MTS and Rostelecom have recently begun to offer cloud based services in an SaaS model, addressed mostly to SMEs. Last year, cloud services were also added to the portfolio of Vimpelcom, another major telecommunications operator in Russia. There is no doubt the operators are looking for new opportunities to broaden their services portfolio and cloud computing is definitely one of them.
MTS and the NEC Corporation launched an SaaS business application as part of the former’s development strategy of becoming a cloud service operator. The service in question is based on NEC’s cloud platform and offers not only the management of legal documents but also videoconferencing. In addition, MTS has started to distribute Office 365, a Microsoft cloud based office suite. Servers which support the MTS cloud are hosted in St. Petersburg. MTS predicts that the penetration level of cloud services among its business customers will rise to 20% within 3 years, whereas the figure for SMEs will reach 35%. At the moment the service is available only to subscribers in Moscow, but MTS plans to expand its geographic availability and to increase the number of cloud services.
Conversely, Rostelecom’s cloud services, which are based on the operator’s National cloud platform, are offered in the regions (Central, Siberia, South and Volga). The software applications offered include warehouse management and CRM. Rostelecom also plans to add Microsoft Office 365 to its cloud portfolio. Rostelecom provides potential clients with an assessment of the CRM implementation cost in comparison with the usage of cloud services. The operator claims that the traditional CRM system for five users would require approximately RUB 120,000 in the first year, of which RUB 90,000 would be an investment. For the use of a similar CRM system in the cloud, the client would have to pay RUB 45,000 per year.