Windstream, TDS, EarthLink and Cbeyond made a strategic decision to go cloud a couple of years ago. Acquisitions followed. It seems to be paying off.
CLEC's have a special access circuit problem. AT&T wants to charge more; that will crush margins. In the case of the Walmart of telecom (WIND), that will mean no margin. When you examine the ARPU of Cbeyond - the way ARPU has declined over the last 3 years due to pricing pressure from cablecos and CLECs - you realize that special access costs were eating their lunch - and were going to continue to do so.
EarthLink tried many different plans before the cloud one. It must be paying off since CEO Rolla Huff retired. The pivot away from ISP to MSP has not been easy - and it has been costly, but the pay off will come. That's the trouble with cloud: it takes a lot of customers to make a dent in the CAPEX.
TDS is like Windstream (and a couple of other carriers); they have an ILEC division and a CLEC division. TDS, Windstream, TWC and Cincinnati Bell all went after data center business in the last couple of years. Data center business is bigger today than ever before, according to COLOTRAQ CEO Dany Bouchedid. It was a smart move to buy data centers before entering the cloud business.
How about your business? Have you shifted any revenue to cloud? It doesn't have to happen all at once. It doesn't have to be an all in scenario. Like these 4 carriers, you can make one pivotal move that will position your business for what is coming next: cloud services and big data.