IBM said the new service provider platform can reduce the time it takes to launch partner services from six months to six weeks and lets CSPs launch partner applications and services like unified communications, collaboration, field force management and sales tracking and CRM applications. Providers can also offer a development and test cloud and can deliver infrastructure services.
IBM is currently piloting the new IBM Service Provider Platform with global providers like France Telecom, Shanghai Telecom and SK Telecom.
"The expectation since the cloud first emerged a couple of years ago is that CSPs would be key players," Clark said, adding that early on most cloud computing platforms weren't billed as carrier class. "What you see is a lot of consumer facing plays, but now what the carriers are looking for."
Clark said carriers face high expectations in the cloud, as customers demand 24 by 7 connectivity and robust offerings.
"Carriers have pretty high standards," he said. "For a lot of our carriers, this fits well with what they want to do. It makes them more than a deliverer of just voice and data."