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Virgin Media goes cloudy for biz punters

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Virgin Media plans to launch a range of cloud-based services for its business customers.

The telco characteristically had a dig at its rivals, such as BT, by saying it wanted to directly "challenge" those outfits which, Virgin Media claimed, had "brought unnecessary confusion to the cloud, complicating what can be a simple and highly effective way to manage an organisations [sic] IT."

VM said it wanted to offer "no-nonsense advice" to its 65,000 biz customers.

"Most [organisations] are already signed up to the benefits of the cloud, but constant jargon and complicated advice have created a real barrier to entry,” said Virgin Media's business wing managing director, Mark Heraghty.

"The dramatic rise in data volumes, the move to a remote workforce and the merging of business and consumer technology are all putting greater pressures on today’s businesses. Cloud gives organisations more choice in how to deal with these pressures and we’re here to show that cloud doesn’t have to be complex. In fact with us it's amazingly simple,” he added.

The ISP has launched a first product dubbed Virtual Private Data Centre (VPDC) for businesses that represents a clear move into the managed services market by Virgin Media.

It's flogging the product to businesses by saying that hardware costs can be significantly reduced with the use of VPDC.

VM, which has partnered with Savvis in its cloudy strategy, claimed it had the edge over competitors because it would offer "clear and simple advice". Beyond that, however, the company didn't explain in any detail how its team would cut through much of the jargon often spouted by cloud suppliers.

The telco said it wouldn't lock biz customers into minimum length contracts, instead punters will be billed by the hour for the amount of "virtual power" they plug into via the service.

Ovum principal analyst David Molony described Virgin Media's shift into the cloud as "a significant challenger in the UK's business telecoms market".

He added that Virgin Media's timing was spot on "because the cloud services market is gaining some serious momentum". ®

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