Verizon Business Looks To Ease Cloud Computing Move With New Services


Verizon Business is helping customers adopt cloud computing with a new step-by-step, vendor-agnostic consulting and services program the company said will eventually be made available to its channel partners.

The new Cloud Computing Program is being offered with the assumption that most enterprises will eventually want to adopt some form of cloud computing, said Bart Vansevenant, director of enterprise sales for the Basking Ridge, N.J.-based solution provider unit of Verizon Communications.

"We want to help customers transition to the cloud," Vansevenant said.

Cloud computing is a way to dynamically combine and scale server, storage, networking, and other resources outside of a company's own traditional data center for such purposes as remote data storage or running Software-as-a-Service. A company can build an internal or private cloud, which allows those resources to be available for its own purposes, or can use external or public clouds, which are available over the Internet.

Target customers of cloud computing already have most of the necessary components, including plenty of server, storage, and networking gear from companies like Hewlett-Packard and Cisco, and virtualization technologies from companies like VMware and Microsoft, Vansevenant said.

"These things are all great, but they're either point products or point services," he said. "It's great for companies with do-it-yourself capabilities. But feedback we get from a big group of our customers is, they have a lot of questions."

Among customer concerns are issues related to the security data and information existing in some computing clouds, the quality of service vs. what customers are already receiving from their own equipment, regulatory concerns such as whether they can pass a PCI (Payment Card Industry) audit, and their lack of expertise, he said.

Verizon Business is helping overcome those concerns with a series of consulting and management services under its Cloud Computing Program.

Vansevenant said Verizon Business is taking a lifecycle approach to cloud computing in that it covers four specific steps, any or all of which a customer can adopt.

The first step is to help customers asses what part of their data center should be moved to a cloud, what type of cloud to use, and how it might affect their networking, storage, application, and security infrastructures.

The second step is to help customers design their move to the cloud, and looks at the hardware, application, and security implications of using a private cloud, a public cloud, or a hybrid of the two.

The third step is to help customers migrate their applications from their existing environments to the cloud computing environment.

The fourth step, Vansevenant said, is to manage their cloud computing environments, which can be done by Verizon or the customer.

"It's all about how we can create a secure cloud computing environment for the client," he said.

Customers can use all the various Verizon cloud services, or pick-and-choose those which fit their specific needs, he said.

Verizon Business' Cloud Computing Program fills a gap in the market between all the point products and point services, Vansevenant said. "Customers are feeling left alone by the vendors," he said. "We help them get to cloud computing based on their own environment."

Verizon Business is ready to offer the program this week, Vansevenant said. The company currently has no indirect channel partners for the Cloud Computing Program, but it expects to roll it out to resellers of its Verizon Computing as a Service (CaaS) program over time, he said.

Verizon CaaS is a pay-per-use model for billing, integrated security, automated provisioning, and integrated storage and backup services for business continuity, and allows reseller partners to add their own services on top of the base offering, Vansevenant said.