using a desktop or even a smartphone then click to connect its customers. Cloud-connectivity platforms are truly providing on-demand connectivity with the flexibility to scale.
Competitive Market Advantage
When data center operators work with cloud-service providers, connectivity becomes like utility, and they can expand their services at the heart of the cloud ecosystem. Four benefits accrue to operators when using cloud-connectivity platforms:
- From local to global service provider. By offering on-demand cloud connectivity, data center operators can transform their business into hubs for cloud enablement while expanding their scope to serve the global needs of local customers. Extending network reach from local and regional presence to complete global coverage becomes simple with a cloud-connectivity platform. An on-demand platform can act as the bridge between an enterprise’s local and global needs while fast-tracking its chance to compete for new and larger contracts.
- Differentiate with speed. Data center operators can offer scalable and agile network services when deploying cloud-connectivity platforms. This capability brings an advantage over competitors. Using a self-service model with click-to-connect provisioning, operators can move faster than any other connectivity provider to serve new cloud demand. Go-to-market strategies are simplified and accelerated, enabling enterprise customers to shape their applications and services quickly and with the support of an agile network.
- Increased customer loyalty. Accompanying traditional network services with direct on-demand cloud connectivity removes the need for enterprises to look for support elsewhere. Operators can reduce churn rates and increase satisfaction among customers. Those that offer cloud-enablement solutions will become ideal and trusted partners for today’s enterprises.
- New and sustainable revenue. Cloud-connectivity platforms allow operators to immediately differentiate their businesses. While giving customers a one-stop-shop for everything network related, they become critical infrastructure providers and supporters of enterprise cloud services globally. This position will provide sustainable high-margin opportunities.
Cloud-connectivity platforms can a tool for data center operators to serve their customers’ cloud demands immediately at a nearly global scale. Those that expand their service portfolio beyond the traditional network services to incorporate on-demand cloud can transform their data center businesses into true cloud-enablement providers.
In the future, enterprise customers will be able to buy cloud solutions from their data center provider and get a complete service wrap, making the process easy. In each metro market, data center providers can position themselves as cloud-enablement hubs that support rapid service rollout globally.
About the Author
Epsilon cofounder and CEO Jerzy Szlosarek is a seasoned industry executive with a strong sales and engineering background, particularly in global telecom markets. Leading Epsilon’s worldwide partner-development and innovation initiatives, Jerzy has been central to the company’s success, positioning Epsilon in service-provider networks worldwide. His record of success spans almost 20 years; he progressed from the company’s founding days as CTO, during which he laid out the technical vision, to running the Global Sales and Operations teams as COO before assuming the CEO position. Starting off his career at Ciena, EMEA, and later serving at Dynegy Europe in senior system- and network-engineering positions, Jerzy built, developed and nurtured successful technology, support and sales teams.