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Dec 8 2009   1:55PM GMT

TM Forum launches cloud services ecosystem to promote enterprise adoption

Kate Gerwig Kate Gerwig Profile: Kate Gerwig

The TM Forum has rallied major industry players to form a cloud-based services ecosystem to look at — and remove — impediments to the uptake of cloud services and technology by enterprises.

With the focus on major global enterprise uptake of cloud services, the Forum started off its annual Management World Americas conference in Orlando with a star-studded lineup of companies backing its cloud initiative, including the likes of Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, BT, Cisco, EMC, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Nokia Siemens Networks, Telstra, Amdocs, Microsoft, IBM and CA, as well as enterprise buyers Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Deutsche Bank.

In an industry often surrounded by hype, cloud services have more hype than any other issue surrounding them, said TM Forum President Martin Creaner. The TM Forum wants a major place at the table to separate the hype from enterprise-buying reality and plans to bring buyers and sellers together to sort out the issues.

So make room for another acronym, because at the center of TMF’s effort is the Enterprise Cloud Buyers Council (ECBC), whose purpose is to understand the needs of large global cloud buyers. Key service and technology suppliers will launch programs designed to remove barriers to the growth of commercial cloud services.

“There are no common benchmarks or best practices, and there are security issues to address,” Creaner said. ”If there’s a BT cloud failure, customers need to be seamlessly transferred to another provider’s cloud. How that happens is an issue that needs to be addressed.”

Despite cloud hype, the industry is still in the chaotic stage. “We can either watch it form or jump in to help by working with the buyers and the sellers,” Creaner said.

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