Orange Business Services has expanded its Flexible Computing infrastructure-as-a-service product to North America and Asia, targeting multinationals with a presence across those continents and Europe and South America, where the platform is already available.
As can be expected with that sort of customer base, France Telecom’s business services arm is highlighting global business continuity support as the main reason for choosing its IaaS over the likes of Amazon or Rackspace. As the company’s international cloud chief, Chris McKay, told me, configurability is also a selling point.
“There are no small, medium or large instances. You pay for what you use, but you don’t have to pay for steps in instances,” McKay said.
Regarding competition from other telcos, particularly others from Europe such as BT and Deutsche Telekom, he stressed the “industrialized” nature of Orange’s offering – “we provide a catalog for the customer which has granularity of managed services which the customer can choose, from the OS to middleware to applications” – and the fact that Orange manages its own cloud data centers around the world rather than turning to outsourcing in certain locations.
Orange already has around 500 customers for Flexible Computing, which allows both self-managed and fully managed usage. The platform is based on in-house technology, but McKay said Orange was also looking at “other avenues”.
“Right now we’re carrying out studies,” he said. “[We will try] possibly OpenStack and a few others for an internal cloud solution at France Telecom in the next four months, where we’re going to evaluate what the right direction is for the future.”
According to an Orange Business Services statement on the North American and Asian expansion, the company is on track to rake in €500 million ($644 million) in cloud revenues in 2015. It managed €113 million in 2012, which was a third up on the year before.
The big European telcos are certainly pushing hard when it comes to the cloud, and this will no doubt be a topic for discussion at our Structure:Europe conference in London on 18-19 September.