I've been writing about technology for nearly 20 years, including editing industry magazines Connect and Communications International. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Anthony Plewes. My focus in Futurity Media is in emerging technologies, social media and future gazing. As a graduate of philosophy & science, I have studied futurology & foresight to the post-grad level.
At Orange Business Live in Amsterdam, Didier Jaubert, senior vice president of global services, gave us an insight into how Orange sees cloud computing fitting into its portfolio. According to Jaubert, cloud will underpin many of the services that Orange currently offers - from service management portals, call center services for MNCs, collaboration applications and web security - all will be offered on a Cloud apps. He was keen to stress that Orange will not be in the business of developing mainstream enterprise applications (although it does application development in some key vertical markets). Orange's cloud vision involves bringing together partners from the entire world of IT (such as the recent announcement with VMWare, Cisco, IBM, HP) to create a completely cloud-ready infrastructure allowing apps to be accessed securely from any device, any where.
Examples of cloud services already in operation, included:
• Stade de France stadium which operates a completely virtual desktop environment
• A major luxury goods manufacturer, with 30,000 staff, has an Orange portal for ordering and delivering messaging and collaborations tools. Users are charged on a utility basis
• A company that is using Orange's "infrastructure as a service" - over 10,000 servers are being managed by Orange for this client.
• Heart monitoring service, a joint v enture with medical device manufactuer Sorin. Orange provides a cloud service for physicians to access the pacemaker records, sent directly from the device to the cloud (i.e. telemedicine)
• Vertical apps as service - 30,000 vehicles are being managed in the cloud
Another session at the event looked at various routes to cloud computing that businesses can take.