July has been a watershed month for AT&T as it enters into two major "cloud deals", one with Microsoft and another with the newly merged IBM and Red Hat. At first glance, the two deals seem oddly contradictory - a collision of proprietary Microsoft cloud (although about half of Azure workloads run on top of Linux) with open source cloud from the combined IBM and Red Hat. But why two cloud deals? What makes them different? What does it mean for the companies involved?
You can't blame technology vendors and service providers for pushing the limits of marketing hype with Artificial Intelligence (AI). After all, it is hottest buzzword since cloud computing. But digital service providers in the emerging era of 5G need practical, real "AI" solutions to cost-efficiently scale their operations and deliver the quality of service that will deliver the promise of 5G to themselves as well as their customers. Hybrid approaches to AI are needed to accelerate return on investment as operators evolve their infrastructure and operations for a 5G future.
Since the term "Cloud Computing" was coined, CSPs (Communications Service Providers) have had a tremendous challenge developing viable cloud capabilities and offerings for their enterprise clients that compete with emerging digital infrastructure players such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. With 5G on the horizon it is ever more critical that traditional telco operators find their cloud mojo lest current cloud leaders and new intermediary entrants make a move to the middle to take the great 5G promise away from them.