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Opportunities in the Cloud Appeal to the Master Agent

February 21, 2012





 The telecommunications industry is changing, and cloud computing is the force behind that change as it challenges data centers and IT managers to make a move that defies their way of doing business. Fortunately for the master agent, this opens up a world of opportunity. 

According to this Channel Partners Online report, companies that were ahead of the curve 10-plus years ago, and saw little interest at that time, are now getting back on the bandwagon in a renewed effort to offer more hosted solutions. At the same time, they are teaming up with  master agents to consolidate volume. 

Companies are also pairing up in mergers that are bringing cloud-computing on-board big companies like AT&T in billion dollar deals. Verizon (News - Alert), for example, acquired Terremark, a managed IT infrastructure services provider that has data centers all over the globe. Terremark provides cloud computing, collocation and managed hosting services. 

Another example is CenturyLink's acquisition of Qwest (News - Alert) Communications and Savvis, which is a cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solution. Missouri-based Savvis serves 32 of the top 100 companies in the Fortune 500.

Why are these deals significant? The master agent is helping to put hundreds of independent agents into a single contract. There is also a push to invest in data centers, changing the landscape overall.

True, providers have always had some stock in data centers, but demand for cloud-based solutions is making the demand for data centers much more intense. The interest in cloud services is being driven by their ability to provide both telecommunications and data center services. 

When businesses begin to run out of space and their IT departments are stretched as thin as their budgets, they turn to cloud services, including in their data centers. The mergers between telecommunications companies and data centers give them useful technological advances such as virtualization and storage services. Through these mergers, the master agent is able to create efficiencies by taking advantage of the technology brought in by the mergers.

Take, for instance, Windstream (News - Alert) Hosted Solutions. The carrier now has a data center after taking on M&A, putting the right tools and people in place to implement technology advancements such as virtualization.

A number of companies are expected to put up to 50 percent of their support needs in the cloud by 2013. This centralization should help carriers to achieve the end-to-end solutions they've been after, and give customers the applications they need with a consistent degree of quality in the bandwidth. 

These qualities are seen as perks by the master agent who see this single-source model as an easier way for partners to give their customers the service they need with little work on their end.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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