September 30, 2010
I spent some time recently talking to John McCawley CEO of Verecloud, a Denver based vendor that’s helping telco companies move beyond standards telco products and services. Via its NIMBUS product, Verecloud is helping telcos aggregate cloud services and offer them to new, and existing customers.
NIMBUS allows telcos to integrate, aggregate and mediate cloud services for SMBs. The theory goes that of all the utilities, telcos have the biggest “ownership” of individual businesses, if they’re able to leverage this billing relationship to sell services beyond traditional voice ones. Verecloud has a dual approach towards providing products for telcos:
- A pre-selected marketplace. Verecloud have partnered with a select number of applications and pre-integrated them on the NIMBUS platform. They are thus able to stand up a cloud marketplace for a telco which can then pick and chose from the candidate applications
- A custom marketplace infrastructure. NIMBUS also provides the raw “nuts and bolts” that allows a telco to integrate its own selected bunch of cloud applications.
Both of these solutions provide a layer of abstraction for the telco that allows them to become a part of a supply chain, reducing the costs and lowering the time-to-market for provision of cloud offerings to their customer. Verecloud competes almost directly with Jamcracker who also aims to aggregate cloud services while providing an entire level of technology to enable the delivery of a service.
The charging model follows a “pay for success” approach. Verecloud charges an initial $1-$2 million upfront licensing fee – thereafter fees are based on the overall success of the cloud services portfolio in place.
Cloud services are a completely logical move for telcos – after all voice services are arguably a perfect example of the very utility products that cloud is fashioned after. Telcos already have customer billing relationships, tagging more services on top of that should be easy. But…
I’ve had a fair bit to do with telcos and my experience is that hey tend to be risk averse and the antithesis of agile. I’ve even joked with friends at telcos that telco innovation is an absolute oxymoron. I’m not convinced that telcos truly appreciate the tsunami that is approaching in terms of threats to their current revenue streams, and if they do I’m not convinced that they will embrace an approach that sees them merely a partner, rather the owner in an ecosystem.