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In the CEO Spotlight section in Internet Telephony magazine, we recognize the outstanding work performed by exemplary companies. Each month we bring you the opinions of the heads of companies leading the Internet telephony industry now and helping to shape the future of the industry. This month, we spoke with John Legere, Chief Executive Officer of Global Crossing.


GG: What is Global Crossings mission?

JL: First off, we start with our vision which is to be the recognized leader in next-generation global communications. Our mission, which says how we execute against that vision, is to grow our business using direct and indirect distribution to sell our advanced, secure IP solutions while providing a superior customer experience.

As a global IP service provider, we serve our customers and their reseller carrier partners with the first-to-market implementation of a leading edge, global MPLS-based IP platform.

Combine that with unparalleled levels of network security, a highly responsive global customer support and service model, and increased customer control with our Intelligent Front Office, and you have a pretty good 30,000-foot perspective of what Global Crossing is all about.

By the way, our industry-leading customer satisfaction scores, five nines of network reliability and award-winning products and services all speak to the great job our 3,500 employees do every day to consistently deliver on our mission.

GG: What is your vision for Global Crossing and how is the company positioned in the next-generation telecom market?

JL: Our vision at Global Crossing is very clear to be the recognized leader in next-generation global communications. Were accomplishing that through innovation, partnerships, and investment in IP services, collaboration, and convergence infrastructure.

Were well positioned as a next-generation provider of converged communications, delivering a totally integrated, interoperable suite of IP services. Our go-to-market strategy includes partnering for best-in-class IP solutions, such as our managed services, converged IP applications, VoIP, collaboration services, and IP telephony solutions.

As consolidation plays out in the industry, we feel our position will only grow, especially since were one of the few remaining independent players in the global IP services niche.

GG: Now that growth and opportunity are the trends in the VoIP industry, what possible hurdles do you see that might upset this momentum?

JL: VoIP has seen tremendous growth among early adopters and is gaining steady acceptance in the mainstream marketplace now. I dont see major hurdles derailing customer adoption. However, adoption isnt always easy or immediate. What I mean is that customers must derive a business benefit to convert to VoIP. IP convergence is that key driver, and as customers converge voice, video and, data networks into a combined IP infrastructure, VoIP adoption should accelerate.

Another issue to note is the globalization of VoIP services. As a global provider, were experiencing first hand the different approaches to VoIP adoption in different countries. Government regulation, licensing, service types, and availability vary significantly. For customers, the complexity of managing the VoIP nuances among their different global offices can pose a convergence challenge.

So as Global Crossing deploys VoIP services, were keenly focused on developing consistent offerings around the world. As I mentioned earlier, our customer satisfaction leads the industry 98 percent of our enterprise customers state that they are satisfied with Global Crossing and more than two-thirds are very satisfied. And we wont quit until every customer is singing our praises.

Our network was built for IP and were beginning to reap the benefits. Today approximately 70 percent of the voice minutes that traverse our global network infrastructure are IP. That translates to more than two billion minutes per month, and by the end of the year we expect virtually all of our voice traffic to run over our VoIP backbone. In addition, our IP VPN traffic, which supports converged IP solutions, grew 300 percent on an annualized basis during the first three quarters of 2005.

GG: What are some of the technology areas where Global Crossing is increasingly focusing, and why are these areas important to the future of your company?

JL: We now put an increased level of focus on the services and applications that our customers use IP video, audio, and Web collaboration, and a mushrooming set of advanced voice applications. These services are where the real value is derived from our network, and they change the way that our customers conduct business.

In addition, our customers demand an ever increasing amount of control of the products and services they purchase. So we continue to make improvements to our customer portal, and integrate it with our back-office systems to create something we call the Intelligence Front Office, or IFO. This will allow customers clear visibility of all their applications across a converged IP network.

GG: Describe your view of the future of the IP telephony industry.

JL: The world has been waiting to see what the application would be that would drive people to consider IP convergence. Many thought it would be data or video oriented, but it turns out that voice and the cost savings of VoIP are driving increased adoption. With that in place, businesses can immediately see the tremendous benefits of converged IP services, which is where we come in.

As cited in a recent Harvard Business Review article, companies that harness VoIP to achieve business objectives will find it much more than an undifferentiated commodity technology. In a converged network enabled by IP, voice will be no more than another application similar to data and video.

Global Crossing has been and always will be a future-thinking company. We built the worlds first IP network and were now starting to realize its tremendous advantages. Well continue to invest in and discover new technologies, allowing our customers to always be ahead of the curve in their communications. IT

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