August 26, 2009
Economy Opens Door to Networking Alternatives: IT Insider
By Marisa Torrieri, TMCnet Editor
In today’s budget-conscious business climate, developing a solid investment strategy for telecom network management is becoming more critical.
Greg Hough, chief technology officer of Global Capacity – an IT insider who is leading the session “Maximize Your Investment with a Network Management Strategy” at ITEXPO West, held Sept. 1 to 3 in Los Angeles – spoke to TMC (News - Alert) CEO Rich Tehrani about why cost has become the dominant factor in the decision-making process.
“In the face of economic restrictions customers have become more open to alternative solutions to their networking needs,” Hough told Tehrani in an interview, printed in full below. “My session will look at how businesses can make the most of their telecom and IT infrastructures through an effective network-management strategy.”
The session will focus on how companies can streamline their processes to add efficiency and lower costs. “This is becoming more and more critical as new, bandwidth-hungry technologies put added pressure on IT departments and networks,” Hough told Tehrani.
The full exchange follows.
Rich Tehrani (News - Alert): What has the economic crisis taught you, and how has it changed your customers?
Greg Hough: The economic crisis has taught me within every challenge lies a world of opportunity, and the key to a successful business lies within the ability to see past the challenges and deliver on the opportunity.
Our customers continue to demand high levels of customer service, but cost has become the dominant factor in the decision making process. In the face of economic restrictions customers have become more open to alternative solutions to their networking needs.
RT: How is this down economy affecting your decisions to reinvest in your company or market, if at all? Where will you invest?
GH: The obvious issue with investing in our company is the availability and costs of capital. Though the decision making process around investing in new or deeper technology is the relatively the same, there is an increase in controls and scrutiny as multiple projects within the business vie for an increasing small supply of capital.
RT: What’s the strongest segment in the communications industry?
GH: Wireless continues to dominate the communications industry. Phones are no longer just mobile phone devices, but instead have become mobile offices. This increase in mobility recreates the circular nature of client vs. server data distribution model that has gown and contracted bandwidth demand in the market over the past decade.
RT: With the rise of smartphones and netbooks, many wireless technologies, such as WiFi (News - Alert), appear to be poised for rapid growth. For example, we’re seeing more and more airlines add in-flight WiFi. In general, how widespread should WiFi be, in your view?
GH: Though you can get WiFi just about anywhere today, WiFi is really migrating to more of an access technology than a communications platform we had all hoped. The WiFi on your flight is actually connected to the web via satellite and eventually terrestrial telecom networks. The WiFi at the coffee shop is really connected to your local DSL, Cable or T-1 service provider. I do see WiFi offering a wealth of competition to the DSL and Cable providers that have a dominant hold the residential markets due to their imbedded infrastructure. Expanding the WiFi footprint to provide services to larger geography enables WiFi to add value more than just port density and ease of connectivity.
RT: Which nation or region of the world will present the largest opportunity for your company in 2009/10?
GH: Global Capacity does not see a particular region that represents growth, but what we do see is interconnecting regions is a large opportunity. With 95% of the worlds GDP concentrated in a relatively small geography, and technologies such as MPLS providing cloud like functionality, you would assume we live in a very virtual world. In reality, interconnecting multiple carriers, in multiple regions with multiple protocols and controls represents a significant barrier to in our ability to transport data around the world while ensuring security and quality. Global Capacity’s information and systems have been developed to create One Marketplace in the telecom world where the connectivity options are readily provided, and backed with the logistics capability needed to deliver a solution regardless of geography.
RT: In what ways is President Barack Obama helping or hindering the technology markets? What more can he do?
GH: We can always do more to further our technology markets. How large of a role we want the government to play in that furthering is the question. What I have seen so far is that the government is truly looking for information on telecom capabilities and their availability to the market. I believe that is the role we want our government in.
RT: What has the iPhone 3G taught us? I know it’s very new, but what about the Palm Pre? What are we learning from the smartphones based on the open source Google Android (News - Alert) platform?
GH: That the technology is only the delivery, and that in the end it is content that drives the market. Apple dominates the space not just because of the form and function, but because the developed a robust application pipeline that creates content the market wants.
RT: I understand you are speaking during ITEXPO West, to be held Sept. 1 to 3 in Los Angeles. Describe your talk and tell us what companies or people should attend.
GH: My session will look at how businesses can make the most of their telecom and IT infrastructures through an effective network management strategy. We’ll be looking at how companies can streamline their processes to add efficiency and lower costs. This is becoming more and more critical as new, bandwidth-hungry technologies put added pressure on IT departments and networks.
GH: I would encourage anyone who looks at a network from a total cost of ownership perspective – not just circuit costs, but also maintenance, engineering, and support expertise needed. So that would include network architects, IT leaders, etc.
RT: Why should customers choose your company’s solutions? How do they justify the expense to management?
GH: Global Capacity’s solution is desirable as it is a more efficient and effective way to manage network access. Unless you are an access loop provider, access loops are always a secondary concern to your core business. Building a robust access management platform is rarely in line with the core of our customer’s business, so the SG&A associated with building and managing those resources rarely delivers the ROI our customers are looking for.
We justify our expense to the customer in two ways. First we run an optimization on your base of access links to find cost savings on their existing network. Second, we manage their go forward access networks to reduce their SG&A going forward.
Learn more about Global Capacity at ITEXPO West — the biggest and most comprehensive IP communications event of the year. ITEXPO (News - Alert) West will take place in Los Angeles, Sept. 1 to 3, 2009, featuring three valuable days of exhibits, conferences, and networking opportunities you can’t afford to miss. Don’t wait. Register now.
Follow ITEXPO on Twitter: twitter.com/itexpo
Marisa Torrieri is a TMCnet Editor.
Edited by Michael Dinan