Verizon sign
Verizon’s strategy now is as an enabler for its business customers’ cloud services.

Verizon’s $1.4 billion acquisition of Terremark in 2011 was based on a simple mission: establish a cloud services presence with a broad network of data centers. But Verizon met the grim reality that telcos lack the scale to really challenge cloud heavyweights like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Google.

In the end, Verizon sold its 29 data center facilities to Equinix in 2016 for $3.6 billion. The company also shuttered two of its public cloud service offerings in 2016, and it sold its cloud services unit to IBM in May.

John Dinsdale, chief analyst and research director at Synergy Research Group, pointed out that Verizon’s strategy now is as an enabler for its business customers’ cloud services. “It’s not quite game over, but telcos are mostly having to retreat into supporting roles for AWS and Microsoft, providing cloud on-ramps and being local business partners,” he said.

Verizon is hardly alone in escaping from the space; fellow telcos CenturyLink and Windstream, which purchased Savvis and Hosted Solutions, respectively, also sold their data center facilities.


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