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Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. His business interests include a diverse range of industries from manufacturing to property to technology. As a technology commentator he has a broad presence both in the traditional media and extensively online. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

More about Ben here.

5 responses to “Telcos and SaaS – An End to End SLA?”

  1. Zoli Erdos

    I think Paul (aka Unreasonablemen) has a few conceptual problems:

    – Cloud computing is a parasite on the networks…
    – Telco’s own the customers…
    – Comparing Telco investments to railways…

    Anyone that takes the approach of “owning the customer” is heading the wrong way.  SaaS customers are parasites to the same extent passengers on those trains are: they are the source of revenue for the train companies / telco’s.  Cloud computing generates demand for the telco’s services.  If this is so difficult to accept, may I remind everyone of the Telco Crash of 2002…

    By the way, you can no longer find the “own the customer” and the railway references in the Unreasonablemen’s post. He deleted them.  Now, that’s an abosulute no-no, especially when you write a “deliberately provocative post”.  Blogging 101: own what you wrote.  Don’t delete. That is what strikeout is for. (Update: see correction a few comments down)

    Finally, since Paul refers to these cloud bloggers as high on fumes, I suppose that includes this CloudAve contributor, too 🙂

  2. Krishnan Subramanian

    Ben, I decided not to respond to his post because I saw no merit in responding to a biased opinion. Since you have brought the topic to the forefront of Cloud Avenue, I thought I will offer my thoughts here.

    When I read his post, it reminded me of three things I have encountered in my life

    1) Businesses in socialist India who thought they owned their customers because there was no free market competition

    2) Microsoft who thought they owned its users because of the monopoly like status it enjoyed in the traditional desktop world

    3) American telcos who thought (and some of them are still thinking) they owned their customers.

    We know what happened (happening) to all of them. Those socialist era businesses vanished in thin air. Microsoft is becoming irrelevant in today’s economy and the telcos are seeing their bottom break out.

    Zoli nailed it exactly. No one owns the customers. We have gotten rid of slavery long back in this world. If companies think that they own customers, I can only laugh at them. It is time they realize that they are only given the privilege to serve the customers. Many companies have realized it in a bad way and telcos are on the path to realize the same.

    If telcos cannot innovate in their business models to offer the pipes needed by SaaS users, they will go to irrelevancy faster than what many expect. Already, VOIP has taken them out on the voice front and if they treat the data customers as parasites, I will be happy to write their obituary here at Cloud Avenue soon.

  3. Paul Quickenden

    Zoli & Krish

    I also said i’m a big believer in cloud computing. Check the comments on Krish’s post, i stand by that. I just believe in a different version of that built on my discussions with clients and where I see cloud computing going too.

    The take out message I was offering up is this. You live in the clouds, literally. That puts you way, way, way to the left on the adoption curve. In doing this I find that SOME of your thinking lacks realism. My post was meant as a jolt to bring you some of that.

    Zoli’s points about telco’s making money is one of them. SaaS customers pay their way, Saas provider do not, hence my point. If the telco’s cannot sustain the investment required to provide the pipes (and god knows most of them could be more efficient) then who will do it? If no one does then how does SaaS as you see it survive?

    As with all my posts, I intended to provoke debate, nothing more

    And finally I would like to clarify for Zoli. There never was a railway reference in my post, instead it was a comment here on cloudave which i believe is still here

  4. Zoli Erdos


    I mistakenly assumed you had deleted parts of your post – apologies for that. Your railway reference as well as ‘owning the customer’ is here in a comment.

    That said, the comment left here and your own post together reflect your views, so contextually I maintain what I said above.

    Thanks for the clarification.

  5. Paul Quickenden


    Agred they do reflect my views. Appreciate the apology and acknowledge the integrity that you show.

    I would say two things. I have asked on my blog previously about customer ownership, and if it even mattered, I didn’t get to a point where i am satisfied with the answer.

    Secondly none of the response above address any of my points. To me the just say “thats old world thinking”. I believe i have presented counterfactual to your position (IF), i think they need addressing.