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  • February 2015, Excerpt of IDC #CA1SSC15

    IDC MarketScape

    IDC MarketScape: Canadian Public IaaS 2015 Vendor Assessment

    Mark Schrutt


    The content for this excerpt was taken directly from the IDC MarketScape: Canadian Public Infrastructure

    as a Service 2015 Vendor Assessment by Mark Schrutt (Doc #CA1SSC15). All or parts of the following

    sections are included in this excerpt: IDC Opinion, IDC MarketScape Vendor Inclusion Criteria, Essential

    Buyer Guidance, Vendor Summary Profile, Appendix, Learn More and Related Research. Also included

    is the IDC MarketScape Figure (Figure 1).

  • ©2015 IDC Excerpt of #CA1SSC15 2


    FIGURE 1

    IDC MarketScape: Canadian Public IaaS Vendor Assessment

    Source: IDC, 2015

    Please see the Appendix for detailed methodology, market definition, and scoring criteria.

  • ©2015 IDC Excerpt of #CA1SSC15 1


    This study is IDC's second IDC MarketScape on the Canadian public IaaS market. Offerings are

    becoming less expensive while much more robust and automated to enable self-serve features.

    Providers are picking up on the hybrid message and designing their solutions with interoperability and

    hybrid management in mind. Partners also have more skin in the game to bridge gaps in offerings and

    as a channel to the market.

    CenturyLink, one of the leading ICT providers in the world, is placed in the Major Player category in

    this IDC MarketScape.


    This research includes analysis of the leading public infrastructure–based cloud service providers in

    Canada. The inclusion criteria was set at a minimum of C$1 million in public IaaS revenue and C$20

    million in overall hosting.

    This assessment is designed to evaluate the characteristics of each firm — as opposed to a firm's size

    or breadth of services. It is conceivable, and in fact the case, that specialty firms can compete with

    multidisciplinary firms on an equal footing. As such, this evaluation should not be considered a "final

    judgment" on the firms to consider for a particular project. An enterprise's specific objectives and

    requirements play a significant role in determining which firms should be considered as potential

    candidates for an engagement.


     Align your efforts. The shift to a more business-focused IT department is already underway.

    More progressive CIOs have built closer ties and integrated IT (resources, activities, and

    sourcing decisions) with the business. By focusing on what solutions are needed rather than

    how they are delivered, CIOs are crafting IT departments that will look far different from

    traditional IT and are much more flexible, responsive, and effective.

     Get your plan in flight. Buyers need to ramp up their knowledge and then quickly take cloud off

    the drawing board and into production. Buyers need to develop transition plans for legacy

    technologies and have a cloud-first approach to new projects and infrastructure spend. This

    planning starts with the needs of the business, how IT can support the business' goals, and

    what options are available for IT to do its job better and more cost effectively. Cloud changes

    how IT gets done, sometimes supplementing, and in other situations replacing, how services

    are delivered. Companies need to reassess their IT strategy and determine if and when

    traditional technologies and tasks such as test/dev and backup and recovery can be moved to

    the cloud. This new IT strategy cannot sit on the shelf. Planning needs to be a continuous

    process that realigns the business and IT and addresses the rebalancing between internally

    and externally provided service and hosting, public, private, and hybrid IaaS.

     Make hybrid your goal. Buyers cannot leave cloud in isolation. Part of the planning process

    needs to be the framework that will integrate single-vendor clouds with corporate systems.

  • ©2015 IDC Excerpt of #CA1SSC15 2

    This involves the rewriting of processes to adjust to on-demand and as-a-service model

    supporting business users in various ways, different chargeback mechanisms, and new tools

    to manage it all. The IT department will also have to shift from delivering services to managing

    delivery and vendor relationships. IT will have to demonstrate its ability to manage change,

    work closer with the business, and show value for money.


    This section briefly explains IDC's key observations resulting in a vendor's position in the IDC

    MarketScape. While every vendor is evaluated against each of the criteria outlined in the Appendix,

    the description here provides a summary of each vendor's strengths and challenges.


    CenturyLink, one of the leading ICT providers in the world, is placed in the Major Player category in

    this IDC MarketScape. Primarily known as a telecommunications firm, CenturyLink has built an

    impressive hosting and managed services practice. This includes the acquisition of Savvis, which had

    acquired Canada's Fusepoint in 2010, and Tier 3, an infrastructure-as-a-service provider with a small

    Canadian footprint, in 2013.

    CenturyLink Canada has a well-balanced base of business, with colocation, dedicated hosting, and

    cloud services. Through its predecessor, Savvis, CenturyLink built a solid initial line of cloud-based

    infrastructure offerings under the Symphony line. In November 2013, CenturyLink acquired Tier 3, a

    pure-play IaaS provider based in Seattle. The Tier 3 offerings were automated, self-serve, pay as you

    go, and scalable. Along with a new product line, Tier 3 brought significant technical as well as

    operational expertise to CenturyLink. Since that time, CenturyLink has transitioned the Symphony

    product line onto the Tier 3 platform, leveraged the platform to redesign other CenturyLink offerings,

    and centralized cloud engineering and operations in the Seattle area.

    CenturyLink Cloud is available primarily in a pay-as-you-go model with an option for clients to sign up

    to longer-term contractual commitments. The company's public IaaS comes in managed or self-

    managed versions and is marketed for test/dev, Web front-end, and legacy applications as well as

    collaboration and database workloads. It is built on VMware vSphere v5 along with IP developed by


    CenturyLink operates over 57 datacentres around the globe. Over the past two years, CenturyLink has

    heavily invested in its Canadian facilities in Vancouver and Montreal as well as its two largest centres

    located in the Greater Toronto Area, including a new one in Markham, Ontario, which opened last fall.

    CenturyLink Cloud is delivered out of three of the Canadian datacentres, all of which are SSAE 16,

    SOC 1 and 2, and PCI certified.

    CenturyLink focuses on the midmarket and lower end of the enterprise space. CenturyLink primarily

    leverages its direct sales force for cloud services, and onboarding of clients onto the CenturyLink

    Cloud involves sales and sales engineers in a consultative sales approach. Using CenturyLink's

    channel approach concentrated in the United States, CenturyLink's local operations are beginning to

    develop local channel relationships. This has already occurred with certain technology influencers and

    consultants in the Toronto area and with the aim of building an ecosystem or group of advisors that

    they can work with to promote CenturyLink's cloud services. CenturyLink's strategy also includes

    enhancing its portfolio of managed services and expanding its platform capabilities as well as

  • ©2015 IDC Excerpt of #CA1SSC15 3

    additional automated services, platform-as-a-service capabilities, and a potential bare metal public

    IaaS offering.


    CenturyLink Cloud public IaaS is a sound, flexible, and high-performance offering. The Tier 3

    acquisition brought CenturyLink a solid provisioning platform that it can extend to its other

    infrastructure offerings. These include private IaaS and dedicated and colocation hosting, which

    provide clients a full suite of options to help manage their infrastructure needs.


    The CenturyLink name is not well known in the Canadian marketplace. CenturyLink acquired Savvis,

    which had bought Fusepoint in 2010. The corporate changes has created a brand issue for

    CenturyLink, which it will have to work on. IDC's cloud survey showed little recognition of the name

    and uncertainty of whether its cloud offerings are good or bad. CenturyLink needs to work by word of

    mouth, targeted advertising and promotion, and expanding its sales and channel coverage to regions

    outside of the Greater Toronto Area.

  • ©2015 IDC Excerpt of #CA1SSC15 4


    Reading an IDC MarketScape Graph

    For the purposes of this analysis, IDC divided potential key measures for success into two primary

    categories: capabilities and strategies.

    Positioning on the y-axis reflects the vendor's current capabilities and menu of ser


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