Since January 2012, T-Hrvatski Telekom, Croatia’s telecommunications provider have been offering a public Cloud solution for its local business customers based on a suite of Microsoft’s products. The solution,
which was designed to address local needs and market size, promises its customers a 70% saving over a classical on-premise deployment.
||“The modular approach allowed by ComCloud enables adding new services at a fraction of the cost because we can reuse components across several public Cloud services.”
Director of the Professional Services Division,
Hrvatski Telekom was founded in 1997 and became part of Deutsche Telekom’s global T-brand in 2004. In 2007, the company went public. Its Business Solutions Sector division is in charge of developing IT and Cloud services solutions for Croatian companies and
government agencies. “We have three types of businesses,”
explains Tomislav Kosanović, director of ICT Business Solutions Sector at T-HT.
“We provide business solutions deployed to multiple clients, we build custom solutions and we provide Cloud services in Croatia and beyond in wholesale model for other telcos and countries.”
Combis, according to IDC, one of leading regional systems integrator, provides IT clients across various industries in the
Adriatic markets (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia…). As Deutsche Telekom started its transition from a pure telecom player to an ICT provider in 2010, T-HT was appointed to develop a Desktop as a Service solution for business
customers and Combis was selected to deliver a solution.
“Our markets are small in size and it is difficult to reach economies of scale. Therefore it takes optimization and innovative design to push prices down,
” explains Goran Car, director of the Professional Services Division at Combis.
“When we started on this project, we were ahead of the curve and ready-made solution with desired characteristics was not available on the market. We have managed to create innovative solution, supporting different business models
and completely adjusted to the specific market needs in EEMEA region.”
When T-HT surveyed potential customers in the SME segment, several requirements came to light. The solution needed to deliver virtual desktop services to any device over any network and to integrate encryption capabilities to address security concerns. The
solution also had to make it easy for end users to activate new services through a self-service portal and it had to offer real-time billing capabilities to T-HT.
“The biggest challenge was to design the right architecture to meet the market requirements, while keeping cost of ownership down in a market that is price sensitive. After that, the project went smoothly,”
from T-HT. When it was first deployed, the solution was centered on Desktop as a Service, but its modular architecture enabled it to evolve by adding other services.
Windows Server 2008 was used to bring customers a Windows 7 environment whatever the device and wherever they work.
“End-users won’t lose any work. In addition, they can work on any network including a 3G network because we kept the solution light in order to function on any bandwidth,”
explains Car, from Combis. He appreciated the
functions of System Center 2008 to provide system administrators control and management capabilities. SQL Server Standard 2008 was the consolidated database chosen for the solution, a technical choice which implies a cost-saving measure, because it avoids
multiple databases. “Using .NET Framework, a major technology which eliminates the need for Scripting or API integration, we developed the automatic provisioning system and the self-service portals, explains Car.
For DaaS (Desktop as a Service), the solution uses the Citrix technology which enables customer to use service over any device, network or location.
“The biggest inhibitors of Cloud services are psychological. IT departments have security concerns and they are afraid of losing control. Those fears are both unfounded because a Cloud solution is more secure than the one they
had before and it allows IT personnel to move focus away from basic IT work to application and business support,”
“We designed a solution to be modular and to be extendable like Lego bricks. Both telecom and customer can select what they want to implement first and how they want to grow their offer, not adding any additional cost on ‘control
and management plane’”
, says Goran Car from Combis.
Today, ComCloud, the multi-service and multi-tenant public Cloud solution developed by Combis, offers multiple Cloud services from single platform in modular way. Customers can choose any or all the services including virtual desktops, Virtual Private Servers
and Hosted Exchange with Sharepoint. Virtual Data Center and Lync are planned to be added soon. Already deployed in Croatia, ComCloud is now going into operation for a customer in Bosnia and Herzegovina with two other customers currently in negotiation.
“ComCloud, the Cloud solution we developed is offered to telecoms in different business models – deployment and wholesale models are most common ones,”
Thanks to this public Cloud solution, Combis is able to address the specific needs of smaller countries or alternative telecom operators.
End users are able to retrieve their information and use their business-critical applications in a familiar Windows 7 environment wherever they happen to be working. The solution includes self-service portals, automated provisioning system and an integrated
multi-level Application Store that fits their needs.
The solution was designed to address the small-sized regional markets, which are very price-sensitive. While it can be scaled up, it can also be scaled down to fit the needs of alternative operators. Car states that, at the start of the project, he found comparable
solutions in the United Kingdom for 50 pounds (57 euros) per month per user. “Our price is 15 euros per month per user,” adds Kosanović,
“our customers can see a 70% saving over a classical onsite installation.”
“Compared to a global Cloud provider, we can offer local software from integrated Application Store in compliance with local laws. In addition, we can easily localize and rebrand our solution in a standardized way. In fact, we already have localized versions
ready to go,”
says Car. This Cloud solution also allows both the provider and the customers to reduce their carbon footprint.
“By law, we are mandated to use energy-saving equipment,”
“The customers save on individual equipment in a significant way.”