Telcos are in the box seat to reap the benefits of cloud computing, said a key player in IBM's cloud computing division.
Dr Jay Subrahmonia, director of advanced customer solutions within IBM's software group, said cloud computing is a natural extension to the telco business.
"They are already involved in service delivery so delivering additional capability, whether it be [for example] billing or IT capacity to third parties, would be a logical extension," she said.
"We are already seeing the emergence of the pipe to service trend."
Although IBM does not have any cloud computing deals in place within Australian telcos, it has signed up a few in a wide ranging number of places.
This week it announced a deal where it will build a cloud computing environment for Vietnam Technology and Telecommunications Joint Stock Company. When completed, VNTT will provide its customers with cloud-based collaboration services such as email on Lotus Domino, and Intranet service on WebSphere Portal Express.
In June, Big Blue also announced a deal with Benelux hosting provider, iTricity, which will see it offer services such as infrastructure profiling and self-service provisioning.
But it is not just IBM making a splash in this area. In August US-based telco AT&T announced its cloud computing offering called Synaptic. It is being deployed with technology acquired from USinternetworking (USi) along with five "super IDCs" (Internet data centers) in the United States, Europe and Asia. Once completed, it will deliver services such as unified communication, content distribution and on-demand retrieval of high-resolution images such as X-rays and CT scans.
Subrahmonia said other areas she has seen strong take-up in cloud computing were the public and education sectors.
(Howard Dahdah travelled to IBM's Insight Forum as a guest of IBM.)