When it comes to the highway to the cloud, it will be paved with partnerships, between ASPs (and other solutions providers) and carriers. Sprint, preferably, but there’s probably room for other carriers, I suppose.
We’re not the only ones with this partnership perspective. This article from CRN makes the point that while there has been a traditional divide between solution providers and carriers, that divide is no longer practical in a world where enterprises simply want to be cloud-connected in the most effective and reliable way possible. Increasingly, this is what customers want and demand.
As the article points out, “The fact is, customers are making big decisions on carrier-grade services and are looking for solution providers to guide them and make recommendations.”
And it’s worth re-emphasizing a point I’ve made before, that most enterprises have existing, successful managed services relationships with carriers. To expand such a relationship is a natural evolution, maintaining the most positive advantages of carrier services, such as reliability and higher performance. In effect, only the destination is really changing – the end point being the cloud and the services that the solutions provider can deliver.
What ASPs are challenged to offer on their own, of course, are end-to-end security, service quality, scalability, five-nines reliability, and other benefits that enterprises tend to take for granted. And you’re not really going to have a dependable cloud without these types of carrier grade features in the background. Carriers really are the only logical option out there for connecting enterprises with the cloud, or for enabling them to take full advantage of mobility for the same purpose.
In Sprint’s case, we are essentially an impartial provider of connectivity, providing an attractive alternative for an ASP to deliver dependable, end-to-end cloud experience as a single offering. The market needs independent entities such as this, which can play nicely with ASPs, provide them much needed Quality of Service capabilities and enterprise-level reliability, and fold its offerings into the cloud services.
To use that highway analogy I started with, think of the cloud services provider as giving you the car (imagine the luxury or sports car of your dreams here). That car can be a joy to drive, but not if the highway is overcrowded, full of potholes, or if other cars keep veering into your lane and sideswiping you.
That’s why you want the dedicated lane and the open road that Sprint offers, to ensure a faster, highly dependable cloud experience for your customers, since you know from past experience that we, metaphorically speaking, build good roads.