As information and communications technology smash into arenas traditionally dominated by telcos and cablecos, it's vital for leaders in each segment to learn new competitors' best practices or partner for success.
After all, it's what their customers are doing.
Whereas they once were separate entities, enterprises' telco and IT teams are melding -- or at least attending the same meetings and frequently speaking to the CIO about the same projects. They're all speaking the same language, one city's CIO told me. As a former networking exec who rose up the ranks, this guy knows software-defined networking, SD-WANs and virtualization; he now talks the talk with the telco and IT folk as he discusses his city's broadband needs and wants. Today, these conversations are easier than they were several years ago, he told me, simplifying decision making and support.
Some service providers are partnering -- we've seen AT&T team up with IBM and Accenture, for example. Others are wholeheartedly hurling themselves into an ICT world, cherry picking what they see as the best pieces, integrating those components into their operations and adding them to traditional telco technologies and strategies.
That's the case at Epsilon. Its roots may be in telco, but Epsilon has quickly adopted some of the best practices and technologies of the system integration, ICT and DevOps worlds to build -- and now upgrade -- a global network for customers ranging from service providers to startups.
Epsilon may have been founded in a coal shed under the stairs of a London home, but there's no dust on its heels.
From coal shed to cloud
With the recent phased deployment of 100 Gbit/s packet optical switched Ethernet technology across its global backbone network, the connectivity and infrastructure-outsourcing provider continues its upward trajectory.
Privately held Epsilon is first deploying 100Gbit/s services across the US, Europe and the Atlantic. Phase one also includes deploying new points of presence (PoPs) in Denver, Houston, Atlanta, Montreal, Toronto, Seattle and San Jose, Calif. Phase two, scheduled to start mid-2018, will feature 100Gbit/s upgrades to Epsilon's pan-European network; the provider will add 100Gbit/s services between 50 PoP sites in hubs such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Marseilles. In 2019, Epsilon will turn its attention to Asia, the company said.
"We’ve been evolving our infrastructure across the globe gradually over the last decade. Our previous upgrades have been incremental but the up to 100Gbit/s on-demand service is a step change for our network and gives our partners the scalability they need to support new applications and services," Jerzy Szlosarek, Epsilon CEO, told Broadband World News.
These new applications and services include global cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and big data, he said. Partners and their end-customers are driving huge traffic growth, and by removing legacy processes and upgrading immediately to 100Gbit/s, Epsilon's core backbone network can deliver hyper-scalability, Szlosarek said.
Two major factors helping advance Epsilon include APIs and automation.
"I see APIs driving innovation not just in wholesale but in the entire ICT ecosystem. The API is the key to unlocking the potential of the broad ecosystem of cloud, network and application providers," said Szlosarek. "Integrating networks through APIs enables a global marketplace to exist, one in which a multitude of infrastructure and application services can be accessed and activated to create a true multi-service offering."
Automation is vital to simplifying and accelerating cloud and connectivity, he added. IoT demands flexible, agile and efficient networks, Szlosarek said, and these capabilities mandate automation. They also require new ways of working, such as DevOps, he said.
"The pace of change in our industry is incredible. Our roots are in telco but our future is in DevOps and the ICT ecosystem as a whole," Szlosarek said. "For too long in telecoms things stayed the same and now the revolution and evolution is happening. We see tremendous opportunities in automation, APIs and really reimagining what a connectivity provider can be."
The number and power of Britain's so-called altnets is growing, increasing access to fiber-based gigabit broadband for residents and businesses where incumbents such as BT, Virgin and Openreach did not deliver.
After NTIA asked for public comments on map improvements in October 2018, the FCC decommissioned the agency's broadband map in early December but did not say whether it will use any of the public's great ideas on its own (largely panned) map.
The case of Mozilla v. FCC is slated to begin in the D.C. Circuit Court on Feb. 1, marking what's expected to be the beginning of a protracted legal battle that may continue well into the 2020 presidential race.
As Vice President of Global Healthcare at AT&T, Maria Lensing oversees the telecommunications operator's technology and professional services offerings across the spectrum of medical providers, from solo practitioners and walk-in clinics to giant hospital chains, medical-device vendors and consulting firms. Lensing also sees more interest from traditional service providers -- cable and telecom operators looking to expand or build relationships with their own medical communities, perhaps as an adjunct to smart-home successes or standalone.
Lensing, who took on this role almost a year ago in May 2018, oversees both the sales and technical teams responsible for developing growth initiatives for AT&T's Global Healthcare business -- including products, services and industry-specific solutions. She also very actively promotes business minority inclusion, education and female empowerment programs and has been recognized both within and outside AT&T. Some awards she's received include "Top 40 Under 40" and "Super Woman in Business" from the Memphis Business Journal.
Join Maria Lensing, VP of Global Healthcare at AT&T, on Tuesday, April 23 at 12:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 p.m. PT, when she's the guest on BBWN Radio, hosted by Broadband World News Editor Alison Diana. Register now!
So far, the agenda includes a discussion of technologies such as fiber and 5G; defining the needs and solutions for a widely diverse range of customers; partnering for success in a typically slow-moving, budget-constrained market; learning and dispersing best practices from other verticals and within other business groups; promoting diversity and female empowerment when so many say they're doing so but so little has changed; and what she hopes to accomplish in another year in this role.
Register and post your questions for Maria on BBWN Radio's easy-to-use chat board. We will get to as many questions as possible. Please post questions before and during the broadcast. Once you've registered, you will be led to the chat board page. Talk to you on April 23!
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on February 14 at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT / 4 p.m. UK when John Isch, Practice Director of the Network and Voice Center of Excellence at Orange Business Services, discusses use cases, ROI and misconceptions of software-defined wide-area networks, virtualization and cloud.
Just when you thought the answer to your next technology direction question was clear, the noise around multiple new technology options fills the Internet and airwaves. Multiple 5Gs are being deployed; there's CableLabs' 10G initiative; the ITU and IEEE are toiling around 50G PON – and we haven’t even talked about Wi-Fi6 yet! Is any of this real, do you have to pay attention or can you just let the dust settle and then decide?
Since waiting is often not the best option, let’s demystify technology options, their impact on your business, and how to prepare for whatever the future brings.
In this webinar, Service Providers will learn:
Current state of 5G and how it affects everyone, not only mobile network providers.
Latest technologies being developed and how they will benefit their networks and subscribers.
How to prepare their networks for the future – whatever it may hold.