Savvis to bait managed customers with cloud

Hosting provider hopes its cloud upgrade in the Asia-Pacific region will bring more customers to its traditional managed services offerings.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

SINGAPORE--With the upgrade of its Asia-Pacific data center toward providing more cloud services, Savvis hopes the lure of the cloud will bring more customers to its other services.

In an interview with ZDNet Asia Wednesday, Savvis CTO Bryan Doerr said the company expects the expanded cloud portfolio will attract more customers and give them a taste of the U.S. hosting provider's broader managed services portfolio.

"We think the cloud will be an onramp for customers to a complete outsourcing relationship with Savvis," said Doerr.

The upgrade, announced today, enables Savvis' data center in the region to offer elastic computing resources that can be purchased on a monthly basis.

Prior to the upgrade, Savvis' cloud service allowed customers in the region to provision new virtual compute instances, but on a fixed set of hardware. The hardware was negotiated on an annual contract basis.

Doerr acknowledged that Savvis is late to the elastic compute game in relation to competitors such as Amazon EC2 which came out of beta in 2008.

But Doerr said Savvis is not competing with "mass market" offerings, adding that the company hopes its enterprise-targeted position in the market will put it in good stead with businesses typically squeamish about going over to cloud computing.

"Savvis' [cloud product] meets the buying temperament of the enterprise. We think it is well-timed," he said.

In addition to elastic compute, Savvis will provide enterprise customers with more indepth customization options as well as security and service level agreements (SLAs) to best the competition, he added. "Customers want a service provider who is able to do more than just provide cloud services."

According to Savvis' fourth-quarter earnings call last year, its cloud business represented under 1 percent of its overall sales. While this is a small figure, Doerr said it could spell bigger returns for the company's other service offerings.

The CTO explained that most enterprises are still relying on internal infrastructure for their IT needs. "They shouldn't, because it's not strategic.

"But what's holding them back is fear of loss of control," he said.

He expects the cloud to lower the barriers to entry for enterprises coming to a managed host.

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