The flexible world of clouds

Tibor Rékasi Companies must be offered cloud services tailored to their requirements – this is how T-Systems Hungary’s deputy CEO for Sales Tibor Rékasi summed up the company’s strategy in relation to the trend determining the ICT technological sector, which is a technological and a sales channel at the same time.

Why do people talk so much about clouds? We have already seen information technologies predicted to have a bright future and still disappearing in a relatively short time.

The cloud is different because it is not quite a new thing. One can rather talk of a new combination of technologies, services and sales modes made of elements that have already existed, have rapidly developed and come to the expected level of development, which was after all capable of radically transforming the operation of the complete infocommunication for both sector industrial participants and users. How does corporate IT traditionally work? I run the purchased hardware and software tools on devices in my ownership at my own site with the help of my own specialists. This pattern is undergoing transformation before our very eyes. If the cloud paradigm is taken to extremes, a company does not need anything else than the element that distinguish it from its competitors. All other elements can be used as a service.

How is T-Systems Hungary preparing for this transformation?

As the direction of these trends could be discerned long ago, the provision of cloud services became one of the key elements in our standardised corporate strategy. Naturally, this does not mean that we only think in terms of the cloud, as the cloud is no cure-all. According to our strategy we offer our ICT services in various forms and in addition to the currently dominant forms – like the traditional on-premise solutions and outsourcing – cloud solutions are given a far more emphatic role than previously.

What distinguishes T-Systems Hungary from other cloud service providers?

The scope and depth of the services we offer is unique in any case. From fundamental infrastructure through communication and collaboration solutions to various horizontal, sectoral and business applications, we offer a wide range of services to medium and large corporations. We can ensure all this from end-point to end-point, from the customer’s client device to the service provider’s centre and we assume responsibility for all elements of the service jointly. And this already leads us to another important distinguishing feature of our company, namely, security. One of the significant elements in this field is data security: T-Systems Hungary operates the safest data centre in Central Europe, where physical and IT security jointly guarantee the most complete and auditable safety of the customers’ data. Or I could also mention the availability of applications, allowed by the up-to-date hardware and software infrastructure underlying the services. Moreover, our customers can be sure that the services provided by T-Systems Hungary and its parent company, Magyar Telekom will be accessible over the long term, and we will always be capable of fulfilling the service conditions undertaken in the contracts.

There are numerous different cloud services. How does T-Systems classify them?

We endeavour to ensure full portfolio for our customers, but it does not mean we offer one and the same thing to everyone. A medium-sized company usually uses public cloud services, but still it requires us to perform minor customisations of the solutions, which are for the most part prepared and meant for a particular industry and integrated by the systems we intend to keep within the company, for the time being, and by one-off applications that cannot be migrated to the cloud. Large companies can be expected to use the systems containing simpler or less sensitive data from the cloud, however, they require considerable integration and customisation. In this clientele demand is already made for private clouds. We can build and operates such private clouds either at the customer’s site or in our own Data Centre.

Well, this does not sound so simple. How can the customer judge what is best for him?

This is no easy decision, indeed. Cloud services have been invented to facilitate life for customers, cut their costs and improve their elasticity and agility. However, transition is no simple thing in this case either. A larger-size company must carefully analyse which element to migrate to the public cloud and when, whether a private cloud should be created and the data should be migrated there, or the applications should rather be operated in the traditional form up to the end of its life cycle. The company’s cloud-readiness must be assessed, the tasks must be identified and their time schedule set in order for the company to be able to capitalise on the benefits offered in the clouds. And the optimum solution may be different for every company. The solution of complex analytical and planning tasks requires extensive expertise, however, companies usually have it in fragments. This is why we have decided to launch our cloud consultancy to help customers in making their decisions in these issues. As a business partner in transformation, we always seek the best business and technological solutions for achieving our customers’ business objectives. We can do it objectively, as we do not have an eye on anyone’s interest: whatever the customer selects, T-Systems can provide it.

Have you developed all your cloud services on your own?

No, we haven’t, but there is no reason for doing so. The essence of cloud services lies in the economies of scale and unlimited access. Thus there is no sense in starting development from the very basics and build the complete background infrastructure again and again. This was the objective of the cloud brokerage business model: a kind of mediation for value added services we also use. All services, whether developed by us or by our partners, have a uniform and integrated appearance and joint support. As we join forces with the largest suppliers under this service model, customers have access to service packages with a wider range of services. If a company chooses T-Systems Hungary, it needs to conclude the contract only with a single partner: as if all services were provided through one and the same supplier with whom it can agree in harmonised conditions, SLA and standardised billing.

What are the primary benefits of cloud services for customers?

What a customer may consider most attractive depends highly on its corporate size. For smaller-size businesses the saved investment costs and the higher than usual service quality represent the most significant benefits. In the case of larger businesses, flexibility is also in the limelight. The introduction of a new cloud service may be implemented considerably faster, in the case of infrastructure services, they might take no more than a few hours, and this may be essential for maintaining competitive advantage. Another significant component of flexibility is that companies can always use the capacity they actually require. Large corporations often replace existing systems by cloud solutions, however, it is difficult to compare their actual costs. In the case of a cloud service, the amount written in a bill is clear, however, the costs of labour and development or for instance the electricity used is frequently disregarded in the case of in-house operation. If these are included in the total possession cost, the price advantage inherent in clouds becomes more obvious.

 T-Systems Hungary


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