Agile Technology & Collaboration Enables Greater Business Efficiency
By Jock Percy, CEO, Perseus
Telecommunication and collaboration – A Challenging Landscape
Telecommunication and collaboration – A Challenging Landscape
At Perseus, collaboration represents the interconnectedness of all our global network participants. This is something we have planned for and focused on over the past six years as a company, which has driven us to evolve from our initial, utility service offering into an intelligent network, like we are today. Understanding the changing needs of our clients, we have been able to deliver new and innovative solutions, and with each new client, partner, application or exchange, our ecosystem is becoming even more valuable to our clients. Many legacy telecommunications providers are still struggling to collaborate with their clients, making it difficult to deliver added value as the industry changes.
"Many legacy telecommunications providers are still struggling to collaborate with their clients, making it difficult to deliver added value as the industry changes"
As the fading landscape of old subterranean pipes is replaced by a new one, application driven telecom environment, there are three key disruptors that CIOs must be aware of:
1. Software-Defined Networking (SDN)
The rapid pace of technology evolution has increased demands from businesses to deliver more products or services, faster. Firstly, SDN changes the way we manage and provide services for our clients by reducing our costs and time to market and making hardware a commodity to us. To our clients, CIOs and their teams, SDN enables them to spin up (or down) connections on demand, meeting and even exceeding business goals. It mitigates their need to upgrade hardware and put control of services in the hands of the business users, enabling CIOs and their teams to control the network with software instead of hardware or humans. For example; say you want to change or upgrade your service; this can be done from your desktop or by placing a simple call to our 24x7 available customer care. With which, changes can take minutes or seconds, and not weeks or months, meeting economic risks and management challenges, that otherwise burdens the CIO.
2. Network Function Virtualization (NFV)
By reducing the amount of proprietary hardware needed to operate a network, the network function virtualization will reduce the evolutionary capex charge of delivering network services, similar to a cloud transformed computer services. When successful, the cost to connect to the network will be reduced by an order of magnitude. CIOs should carefully consider network providers who recognizes this shift and can deliver a firm roadmap towards it. A classic example of this is where network security used to cost the client thousands/millions in hardware with a refresh and maintenance rate of 18+6 months, plus space power and management, to become truly compliant. Therefore, New NFV security offerings integrated by managed service providers mean the client doesn’t have that challenge any longer.
3. Unified Communications
Unifying all of your users’ applications - voice, data, video, chat - across a single, protected service creates a fully integrated view of communication and changes the unit economics in your favor. Unified communications will enable CIOs to more easily manage these applications, reducing the entire universe to one screen and simplifying day-to-day operations and user experience while reducing costs. This makes it even more important to establish a secure and reliable network, preferably Ethernet, on top of which you can build from individual application providers.
Advanced Technology for Better Business Efficiency
With all of this disruption in the telecommunications space and the rapid evolution of technologies, it can be overwhelming for CIOs to focus on their main challenge - the function of prioritization. This means determining what you can achieve within your resource constraints, how do you attract and retain the right talent to deliver and how fast you can deliver it minimizing core disruption.
Specialization has increased the need for CIOs to recognize where they should be administering versus management or operating. Employing a dedicated team to build and maintain your network infrastructure can be expensive, inefficient and adds risk where there should be no or low risk. Similarly, keeping capex charges low is a continuous battle for CIOs, fighting against the increasing refresh rate of technology. Here, we are seeing a single common theme across industries--Outsourcing. To outsource, it is critical for you to choose providers who can guarantee to complete the refresh for you. Managed service providers must maintain a fully optimized network, including switches, routers, servers, and physical security, so you can focus on developing your business application and delivering to the primary business objectives.
Compliance and security are issues all CIOs need to be conscious of, lest they keep you awake at night. Make sure you carefully consider your business objectives when selecting a network or managed service provider. Increasing use of public cloud and even some hybrid cloud environments has exacerbated security concerns, whilst improving economics. Don’t scrimp on important infrastructure as a few dollars saved selecting the cheapest solution can cost you significantly in the event of breach, outages or compliance failure.
Existing Challenges in the Telecom Space
Looking at the telecommunications industry as a customer I believe the biggest challenge in 2016 and beyond will be the ability of providers to move away from their legacy ways. Essentially telecoms are too slow, inflexible, inefficient and expensive. Nothing new thematically here, but the pace of technology advancements, including some examples described earlier, will render obsolete a number of ways that providers deliver services and in some cases catch telecom’s off guard completely and render their products or even their business obsolete.
As a service provider one of the key factors in successfully making this shift is collaboration with clients to determine client priorities and deliver accordingly. At Perseus, this is where we have enjoyed the most client success stories as we’ve spent the past six years in agile development of our platform, specifically designed to solve problems and deliver value to our clients.