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Summary

CenturyLink has announced that it has been named an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Managed Services Provider (MSP) Partner. CenturyLink can take its place alongside other AWS Partner Network members that have been audited for their ability to help customers migrate, manage, and run their workloads in the AWS cloud.

CenturyLink slots another piece into its managed cloud portfolio

CenturyLink isn't the first AWS MSP Partner and it won't be the last. However, it joins a select group of MSP Partners that have been audited by an independent third-party auditor for their ability to help customers migrate and manage applications in the AWS cloud. The independent audit is significant in that many AWS customers are looking for reliable MSPs to whom they can entrust increasingly complex cloud migrations. CenturyLink will benefit from the AWS MSP branding, and more importantly, AWS regularly directs its Migration Acceleration Program customers toward its audited MSP Partners. CenturyLink should have obvious attractions for customers that have special cloud connectivity requirements or latency and performance concerns for their cloud applications.

CenturyLink has a long history of developing its own-brand CenturyLink Cloud platform for both public and private cloud deployments. However, like most telcos, MSPs, and IT service providers, it has seen its efforts eclipsed by AWS, Microsoft Azure, and the handful of global hyperscale cloud providers that can marshal huge investments in cloud infrastructure on the back of e-commerce, software sales, advertising, and social media.

Hosting their own clouds was not the guaranteed success most telcos and service providers had hoped for, so they cast around for new ways to monetize the opportunity presented by cloud. Enterprise-to-cloud connectivity was an obvious way to go, but that is only a small piece of the cloud puzzle. Service providers with aspirations to play a more significant role in their customers' cloud evolution need a more compelling proposition. Ovum surveys show that enterprise customers feel increasingly challenged by their lack of cloud skills and the complexity of managing disparate cloud, connectivity, access, and security needs. For CenturyLink, being an AWS MSP provides an opportunity to simplify the complexity and to play a more central role in its customers' IT transformation.

Appendix

Further reading

Cloud Services Survey 2018: Enterprise Priorities Shaping the Future of Cloud, ENS004-000024 (March 2018)

"Reinventing IT complexity in the cloud," INT003-000202 (July 2018)

Author

Ian Brown, Senior Analyst, Network Transformation and Cloud

ian.brown@ovum.com

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