By Daniel Freedman, Vice President, Operations, iMiller Public Relations
The end-user is very much in the driver’s seat as wholesale carriers decide where to invest and how to best monetize new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud and Software-defined Networking (SDN). Aggregation and agility may help determine winners and losers, according to a panel of leading industry experts titled “Monetizing on New Technologies – Where Should Wholesale Carriers Invest?”, which took place at the Capacity North America conference in Toronto, Canada on September 30, 2015.
Dawane Young, Division VP of Strategic Services at Verizon Partner Solutions, kicked-off the panel discussing the need for value aggregation from wholesale to retail as end-users fuel growing demand for video and other services. He urged partnerships as each carrier decides where it wants to play. “More partners means more robust solutions for the end-user,” said Young. “Content and applications are driving change.”
Where they are driving the most change and causing more uncertainty than ever before, all the panelists agreed, is in the network. “I would hate to work in network capacity planning these days,” said Strahan McCarten, Senior VP of Product Management and Strategy for Q9 Networks, Canada’s leading provider of outsourced data center solutions. Take video, for instance. According to Cisco, it would take an individual more than 5 million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month in 2019. But there are promising solutions on the horizon: one-gig solutions for end-users may be coming sooner than some expect.
Experts also agreed that one-stop shopping and becoming an expert in specific industry verticals has many advantages for both customers and vendors. Carriers sometimes make the mistake of over-engineering products that failed to gain market traction. By creating bundled offerings with partners, carriers are able to offer a comprehensive solution combining the best of both companies’ offerings from one single provider. “Lower margins from legacy solutions mean there is a greater need for innovation amongst carriers,” said Mathieu Lemay, CEO of Inocybe Technologies. He urged the use of open source methodology like those his company is developing to create new products collaboratively in ways to lower costs and increase margins.
Lemay also pointed out that “what’s next is a converged infrastructure down to the data center and end-user level.” As the foundation for utilizing cloud and enabling scale, converged infrastructure aggregates compute, storage and network assets within a data center facility. Angela Russell-Rekika, Global Solution Executive for IBM, agreed, stating, “The closer we can put the cloud to the customer, the better off we’ll all be.”
Panel moderator Ilissa Miller, CEO of iMiller Public Relations, concluded the discussion by challenging participants to identify which skills are most lacking in the industry. All agreed that finding skilled software developers and integrators remains a key challenge.
Panelists also pointed to need for highly competent sales people who could make clear the benefits of their solutions across the stack. The experts agreed that the need for a robust, two-way dialog with customers is often forgotten; but it can – and should – be a central concern that drives innovation and profit.
For more information about the panels and discussions that took place during Capacity North America, visit www.capacityconferences.com/Capacity-North-America.