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Case Study: Cloud Services at KT

In late 2010, KT, South Korea’s second-largest mobile phone network operator, was in the process of launching three IaaS clouds and transforming itself into the first cloud service provider in Korea. Executive management, middle management, and line staff were unfamiliar with the ramifications of this transformation and sought the advice of a seasoned consultant and cloud expert.

KT engaged the services of Orchestratus, led by Shlomo Swidler. Shlomo acted as IaaS Product Manager and Cloud Application Architect. Shlomo diagnosed these specific challenges:

  • An unfamiliar target market. IaaS is consumed directly by system administrators and developers – a very different audience than KT’s usual customer, mobile phone consumers and corporate IT departments. KT needed to ensure the cloud services would appeal to its potential customers, and to ensure it could effectively sell to this audience.
  • Appropriate tools, processes, and skills. Operating IaaS demands updated tools, processes, and skills in order provide reliable service – which KT lacked.
  • Technical expertise. KT needed to migrate existing applications into its clouds in order to benefit from the cloud’s elasticity and agility and in order to develop their own PaaS offerings, but lacked the expertise to do so.

In order to ensure the service would appeal to its potential customers Shlomo shifted R&D’s priorities to focus on the areas with greatest customer impact. He educated KT’s sales and pre-sales engineering teams to understand the cloud customer’s concerns. To internal and external developers, Shlomo evangelized cloud-appropriate application architecture and solved application-specific design issues for application scalability and elasticity. He mentored R&D teams to guide the design and development of PaaS services. Shlomo also set guidelines for the most reliable service level guarantees KT could provide.

With Shlomo’s help, the KT Cloud Service Business Unit successfully released its IaaS services on schedule and won significant customer adoption. Hundreds of employees were trained to operate the service, to support customers, and to sell effectively. High-profile applications were successfully reengineered to use the cloud service, saving millions of dollars in hardware costs. And KT’s reputation as the leader in Korean cloud was firmly established.

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