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How One Service Provider is Making Money from the Cloud

Making the transition from legacy service models to a service model rooted in cloud computing

As you may or may not be aware, 6fusion is a channel focused company. That means we work exclusively with IT service providers of one variety or another to make the transition from legacy service models to a service model rooted in cloud computing. Our core technology is an algorithm that creates a single unit of measurement for the computing resources you need to run practically any application. You can check out our site to find out more, as this post isn’t intended to be a product pitch. But I thought I would take a few minutes to let readers know a bit more behind the video we recently linked to our blog site (it’s the one on the top of the list) since we’ve received a few inquiries about it.

I posted the video because it celebrates one service providers complete transition to the world of utility or cloud computing. The video itself is an actual local TV ad they started running a while ago in their local market. It is really the culmination of a lot of collaboration and it really underscores how they are making money from the cloud.

When we met WestTel they were your typical regional IP Services Company. Their ‘bread and butter’ was voice and data network services. And like most small ISPs, they were concerned with the commoditization of their core business lines and the projected erosion of associated.

WestTel became a 6fusion Solution Partner, which gave them access to a world of utility computing infrastructure nodes. Basically, that means multiple data centers running enterprise hardware in tier III facilities on an elastic, pay on demand model in accordance with how the industry currently defines ‘cloud computing’. What made it possible for them to work with 6fusion was really that there wasn’t much risk. We asked for no software licensing fees, no hardware investments, no minimums and no long term commitments. I still remember the quizzical look on their VP of Sales & Marketing’s face when we met, as if to say “what’s the catch?!”

With limitless computing resources at their fingertips, WestTel got busy defining where they thought they could add true value to their customers overall experience while unlocking new vertical product growth strategies. If I would offer any lesson to other companies looking to the cloud I would point to WestTel as a shining example of how to do it. They resisted the temptation to “boil the ocean” with a plethora of products and services and try to become something they are not. They looked inward at what they do best and they built from there. The result was the blending of their new found capabilities with 6fusion and their strong, reliable network to create a foundation for WestTel Utility Computing Services. They determined the best value they could deliver would be to help businesses protect their data and applications using 6fusion technology and their own global networking reach. Very smart.

With a new vision on paper, they relied on 6fusion to make some key introductions to software vendors already operating on the 6fusion platform and that would fit the criteria they defined for their new service line and that customers were demanding. After working out the T’s and C’s with their vendors of choice they took some baby steps into the market to test out their theory. This is another valuable lesson. Go slow when launching new services. Don’t over accelerate. Allow for some bake-in time so that you can catch your breath and work out any kinks. Product development and service innovation is a huge risk for providers. But with a zero risk proposition we were able to afford them, they had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Not every product development cycle makes it to market. In fact, most do not. I suppose this is one of the reasons why we wanted to share WestTel’s TV ad. It makes the entire 6fusion team proud to know WestTel was right about the market and what their customers wanted and that they didn’t have to be Verizon or British Telecom to get into the market. Taking their services to the level of confident product marketing is a big step and we applaud them for it. They aren’t yet ready to take on the world’ telecom giants, but that really isn’t the point. In a market brimming with hype and hope, WestTel is a great example of how one service provider is making money from the cloud.

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More Stories By John Cowan

John Cowan is co-founder and CEO of 6fusion. John is credited as 6fusion's business model visionary, bridging concepts and services behind cloud computing to the IT Service channel. In 2008, he along with his 6fusion collaborators successfully launched the industry's first single unit of meausurement for x86 computing, known as the Workload Allocation Cube (WAC). John is a 12 year veteran of business and product development within the IT and Telecommunications sectors and a graduate of Queen's University at Kingston.