(Reuters) – Verizon Communications Inc on Thursday unveiled a pay-as-you go hosting service for corporate customers looking to save money by buying only as much computing capacity as they need at any given time.
Verizon is the latest U.S. telecom to jump on the bandwagon of so-called "cloud computing" services after AT&T Inc said last month that it would offer Web-based storage services for enterprises.
Gartner Research estimated earlier this year that global revenues from cloud computing and storage, or the use of the Web to access those services at remote data centers, will climb 31 percent to $3.4 billion this year.
The fledgling field is led by Internet pioneers Amazon.com Inc, Google Inc and Salesforce.com Inc, but more established technology companies like Verizon, AT&T, IBM and Microsoft Corp are introducing new services this year in a bid to catch up before sales start to boom.
Verizon said that its new "computing as a service" offering can provide customers with remote hosting capacity for applications such as retail websites within an hour after they put in an order.
A time lag of anywhere from four to eight weeks would have been more typical using older technologies.
Verizon, which had promised in February to launch on-demand hosting this summer, said some customers would likely end up switching from traditional hosting to on-demand services because the new products cost less.
"There will be some of that," Michael Marcellin, vice president of global managed solutions told Reuters on Tuesday when asked if the cloud service might cannibalizing the traditional business.
"As people look at this delivery model this is very compelling," he said.