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December 21, 2011

Looking Back at Communications Provider PowerNet Global's Year

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

Providing communication services for almost two decades, PowerNet Global (News - Alert) knows a thing or two about powering voice, data, SIP, and managed solutions to commercial and residential customers all over the country.

I recently had the chance to speak with Matt Ziebro, executive VP of Sales at PNG, all about what the company has been doing this year, what to look forward to in 2012, and where he sees the communication provider industry headed.

“At the end of last year, we purchased a switch and developed a platform to serve the call center—both inbound and outbound marketplaces. This is by far our largest growing product this year and we built a whole platform around it with billing, portals etc. We have also gotten involved in fixed wireless, where you get into large Wi-Fi installations. Historically, a business might just go out and buy a wireless router and that’s Wi-Fi, but what has happened is more and more people are using Wi-Fi and they needed better installation than what you can get from just going into Target (News - Alert) and just buying a router. So we are currently selling RUCKUS, which we have started to deploy in direct marketplaces, schools, and really anywhere that requires larger installations where one router is not enough to cover everyone. So, a big growth area this year has been the RUCKUS sales side,” Ziebro said.

Looking ahead at 2012, the company wants to expand the breadth of its call center product including adding different features and functionalities to continue to support call centers as they grow and change. Also, as FCC (News - Alert) regulations are causing things to change in regards to intra/ interstate laws and the different ways the government is changing how telecom will be built, PNG will change accordingly to ensure they are in full compliance with just passed legislation.  The company also will increase IP-PBX (News - Alert) sales- both hosted and premise-based, as features in the cloud allow multiple offices to connect and no longer have to dial long distance to speak to one another when located in different facilities. “This continues to change the marketplace and gets better and better as times goes on.”

Additionally, the company will continue to provide fixed wireless installations next year, with a new component which will be biggest thing for 2012 being tablets. Ziebro commented, “We are actually sourcing some tablets right now and will be heavily focusing on the education marketplace and providing wireless and Wi-Fi networks to schools and surrounding areas to give kids tablets who can’t afford them. This is a key initiative for 2012 and we feel the education side is an underserved market right now, as lots of people can’t afford even lesser price tablets. We feel it is a real benefit to have those kids have access to apps on the tablets that will keep them interested in educational games. “

Next year, the company will also increase their sales in marketing because sometimes when you’re in rough times as we are now economically, you put more sales up and try and catch more wind, Zierbo added.

In 2012, Zierbo commented that he thinks the world will go even more wireless and there will be new entrants in the mobile wireless space besides AT&T and Verizon (News - Alert). Once of these players will be LightSquared and “we think they will make a pretty big splash, and shake things up,” said ZIerbo.  He also sees the emergence of a good Android competitive tablet as a game changer revealing, “I see that mobile devices can do more and more things and that will continue to change the industry. Looking at the TDM or so called old plain telephone networks- let’s face it someday it will go dark.  So, I think there will be a government decision in 2012 which reveals a death date for these outdated systems, which is similar to the move from regular TV to digital.”

“I think the important thing is we talk about technology and what you’re doing and trends, but you should never lose sight that we are serving a customer and the customer has thoughts, feelings and wants to be served. The technology is all something but I feel that this is really where PNG has stood out, as the company offers a personal, consultative touch to customers. Also, we stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and this year alone bought two new switches, replaced the entire core network with state-of-the-art Cisco gear and will be changing our session border controller. We feel like we are providing a service, but also need to meet customer’s needs and future proof them for what’s ahead—PNG is hanging our hat on these key elements of success.”

Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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