As many solution providers begin to build and deliver cloud computing services they can easily find that they have put their company in an uncomfortable position. In order to deliver the cloud computing service the customer needs to have Internet access. More often than not that means reselling Internet services provided by a telecommunications carrier. The trouble is that most telecommunication carriers are providing a wide variety of cloud computing services. Once those carriers get their proverbial nose under the customer tent, it’s often hard for the solution provider to maintain control over the cloud computing services business.
One way to avoid this situation, argues Craig Schlagbaum, vice president of indirect channel sales of Comcast Business Services, is to not to sell Internet access provided by the carriers in the first place.
Comcast recently expanded its channel program to include 1Mbit to 10Gbit Metro Ethernet Services that are available in 20 major cities across the U.S. Schlagbaum says Metro Ethernet Services are available in major markets where Comcast has a presence, which currently excludes the metropolitan New York and Los Angeles areas. But short of those cities, Schlagbaum says Comcast gives solution providers a way to own the last mile connection to their customers by replacing T1 and frame relay lines with Metro Ethernet pipes that provide a lot more bandwidth.
Of course, when it comes to delivering cloud computing services access to network bandwidth is critical. The Comcast channel program, says Schlagbaum, is designed around a classic agent model, so the solution provider doesn’t have to invest any capital up front. Best of all, the solution provider continues to get paid for the life of the contract, says Schlagbaum.
Competition in the cloud is tough enough these days, notes Schlagbaum. But it’s hard for carriers to compete for business that they never knew existed in the first place, so Schlagbaum suggests that it’s probably in the best interest of solution providers in the channel to keep it that way.Tags: carriers, frame relay, T1, solution providers, channel, telecommunications carriers, Comcast, Internet access, Cloud Computing