Would you buy Hosted Exchange from your Telco? That is the question that analysts predict you will be answering in the affirmative giving everyone else in the industry a ‘run for their money’. See the article here: http://about.datamonitor.com/media/archives/4674
Fundamentally, Telcos offer services which require no expertise to consume, configure or deploy. Telcos are not well positioned to use a solution selling methodology that can take hours and require in-depth analysis to select and choose. They are generally staffed with people who have never run a business let alone be in a position to answer questions on business value of one solution versus another.
For those who believe that Telco’s have satisfied customers with simple offerings such as telephone services there is almost no way one could reasonably conclude that they will be able to leverage the same systems to deliver complex services and sales processes.
Telcos will have to make wholesale changes to the way they do business in order to be successful in the cloud market. With Analysts positioning this as a natural fit only time will tell if Telcos will be able to figure out a way to make the sales and services side of the business work for end users.
I wish them luck but more so I wish their customers luck in sifting through the fog of a 4 hour customer service call while they are in a business down situation. Telcos simply will be figuring it out as they go.