NTT Communications leads APAC telco cloud market; Telstra and Orange close behind
Japanese telecommunications network provider NTT Communications is the market leader in the Asia-Pacific telecom cloud segment, and is well placed to maintain its position, according to GlobalData. In a new report, the market research company said NTT Communications has carved out a lead due to its software-defined capabilities, wide network and data center coverage and an expanded portfolio thanks to its integration with sister companies. According to the report, the cloud market landscape is evolving in the Asia-Pacific region. While web-scale players such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Alibaba are continually expanding in the regions, telecoms operators are carving out a niche by offering integrated network and cloud services.
NTT Communications is the leader in the APAC telco cloud services market with the highest overall score based on four categories – cloud portfolio, data center footprints, software-defined infrastructure and supplemental services.
“Cloud products offered by telcos are comparable in terms of technical capabilities and ecosystem partners,” GlobalData analyst Alfie Amir said. “What differentiates NTT Communications from the rest is its wide footprint and presence in the region to address data residency and latency requirements, as well as its software-defined capabilities which offer better workload management and service orchestration,” he added.
Australia-based Telstra and France-based Orange Business Services are in second and third place. While these providers have similar capabilities to NTT Communications, they are slightly behind with their footprints in the region. However, they are rapidly closing the gap, with Orange Business Services having partnered with Huawei to drive expansion in the region – particularly in China, and Telstra recently announcing a partnership with Equinix for direct access to more infrastructure globally.
The initiatives by telco cloud providers to add software defined capabilities, expand their footprints and enhance service capabilities are in-line with enterprises’ digital transformation directions. Enterprises today are looking for cloud providers with extensive cloud portfolios, not just the traditional IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, but also cloud-based IT services such as IoT platform, UCaaS, security and marketplace that offer various horizontal and vertical applications.
“The APAC cloud market is still growing fast as the market emerges, while the competition is getting more intense driven by the web-scale players,” Amir said. “Telcos need to continue to leverage their network strengths and at the same time, include latest technologies such as self-service tools, analytics and AI in their offerings to gain competitive advantage,” he added.
Above illustration courtesy of K-Hits which has a report on the global telecom cloud market.
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IHS Markit has released top-line results from its latest “Cloud IT Infrastructure Service Provider Scorecard,” which is based on in-depth analysis of seven leading off-premises cloud IT service providers: Amazon (AWS), Google, IBM, Microsoft (Azure), Alibaba, Salesforce and CenturyLink.
IHS Markit evaluated these service providers on select criteria including direct feedback from buyers, provider market share, market share momentum, financials, brand recognition, reputation for innovation and other benchmarks. Based on their overall scores, providers were classified as “leader,” “established” or “challenger.” The off-premises cloud service market segments analyzed for this scorecard include infrastructure as a service (IaaS), cloud as a service (CaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).
For 2018, Alibaba, Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft earned “leader” rankings for cloud IT infrastructure services. CenturyLink was identified as an “established” player and Salesforce was categorized as a “challenger.”
“Leadership in the cloud IT infrastructure services market requires a diverse portfolio, and all of the leaders have strong brand awareness and a reputation of innovation,” said Devan Adams, principal analyst, cloud and data center research practice, IHS Markit. “Established players can leverage an existing service client base and offer extensive network infrastructure. However, in most cases they lack market momentum. Challengers, by comparison, boast an innovative services portfolio and strong market share momentum, but they have limited offerings or market presence.”
The importance of ‘cloudification’
There is an estimated £3.35 trillion in value to be unlocked across enterprise use-cases over the next five years, across finance, manufacturing and retail, to name but a few. The ‘cloudification’ of networks will play a key role for telcos looking to access these new revenue streams. ‘Cloudification’, or the ‘telco cloud’, is defined as “a software-defined, highly resilient cloud infrastructure that allows telcos to add services more quickly, respond faster to changes in demand, and centrally manage their resources more efficiently.” The telco cloud means a shift from providing network functions, to providing a platform that enterprises can build and innovate on.
As the needs of a diverse range of customers rapidly evolve, so too must the telcos themselves – deploying software at a matching pace. The cloudification of the network is helping to make the scalability of applications easier, opening the door to new services and helping deliver innovation to enterprise customers at the rate they now expect.
However, it’s important to remember that real cloudification is about far more than simply transferring network functions from proprietary hardware to software running on commercial, off-the-shelf, hardware in the same locations. It is about opening the network architecture to facilitate diversity, from network-in-a-box to networks running entirely in the public cloud – and every combination in between. The advantages of an open approach are vast, and the momentum behind merging telco and IT operations is growing.
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