I have participated in a number of meetings with customers as of late. Also in attendance at most of these meetings have been a number of our AT&T mobility sales reps. As I witnessed the discussions these individuals were having, I realized that I needed to help expand the mindset of these sellers and of our customers when it comes to the cloud and it’s importance to devices we are delivering. It’s my belief that the cloud and cloud services should be part of every handset discussion.
Here’s why: Businesses are using smartphones to gain access to applications they once accessed solely via their laptops.
Just as importantly, where are the applications being delivered from? My bet is that over 50% of businesses have some level of hosted services for these applications, and the majority of them probably don’t know that a company like AT&T is a serious player in this space.
I created the following diagram to illustrate the importance of hosting and cloud services and how businesses would access data in the “cloud.”
This may or may not be something you can apply (I admit, AT&T has an advantage here. A mobile device that rides the AT&T 3G network can hop onto the AT&T IP network and get to an AT&T data center where the customer application sits. Not many players in this space offer visibility into the entire network path.) Businesses want data and they want access to their applications on the go.
In October of last year, at CTIA 2010, Ralph de la Vega, AT&T’s CEO of Mobility and Consumer Markets, told attendees that in the first six months of 2010 operators carried more than 161 billion megabytes of data—up nearly 50 percent over last year. And according to MobileFuture.org, wireless data traffic is expected to grow 100 times faster than voice traffic over the next 10 years and by 2012, smartphone sales will exceed PC and notebook sales combined.
The time is now. We have to move from the discussions around, “How many devices ?” to “What applications are you looking to gain access to from the devices AT&T can provide?”
The cloud—whether we’re talking computing, storage, or application services—is here today.