Verizon has taken yet another “leadership” step in defining how operators see their revenue futures. The company has indicated it would be likely acquiring small software companies to create SaaS offerings hosted on the Verizon cloud.
Everyone has been infatuated by the notion of cloud computing as anointing the small and destroying the strong—it’s been a kind of populist theme that’s evolved in parallel with the whole Internet revolution. The problem is that it’s not a practical vision of the market. The big money in cloud computing comes from two sources—PaaS-based offloading of SOA app components from enterprise data centers for backup and overflow work, and SaaS opportunities to SMBs and even some enterprises. The big money’s still out there, and Verizon wants it.
AT&T is moving in this area too, and one interesting development there is that the company is working on the issue of asset creation/exploitation and not just the issue of APIs or cloud architecture. AT&T is looking at how to take legacy assets in the OSS/BSS space and make them available as APIs for integration into higher-level services (by developers and, we’re told, by internal service architects). It also wants to integrate its smart appliances into its content services, not only as elements in a multi-screen strategy but as controlling tools to manage media and the experience. Finally, AT&T hopes to formulate a general-purpose HTML5-based architecture for its proto-smart-device GUI so that applications will run across the full range of stuff that’s rolling out.