Can telcos support the cloud?

As we attach more devices to the internet, there’s a role for telcos to assist in the set-up process — as long as they know where to draw the line.

Telstra has launched Telstra Plus, offering extra support for customers struggling to get all their home devices connected to the internet. It’s the age-old answer to the rising need for support costs — get the customer to pay for the help, and turn a cost into a revenue stream.

It’s a model that works for connected devices, but Telstra’s promotional video also talks of support for software. Telcos increasingly see the delivery of cloud-based software as part of their core capabilities, because it sits on a network rather than on a hard drive. But is there any good reason why we would buy such services from a telco, rather than from an experienced over-the-top provider?

In this week’s Twisted Wire, I use Optus’ TV Now as an example. A very similar service is offered by Melbourne outfit MyTVR. Co-founder Rene Cunningham explains how MyTVR was around long before the Optus offering, and, of course, that MyTVR is network agnostic — like most stuff on the internet.

Listen in to hear my reasoning on why telcos should really focus on networks and devices. If a service can be provided without requiring a new network connection, they should steer away from it. There are lots of reasons why, but the added complexity of support is a good one to start with.

First published on ZDNet

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