CSC, AT&T Team Up In Cloud Arena, Take Aim At Amazon

The deal, according to CSC, not only allows it to scale out its BizCloud service, but to compete more aggressively against other cloud powerhouses, including Amazon Web Services.

"This is all a really tremendous growth play [to address] the challenges that our enterprise clients are having. They really want to move quickly into this next wave of technology transformation to cloud-based architectures with applications that allow them to differentiate themselves," said Gary M. Budzinski, executive vice president and general manager of Global Infrastructure Services at CSC. "We believe this is extremely disruptive in the marketplace."

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Financial terms of the deal, which was announced by AT&T and CSC this week, were not disclosed. The companies did, however, confirm that CSC will deliver its BizCloud service -- which CSC described as an enterprise-grade private cloud, or "Amazon on steroids" -- through AT&T's global cloud infrastructure platform and network through 2020, with the option to extend that time frame.

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"This is a seven-year, long-term contract," Budzinski said. "Other than, perhaps, a client having an exception to using [AT&T], we will lean in, almost 100 percent, to them."

Budzinski said the biggest benefit CSC will reap from the deal is being able to leverage AT&T's global network to scale out the BizCloud service to better accommodate future growth. Citing CSC data, Budzinski said the company's current pipeline for cloud services is valued at a whopping $1 billion, and that nearly 30 percent the deals CSC closes today involve the cloud, up from just 3 to 5 percent last year.

Meanwhile, CSC's BizCloud business, specifically, is up 200 percent year-over-year, representing 60 percent of CSC's overall cloud business.

The need to scale BizCloud -- which, prior to the AT&T partnership, was being hosted largely within CSC's own data centers -- stems not only from the addition of new users but also the need for existing users to accommodate a growing number of cloud-based applications, Budzinski said.

"Customers want to scale quickly," he told CRN. "This is why this [AT&T] partnership makes so much sense and positions CSC to work in such a great way with our customers."

Under terms of the deal, AT&T will also assume management of CSC's internal network, along with its managed network services portfolio. CSC itself, however, will still maintain all relationships with CSC and BizCloud customers, according to Budzinski.

Also under the agreement, CSC will provide what it called "application expertise" to both AT&T directly and AT&T customers. Budzinski described this expertise as the ability to "modernize applications," or help clients ensure their applications are secure, high-performing and ready for next-generation technologies like the cloud, virtualization and mobility.

"This application migration is on every executive's mind. Every CIO and business unit is trying to figure out how to create the flexibility of a pay-as-you-use, quick-to-market [model]," Budzinski said.

AT&T, for its part, views the deal as an opportunity to tap into CSC's full line of professional services, including those specific to applications.

"I think that there will be enhancements that we can make to our direct customer offers through CSC's capabilities, like integration, professional services, and those kinds of things, which we don't generally provide ourselves," said Steve Caniano, vice president, Hosting, Cloud Solutions at AT&T Business Solutions. "It gives us the opportunity to partner with somebody who is a leader in that space and incorporate some of those capabilities into our customer solutions."