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Verizon charts a different cloud services path

Andy Patrizio | Feb. 26, 2016
The telecom giant is unloading its data centers to focus on its services business.

It's a tacit admission that no one can keep up with the big three data center providers Amazon, Microsoft and Google. "We're not targeting competing with hyperscale infrastructure service providers. At this stage of the game, chasing Microsoft, Google and Amazon is a fool's errand," says Dan Jablonski, director of IT solutions product management at Verizon. 

"Now, if you need partnership with an enterprise provider that cares about your business as much as you do, you need to speak with Verizon," he adds. "For us, it's about everything as a managed service. What we are going after is the true end-to-end SLA, from a business transaction hosted in our infrastructure, customer premises or hyperscale cloud infrastructure." 

Antoitz echoed this. "What Verizon is doing and where they have a value add is helping customers implement the cloud in their businesses and facilitating that. They are providing a connectivity layer to cloud, management tools, maybe provide hybrid cloud solutions that leverage on-premises with the cloud model and professional and integration services to make them all work together," he added. 

Verizon wants to move further into the private cloud market, with emphasis on managing apps along with the apps that it offers. It's more interested in mission- and business-critical apps rather than high churn like VMs that are set up and then dismantled, which is AWS's bread and butter. 

"There are a lot of customers who have legacy systems that need to be cared for. We do have professional services experts to help their journey to get onto a cloud or virtualized platform so they are movable and a lesser cost than dealing with the bare metal that customers care for themselves," says Jablonski. 

It's also looking to form partnerships with cloud vendors and software providers to move workloads around for when greater scale or redundancy is needed. This is done through Verizon's Secure Cloud Interconnect service, a high-speed private connection between global data centers, both Verizon's and others like Google and Amazon. 

Additionally, Verizon has three specific areas of focus and plans to broaden that offering to customers who only have one or two of the services. It offers a portfolio of IT, security and networking services and intends to use one as a leverage to offer the other two. 

"If I have an IT customer for whom we care for their mission critical ecommerce product and want to sell them DDoS protection, we'll look at ways to do that. Or maybe a network customer who needs a place to put workloads or have cloud backups. We'll provide value-added services through their network management interface," said Jablonski. 

Much of the investment in 2016 will be in making integration of these three services with a customer's existing enterprise easier, along with speeding up the delivery of Verizon offerings. "If you look at managed hosting or managing an app, speeding up the ability to deploy those systems and provision those systems becomes increasingly important," says Jablonski. 


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