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Etisalat interested in Vivendi’s Maroc Telecom stake

January 22, 2013 Leave a comment

UAE operator becomes latest to submit expression of interest in Vivendi’s Moroccan telco shares.

Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat said on Thursday it is interested in acquiring French conglomerate Vivendi SA’s 53% stake in Morocco’s Maroc Telecom.

Etisalat, which operates in 18 markets across the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, has submitted a preliminary expression of interest in the Maroc Telecom stake and is one of a number of bidders, according to a statement posted on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange website.

“Should there be any developments on this subject, we will keep the stock market updated in due course,” Etisalat said.

Click here to find out more!Vivendi SA has been looking to sell its 53% stake in Maroc Telecom since last summer, as part of a broader strategic shift of the company away from telecommunications and its media and content assets. The Paris-based conglomerate company is currently also auctioning off its Brazilian phone and broadband unit GVT. Vivendi hopes to get at least one of the deals nailed down before its annual meeting in April, according to people familiar with the sales processes.

Etisalat’s preliminary expression of interest comes as several other companies are kicking the tires of the African cellphone operator. Korean operator KT Corp. said in December that it had submitted a letter of intent for a potential purchase. France Telecom SA and others have also expressed interest a potential bid for the company, the people familiar with the sales processes said.

France Telecom chief executive Stéphane Richard confirmed the company’s interest in a press conference on Monday, but said the company was “not prepared to fight for Maroc Telecom at any price.”

A Qatar Telecom spokesman said the company has also submitted a non-binding initial bid.

In October, Ahmad Julfar, Etisalat’s group’s chief executive officer told Zawya Dow Jones that “following the global crisis there are good opportunities in the market. In the next 18 months we will be eyeing the opportunities and jumping on the good ones. If it brings good value, we’ll look into that.”

Etisalat, which is facing strong competition in its home market from rival Du, has looked to its international operations to boost revenues. In the third-quarter, while consolidated revenues remained flat at AED8 billion, Etisalat said revenue from its international operations rose 7% to AED2.4 billion–contributing 30% to the top line.

Originally posted at: http://www.totaltele.com/view.aspx?ID=478846&G=2&C=5&Page=0

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Cloud Computing Revenues – 2016

December 27, 2011 7 comments

The cloud computing market will represent $240 billion worth of revenue by 2016, up from $77 billion in 2011, according to Visiongain.

Visiongain believes that mobile cloud service revenues will reach $45 billion in 2016, with a compound annual growth rate of 55.18 percent from 2011.

At year end 2016, more than 50 percent of Global 1000 companies will have stored customer-sensitive data in the public cloud, Gartner researchers also believe.


Those forecasts are higher than some forecasts in early 2011. To forecast revenue, analysts start with the concept of average revenue per employee per month. Yankee Group calculates average revenue per employee for software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) as $4, $2 and $1, respectively.

For example, a typical enterprise will spend $4 per employee per month on SaaS. This is equivalent to $48 per year per employee, or what a small business or sole proprietor might pay for an online backup service such as Mozy or Carbonite and simple collaboration software like Evernote or Dropbox.

All of that adds up to annual revenue of about $23 billion by 2014, Yankee Group has estimated.

The Yankee Group global forecast for cloud computing revenue includes some key definitions.

Yankee Group defines midsize to large enterprises as 250 or more employees. The forecast also includes SMBs, which the firm defines as organizations with two to 249 employees. The forecast excludes consumer cloud services but does allow that small businesses will often adopt consumer cloud services for business use.

Yankee Group excludes sole proprietors from infrastructure as a service and platform as a service because analysts do not believe the typical small business has a need for those services.

The forecast likely understates demand in the small business segment to the extent that many small software firms will have high incentives to buy platform and infrastructure services “as a service.”

Those developments will affect many other industries and businesses. Separately, analysts at Gartner estimate that, by 2015, low-cost cloud services will cannibalize up to 15 percent of top outsourcing players’ revenue.

Gartner sees low-cost cloud services disrupting traditional IT in the same way that low-cost air carriers like Ryanair and Southwest disrupted the major commercial airlines.

Originally posted at: http://www.tmcnet.com/topics/articles/246856-how-big-will-cloud-computing-revenues-be-2016.htm

Top Criteria for Choosing a Managed Network Services Provider

October 28, 2011 1 comment

Before deciding on a managed network services partner, companies must first understand their goals for what truly is an ideal provider.

One expert in managed network services, Spacenet has provided in a white paper some of the criteria that enterprise-level executives should be mindful of when making this critical choice.

First, Spacenet recommends organizations search for a provider that is scalable enough to support small to large, multi-location and multi-vendor networks. One option is to search for a provider that possesses peer-to-peer architecture so that when an organization’s managed network grows, it can simply add more peer appliances.

Next, the managed network services provider of choice should offer an end-to-end solution with automated processes and procedures. This includes a single point of contact, problem ownership and resolution, the option for an operating system and configuration downloading, as well as second- and third-level support. And, when it comes to support coverage, it should certainly be 24/7.

In order to effectively meet business goals, organizations should also require their managed network services provider to have service level agreements on availability, as well as mean-time to repair and additional parameters.

Meanwhile, Spacenet says the ultimate managed network services provider will also offer standard and customizable performance and problem management analysis; centralized architecture and delivery; and rapid, efficient and simple customer implementation.

Lastly, as any provider of services should offer to customers, the ideal managed network services provider should ensure business continuity in the case of an outage, support for deployment of custom applications and specialized solutions, and what is certainly a no-brainer, lots of experience in supporting large networks.

Originally posted at: http://it.tmcnet.com/channels/managed-networks/articles/228417-top-criteria-choosing-managed-network-services-provider.htm

Role of the System Integrator

September 15, 2011 4 comments

To understand the role of a system integration company and the benefits it brings to a customer we need to clearly understand the responsibility of the system integrator and how their development process differs from manufacturers, system companies, or engineering firms.

Development Phase:

The true integrator faces each project with a clean slate. They take a completely non-proprietary approach to the development of the best solution for the customer. Their primary design interest is to understand the goals of the
project along with the customer’s vision and timeline to accomplish it. Once properly defined this “Design Criteria” is used as the foundation for the system solution.

It is their commitment to this non-proprietary design approach that differentiates the integrator from the manufacturer or the system-company. The integrator does not have to specify any particular hardware, or software, to generate revenue
or to make their company more competitive on a project. Since the integrator can supply any hardware, or software, its only interest is to develop the best solution for the customer.

Design/ Proposal Phase:

When the system solution has been developed the integrator creates the individual bid packages for the hardware and service resources needed. RFQs, (Requests for Quote), are sent to multiple suppliers for each part of the project. These
solicitations request proposals based on the RFQ and ask each potential supplier to also offer recommendations to improve the system.

The integrator reviews all proposals for compliance with the “Design Criteria” and the RFQ. The integrator then chooses the best supplier and incorporates any recommended changes proved beneficial to the customer. The integrator then
presents the completed design and proposal package to the customer for their review and approval.

This “Collaborative Development Process”, using multiple proposals from suppliers for each part of the project, maintains competitive bids while fostering innovation from the experts in their individual fields.

Implementation Phase:

Following the review and approval of the proposal the customer awards a turnkey purchase order to the integrator to implement the system as designed. Using “Lean Implementation” practices, borrowed in concept from the latest manufacturing technology, the integrator schedules all the service resources required to complete the system. Detailed engineering from each supplier is coordinated and integrated into a complete cohesive system.

Software functionality is finalized and aligned with the system description of operation to ensure compatibility. Performance details are completed with the corresponding contractors. A highly defined project schedule is created, and purchase orders are issued to the suppliers.

The integrator assigns a project manager to oversee the progress and to administer the contracts. Each supplier names a contact person within their organization responsible for their performance on their part of the project. Regular project
meetings are held to maintain schedules and coordinate the efforts of all involved.

A project engineer reviews and approves drawing submittals from each supplier for compliance to the system specifications.

The integrator assigns a site supervision team to control all jobsite activities and to provide the system engineering capacity to answer technical questions that arise during the installation phase. Based on the size and complexity of
the system this resource can vary from a full time requirement to periodic visits to monitor performance.

Additional duties performed by the integrator during this phase, and coordinated by the project manager are system acceptance testing, delivery of technical system documentation, and training both operational and maintenance.

It is the use of these lean implementation practices; the ability to use required external resources appropriately scheduled during the implementation phase that ensures that the value added of each supplier is realized. Further, this focus on keeping each supplier doing what it does best helps to reduce the system cost.

Summary of Customer Benefits:

  • Clean slate, non-proprietary design.
  • Designs are more innovative – not restricted to particular hardware or software products
  • Continuity of design and responsibility from development through implementation
  • Lower cost – competitive bidding and “Lean Implementation” practices
  • Sole source responsibility – reducing customer interface requirements and vendor list

Today’s systems must be designed with the flexibility and adaptability required to meet the changes of tomorrow. The design phase cannot be encumbered with the limitations of a product line and implementation must maximize the use of
critical resources in the most efficient way, hallmarks of the System Integrator.

Planning to ‘Reset’ the WLAN Market, ADTRAN Buys Bluesocket

August 10, 2011 3 comments

ADTRAN believes the move to 802.11n, the explosion in demand for wireless connectivity, and the adoption of cloud virtualization in enterprise networks creates the ideal climate for it to enter the wireless LAN space. As a result, the company has acquired Bluesocket Inc. in a deal announced today.

Terms of the purchase were not released.

Bluesocket, a privately owned, venture-backed business out of Burlington, Mass., considers itself a fourth-generation wireless LAN solutions provider.

Christopher Koeneman, vice president of sales at the newly acquired company, explains that first-generation WLAN was all about autonomous access points. The second generation saw companies like Aruba and Cisco introduce thin access points managed by single controllers. The third generation involved the entrance of companies like Extricom and Meru to enable sustained roaming sessions for services such as voice over Wi-Fi, and the emergence of products that separated out the control plane from companies like Colubris (now part of HP) and Trapeze Networks (now under the Juniper Networks’ umbrella).

However, fourth-generation WLAN solutions, he says, are controller-less. A company called Aerohive that falls into this category builds the controller into the access point, he says. But the Bluesocket solution leverages virtualization to put control of the wireless network into the data center.

And cloud virtualization changes everything, notes Gary Bolton, vice president of global marketing at ADTRAN, who says cloud-based delivery of WLAN solutions will obsolete controller-based implementations, resetting the market for Wi-Fi as a whole. (The cloud/data center in this case will likely initially be a private cloud, but this technology could work in scenarios involving service provider-hosted offerings as well.)

Placing WLAN control in the data center makes sense, he explains, because it allows for unprecedented scalability. That’s important in light of the explosion in wireless endpoints and the fact that wireless access has become a must-have not just a nice-to-have capability, meaning that more organizations are now deploying larger numbers of access points. Controlling WLAN networks from servers (the Bluesocket solution in this case is software running on a VMware platform) at the data center also significantly reduces power requirements, Bolton adds, and it allows for a more secure overall architecture.

“We believe this is a perfect time to reset and redefine the whole wireless LAN industry,” says Bolton.

Eliminating the hardware requirement of the WLAN controller and putting it in the cloud is an architecture that – coupled with move to 802.11n, which is happening now – will put Cisco and others “back on their heels,” Bolton says. Pair that with ADTRAN’s ability to strengthen R&D investment on this front, its strong stable of channel partners, and its existing product portfolio, including its leadership position in LAN infrastructure, Bolton continues, and you have the potential for ADTRAN to really shake up the WLAN marketplace with new and more efficient solutions.

Today most enterprises have separate wireless and wireline networks, he adds, but with Bluesocket under its wing ADTRAN can now integrate those dual networks into a single, seamless network that can serve any endpoint virtually anywhere. The end goal, Bolton explains, is to allow for complete endpoint freedom across the enterprise, even if that enterprise is distributed across the world.

Originally posted at: http://communication-solutions.tmcnet.com/topics/communication-solutions/articles/206045-planning-reset-wlan-market-adtran-buys-bluesocket.htm

Survey Reveals Strong CRM Adoption among SMBs

July 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Research firm ITIC recently announced the results of a survey which was commissioned by OSF Global Services, where small to mid-sized businesses are embracing CRM solutions and the percentage is higher than expected.

With an 86 percent majority of respondents, features and performance were the factors that mostly influenced their CRM purchasing decision. Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage and Sugar CRM are the most popular with survey participants among the larger CRM vendors. However, the combination of lesser known CRM brands plus homegrown CRMs outscored the larger CRM firms, the company stated in a press release.

This survey was notable for the in-depth and extensive user comments, according to ITIC Principal Laura DiDio. “Statistics can be made to say anything when viewed in isolation,” she said.  “These C-level executives and IT managers were extremely forthcoming about what they liked and disliked regarding their CRM experiences. Their anecdotal responses were among the most thoughtful and detailed of any ITIC survey within the past three years.”

With an eye towards adoption, half of the survey respondents said they are analyzing requirements or evaluating (new or upgraded) CRM solutions. Another 20 percent said they plan to install a CRM solution within the next six to 12 months. While 26 percent of respondents revealed they do not currently use CRM, an equal number of the survey participants said they’ve used a CRM solution for over 10 years.

According to another report published by ITIC recently, Global IT executives rated technical service and support from Stratus Technologies well ahead of IBM, HP and Dell. ITIC conducted its independent Web-based survey of 470 corporate IT and C-level executives worldwide from November 2010 through February 2011. The survey’s objective was to poll executives on the reliability of 14 of the most popular server hardware platforms and 18 of the top server OS distributions.

Originally posted at: http://call-center-software.tmcnet.com/topics/call-center-software/articles/188961-survey-reveals-strong-crm-adoption-among-smbs.htm

Strong CRM Adoption among SMBs

June 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Research firm ITIC recently announced the results of a survey which was commissioned by OSF Global Services, where small to mid-sized businesses are embracing CRM solutions and the percentage is higher than expected.

With an 86 percent majority of respondents, features and performance were the factors that mostly influenced their CRM purchasing decision. Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage and Sugar CRM are the most popular with survey participants among the larger CRM vendors. However, the combination of lesser known CRM brands plus homegrown CRMs outscored the larger CRM firms, the company stated in a press release.

This survey was notable for the in-depth and extensive user comments, according to ITIC Principal Laura DiDio. “Statistics can be made to say anything when viewed in isolation,” she said.  “These C-level executives and IT managers were extremely forthcoming about what they liked and disliked regarding their CRM experiences. Their anecdotal responses were among the most thoughtful and detailed of any ITIC survey within the past three years.”

With an eye towards adoption, half of the survey respondents said they are analyzing requirements or evaluating (new or upgraded) CRM solutions. Another 20 percent said they plan to install a CRM solution within the next six to 12 months. While 26 percent of respondents revealed they do not currently use CRM, an equal number of the survey participants said they’ve used a CRM solution for over 10 years.

According to another report published by ITIC recently, Global IT executives rated technical service and support from Stratus Technologies well ahead of IBM, HP and Dell. ITIC conducted its independent Web-based survey of 470 corporate IT and C-level executives worldwide from November 2010 through February 2011. The survey’s objective was to poll executives on the reliability of 14 of the most popular server hardware platforms and 18 of the top server OS distributions.

Originally posted at: http://call-center-software.tmcnet.com/topics/call-center-software/articles/188961-survey-reveals-strong-crm-adoption-among-smbs.htm