Verizon is shutting down two public cloud services and telling users to move their workloads by April 12, 2016 according to @Kennwhite’s Tweet from February 11.

Verizon will discontinue its Public Cloud Reserved Performance and Marketplace services. As an alternative Verizon will offer its Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) to customers. Verizon says VPC provides the cost effectiveness of a multi-tenant public cloud, but includes added levels of configuration, control and support. It claims this will improve isolation and control for more advanced businesses. Customers that don’t move face data loss as Verizon warns that no data or content will be retained.

Tech Week Europe said of the news “Rather unfair, it would seem, but typical in a consolidating market where failed cloud projects have cost vendors too much.

Barb Darrow wrote on Fortune, “For some time now there have been doubts about whether Verizon was fully in the public cloud market, which is dominated by Amazon Web Services… Given the resources needed to run the massive data centers required by public cloud providers, most observers say the three key players are Amazon, Microsoft and Google. That leaves a raft of clouds run by telecommunications and other tech incumbents fighting it out in the second tier.”

Dominate Forces at Play

Cloud consolidation is a huge issue for the cloud industry and it “ain’t over yet, according to Forrester Research.” In its Predictions 2016: The Cloud Accelerates report it says:

“The consolidation and shakeout will accelerate in 2016, which will force many current providers to refocus on a narrower field, retreat from cloud, or exit. The major public cloud providers will gain strength, with Amazon, IBM SoftLayer, and Microsoft capturing a greater share of the business cloud services market.”

Considering a move to the cloud means two things:

  1. For the cloud buyer – make sure the provider of choice “has the wherewithal and desire to keep spending on the same sorts of innovation that Amazon and Microsoft roll out continuously.” Forrester’s advice is to abandon tech providers regardless of your existing investment if they are not keeping pace with innovation.
  1. For the cloud service provider – keep pace with innovation.

Verizon is what we’ll look back at in a few years as a classic case of a company not keeping pace with innovation. Instead opting to clear out of the public cloud market. Existing customer relationships will not simply carry cloud providers into this period of cloud. Instead, innovation is needed and often that is not at the heart of a telecom provider. With three main dominate forces, a lack of innovation, huge amounts of money spent, multi-year projects, restrictive and non-agile technology solutions and disappointing results… even project failures like Verizon, telecom providers need to pause (only for a minute, speed to market is key) to understand what they can truly offer that’s different. If it is just public cloud services, think again.

The hassle of moving virtual machines means that cloud buyers are going to be increasingly nervous when selecting a provider. What’s needed is a truly differentiated cloud, access to other clouds and innovation for new features and functions – that includes from best of breed vendors.

Getting to market and staying there

We know that it is a tough market and that it continues to consolidate. That’s why Flexiant has been innovating to deliver service providers tools they need to compete. Here are three ways we help:

  1. Multi-Cloud Management – Offer your customers your public cloud and AWS, IBM Softlayer, Google Cloud Platform, Azure and more all through one easy to use interface.
  2. Extensible Cloud Management – Give your customers access to a cloud management solution that ticks all the boxes – self-provisioning, metering and billing as well as allows you to integrate easily with best of breed vendors.
  3. Cloud Freedom – what better way than to reassure customers than to give them cloud freedom. To remove the burden of moving VMs. Flexiant allows you to do this.

If you are a telco in the cloud, consider reading the short eBook on The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Telcos in the Cloud. A quick read, you’ll learn what to look forward to and what to fear in the cloud with advice on how to overcome the bad and the ugly of telcos in the cloud to position yourself for true nirvana making money from the cloud, retaining customers and attracting new customers.

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