The concept of the cloud user is no longer a dream or a theory. For some people, access to all personal multimedia content and entertainment wherever they are, on whatever device they choose, is already possible.
Lots of us are already cloud users. For example, those who access social network accounts from home computers, smartphones on the go, and increasingly through TV, are cloud users. Likewise, accessing TV and over-the-top services on any screen is common cloud user behavior.
But as our film shows, only the truly techie among us currently have the know-how to enjoy the ultimate cloud experience. That’s why operators have an opportunity to help deliver a user-friendly and easy-to-follow experience as new, non-techie, cloud users continue to join the ranks and want to have the same ultimate experience.
Everything is so simple to our film cloud user. He rambles off tech terms like they were days of the week, knows all the best cloud and web services, and has no fear of setting up the hardware elements he needs to connect to the cloud from his home. But then again our film cloud user is a classic example of a technology geek – and very different from the average subscriber who is set to join the cloud user ranks in the Networked Society.
So while the cloud user exists today, the cloud user of tomorrow will be very different, as Mats J Johansson, a marketing manager at Ericsson’s Business Unit Networks, explains.
"The majority of cloud users will not necessarily be interested in how the technology works, but rather only interested in the experiences and benefits that technology can deliver," he says. "Therefore, all dealings and interfaces with the cloud and the network must be as user friendly as possible.
"In an industry increasingly dictated by the consumer, operators already know that those who offer the most user friendly, non-technical solutions and offerings, based on subscriber needs, will come out on top.
"Most cloud users will use fixed connectivity for the majority of traffic, but meeting the overall subscriber expectation means operators enabling a seamless high-speed, high-bandwidth and high-quality cloud experience across fixed and mobile broadband.
"So taking cloud users’ future needs into consideration should be central to broadband operators’ transformation strategies – through 4th generation IP networking and evolved access evolution."
Johansson says Ericsson is ideally placed to partner operators in their cloud user strategies.
"We’ve been developing our products and services in line with these major changes in consumer behavior,” he says. “As more subscribers become cloud users the challenge operators face on monetizing cloud and over-the-top services will grow. Fourth generation IP networks help operators to achieve this monetization. Smart capabilities will make the network aware of the user, service and device.
"We know that most cloud users will also access services via mobile broadband, so we are very familiar with the overall challenges operators face. And of course no two operators have the same specific circumstances. That is why we welcome and encourage approaches by operators to our engagement practice and key account teams, so we can work together in a consultative fashion and come up with tailored cloud user solutions."