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With Android in Hand, AT&T CEO Gushes About the Cloud

We ran across an interview excerpt with AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson that will run in the Sunday print edition of the Dallas Morning News.

There are two interesting takeaways from the interview:

First, AT&T is taking a deep interest in the cloud. Stephenson talks about the networking deals it is winning by providing infrastructure to major cloud computing services.

And second, Stephenson spent the interview showing off the Android-powered Samsung Captivate he’s currently using.

Here’s what Stephenson had to say about cloud computng:

“A classic case would be Royal Dutch Shell, a big multinational company, and they have hundreds of thousands of people around the globe, and a lot of these big companies manage their own networking capabilities. They came to us and said, ‘This stuff is changing fast, it’s moving fast. Would you just take this and all of our people and just manage it for us?’ We won that bid. We did the same thing with IBM. IBM’s global network capability, we took thousands of their people onto our payroll, took over managing all of their networks, and bam, we do it much, much more efficiently.

Now what they want is, what solutions can we deliver on top of this? Telepresence is really selling hot. This is just a service we layer on top of this infrastructure we put in place. What else do they want? Well, we have a lot of applications and capabilities that our workforce uses. Put it in the cloud. So we’re investing very heavily in the cloud, to take their services, their applications and whatnot, put it in the cloud, and then they’re using our network infrastructure to delivery that capability to their workforce and to their customers. So moving into the cloud becomes very, very important to us. So you see how all this begins to fit together, right? They’re all accessing this information from the cloud via these devices [raises phone]. We’re having a lot of success selling mobility into here and using the cloud as the basis for delivering all of this.”

Now that say a lot about the telecommunications players and the interest they increasingly have in the cloud computing market. They are obvious candidates to have a much greater role. They own fiber. Its a natural fit to manage networks for cloud infrastructures.

As for the Android device, AT&T is obviously looking beyond Apple. Stephenson once carried an iPhone so the symbolism is significant.

Android is gaining market share and is expected to surpass the iPhone in a few years time.

But there is a bit more to this, too. Stephenson is also showing that Google and AT&T have a relationship. The Android Stephenson holds exemplifies how AT&T has confidence in Google.

We expect there is more to this. Google is a major cloud services provider. AT&T is showing its muscle as an infrastructure service provider for cloud computing services. AT&T is investing in Android.

Our guess? There is far more to come with Google and AT&T.

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