Verizon Business is the latest company to hop on to the cloud bandwagon. The company has introduced its own on-demand offering, Computing as a Service (CaaS), claiming that the product would meet a wide range of business demands.

Mark Beaumont, Verizon's group manager for product management/development, IT Solutions, said that the product scored highly in three areas: in the ability to scale up or down quickly, in the range of compute resources that it offered, and on transparency.

He said that one of the problems facing companies was having to provision capacity quickly, but Verizon was offering a quick turnaround to meet demand in little time. "We offer an hour for a virtual server, 120 minutes for a dedicated 4-core or 8-core one," he said.

Verizon is set to offer both virtual and physical resources to its enterprise customers, said Beaumont, who added that the company had placed an especially high premium on security, a problem for all potential cloud customers. "We're offering two layers of security authentication," he said.

The company had no particular vertical sector in mind, but Beaumont said that the service would be perfect for companies trying to cope with seasonal demand or dealing with other peaks and troughs. By offering pay-as-you-go services, the company would avoid shelling out for new equipment that might not be needed later.

The company is rolling out dedicated data centres for CaaS. The first one will be in the UK, although Beaumont said that there would be one in Europe, probably central Europe, by the autumn. European companies would still be able to sign up for on-demand services using the US data centre.

According to Verizon, European customers would be assured that data would be held according to EU requirements. Joe Crawford manages the IT solutions product portfolio for Verizon Business in the US, and said that the company took its responsibilities seriously.

"We have customers from all over the world that buy services from us in the US. When a customer signs up for service out of the US, they only put the appropriate data in that environment," he said. "We have numerous audits and certifications that we rely upon; like our SAS70 Type II audits, PCI compliance audits, and our ISO 270001 data security certification. The ISO 27001 certification is the old BS7799 certification, which we also had obtained many years ago."