& cplSiteName &

New CenturyLink CTO in Major Overhaul

Carol Wilson
3/4/2015
50%
50%

Four months into his new job as CenturyLink's CTO, Aamir Hussain is making a bold move with a sweeping reorganization designed to transform the legacy telco into an "agile" IT organization offering cloud-based IP services and able to innovate much more quickly.

"We need to transform from a telephone company to IT-based services company," Hussain tells Light Reading in an interview. "When I looked at my organization, I saw us doing great work in cloud area, I saw us doing some great work on the network side -- I didn't see a way for us to take what we built on the network and put it on the cloud. I've departed completely from a silo development-type model to a horizontal functional structure."

As part of the reorganization, long-time CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) tech executive Andrew Higginbotham, most recently SVP-cloud and technology, is leaving the company, while other current executives -- including Jared Wray, James Feger, David Mahon, Jonathan King and Steve Sklar -- all assume new leadership roles. CenturyLink is still to name at least four new executives, some of whom are being recruited from the outside, says Hussain, who is also EVP. (See CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV.)

The new company will be built around a cloud platform, with company-wide software development in one organization headed by Wray, he says. Support for networks and products company-wide will be in an infrastructure support organization headed by Feger, and security will be handled company-wide by Mahon. King and Sklar will take on roles leading cloud/managed services strategy and video/OTT strategy, respectively.

CenturyLink's Aamir Hussain: A new broom, making sweeping changes.
CenturyLink's Aamir Hussain: A new broom, making sweeping changes.

CenturyLink has built itself into a cloud player largely through acquisition, much of it done under the watch of Higginbotham and Hussain's predecessor, Matt Beal. Their purchase list included Savvis, Tier 3, AppFog and, more recently, Cognilytics and DataGardens. (See Cognilytics Deal Speeds CenturyLink's Big Data Play.)

Still to be named in this new organization are the leaders of a test and integration unit, a new product development and strategy unit, an enterprise architecture unit and a unit specifically devoted to business transformation, the new CTO says.

"We need to focus on that, which is why I created the business transformation group, which is really responsible for not only technology and platform but people and strategy as well as we transition from a legacy telco to a next-gen IT service provider," Hussain says. "There are people elements and platform elements."

Part of that transformation process will be the migration of TDM services to IP and the rationalization of the existing product portfolio to better match future customer needs, he notes. It will be the role of the business transformation unit to look for opportunities to change and streamline and then bring those to leaders of other organizations within CenturyLink for implementation, Hussain says.

"Our goal is to make sure we enable the teams to understand all the platforms we have and build towards a single standard using IP in the cloud," he says. "Before, it was happening, but not at the velocity we would like to see. This will enhance velocity."


See the latest happenings as telecom business services migrate to the cloud in our cloud services channel here on Light Reading.

As part of the reorganization, CenturyLink is implementing agile IT processes and practices across the company -- "going 'full agile'," as Hussain calls it -- and changing its work processes to meet agile IT principles in planning, development and implementation. He admits that this kind of sweeping change is a challenge for an existing company culture and employees already used to doing their jobs in a different fashion.

"I think it is going to be a journey we have to walk through," Hussain says. "The management team is committed to going agile, they are committed to providing velocity in terms of time-to-market in getting products out there to our customers."

Some legacy products will continue to be supported in the more traditional manner, through different APIs that connect legacy platforms to the new cloud platform. But the longer term goal is a full set of IP services delivered via the CenturyLink Cloud.

"Once the development is done, once all the services are available on the platform, the hope is that we will start to see the benefit and people will change," Hussain says. "It's all about communications and making sure folks understand how their role changes over time, when we go from waterfall to agile, it's interrelated. The important thing is to make sure first you understand the process." [Editor's note: "Waterfall" refers to the traditional sequential way of developing new products and services, where separate departments each do their bit in sequence. Agile was developed as a way of doing work in a more incremental way, with constant testing to eliminate bugs and implement improvements. For a more in-depth comparison, go here.]

The cloud operation, some of the network operations and the current deployment of virtualization are all agile today, he notes. For example, CenturyLink is already using network functions virtualization to deliver virtual firewalls and virtual content delivery networks and continuing to deploy NFV and software-defined networking will enable this transition further, Hussain believes. (See Inside CenturyLink's NFV/SDN Strategy.)

The new CTO says he's been down this road before in previous jobs, which include being managing director and CTO-Europe for Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) as well as senior VP and CTO at Covad Communications, a national CLEC acquired by MegaPath Inc. . Hussain is confident of his abilities to manage this major transformation on a larger scale at CenturyLink, the third-largest telecom operator in the US with local exchange facilities.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(19)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
PhilDanny
50%
50%
PhilDanny,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/20/2017 | 4:25:26 PM
New CenturyLink
I was amazed by your article. Indeed this is the best site I have visited today. Thank you for sharing. Sports Science Lab Report Writing
amy jackson
50%
50%
amy jackson,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/17/2017 | 12:06:02 PM
Real education
I am a teacher but also i handle my own famous spa specialist for stone massage Memphis TN . so i said that we are provide real education for child kid because its main reason our nation is not good in education so i sugest you first periorty to educate your child or kids rea education ..
newtonmoses
50%
50%
newtonmoses,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/19/2016 | 8:35:01 AM
Transformation of CenturyLinks
I can't wait to see CenturyLinks transform from a telephone company to IT-based services company. I believe in the capability of this companie's CTO and as such, I know that in due time this dream will be realized. Thanks for always keeping us updated. Are you aware that you can get professional thess writing services by simply clickong on this link? Religious Studies Thesis Writing Help
AngelaEmely
50%
50%
AngelaEmely,
User Rank: Light Beer
11/26/2015 | 6:45:57 AM
CenturyLink
Changes are not easy. CenturyLink knows its roots.

AssignmentHelpUk.com/professional-assignment-writers-uk/
JohnUnger
50%
50%
JohnUnger,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/11/2015 | 5:26:38 AM
Right course
Now  everything is going in to IT direction. So it's fair enough that a lot of companies are trying to transfrom into IT sphere. assignmentmountain.com - assignment writing services uk is also thinling in that direction. So we willkeep up with the times. 
brooks7
50%
50%
brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/5/2015 | 12:10:49 PM
Re: Ambitious and bold
Mitch,

I think your words are only partially true.  There are all kinds of cloud services that are relatively static and require excellent uptime.  Like E-mail.

There are others that are somewhat more adaptive but still require lots of uptime.  Like Salesforce.

Then there are the willy nilly short term things that advance and change rapidly.  Like Content and Apps.  

I think that Operators are wholly unsuited to content creation.  Quite well suited for Email delivery.

seven

 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/5/2015 | 10:14:25 AM
Re: Ambitious and bold
Jason - Cloud requires companies be willing to move fast, and change their networks on the fly. That requires agile programming techniques -- as described in this story -- and rapid management decision-making. 

Telcos are not known for those things. And for good reason. They operate in constrained regulatory enviornments, and their networks require five nines of uptime. 

Networking requires specialized skills and enormous capital outlays. The skills can be hired, and cloud providers are swimming in money. 
jasonmeyers
50%
50%
jasonmeyers,
User Rank: Blogger
3/4/2015 | 4:32:57 PM
Re: Ambitious and bold
That's an interesting view. I'm not sure I really see it, though. I agree that using cloud services requires a change of corporate culture -- why do you think it requires a change of corporate culture to provide them? And how iis it easier to build a network? 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/4/2015 | 4:18:03 PM
Re: Ambitious and bold
Why would Amazon, Google, and Microsoft find it easier to get into the network provider business than the network providers will find it getting into the cloud business?

Because the cloud business requires a change of corporate culture, which is much harder than investing in new technology. Carriers move slowly and deliberately -- it's in their DNA. CenturyLink is trying to change that, as are others, but how many will succeed?
jasonmeyers
50%
50%
jasonmeyers,
User Rank: Blogger
3/4/2015 | 2:21:04 PM
Re: Ambitious and bold
Why?
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
CommScope – Meeting the Demands of Tomorrow's Networks

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Phil Sorksy, Vice President International at CommScope, discusses addressing the challenges faced by service providers today, and as future trends emerge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
AMS-IX & Huawei's OSN 902

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shows how its OSN 902 platform helps the Amsterdam Internet exchange to connect the world using multiplexing.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Smart Energy Innovation Center

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In Nuremberg, Huawei showcases its latest capabilities in the digitalization of Internet resources, network infrastructure and intelligence at its Smart Energy Innovation Center.
Valley Wonk
OFC & Hyperscale: A Good Mix?

3|24|17   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Cloud and telecom players want different types of equipment for their networks, as the chatter at OFC reveals.
LRTV Custom TV
Etisalat on NFV Journey

3|24|17   |   10:37   |   (0) comments


Etisalat is a service provider that prides itself on bringing innovative technologies to the markets it serves. It was one of the first operators to implement 3G and leads the pack in fiber penetration. Now, Esmaeel Al Hammadi, Etisalat's SVP of Network Development, explains the operator's journey to virtualization, beginning with the network core, as well as the ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 3

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting on the application of technologies and key business verticals such as transportation, smart city, manufacturing, media and finance.
LRTV Documentaries
No Regrets: Cox's Finkelstein on Fiber & More

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein examines the cable capex conundrum.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Next-Gen: The 'Mile High' View From Denver

3|22|17   |   11:56   |   (0) comments


Alan Breznick kicks off the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, casting his thousand-yard stare over cable's current competitive landscape.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 2

3|21|17   |   2:27   |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting digital transformation solutions around IoT, smart data centers, OpenCloud ecosystem and its newly announced storage-as-a-service solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving Better Mobile Customer Experience While Transforming the Mobile Network

3|21|17   |   7:47   |   (0) comments


The Citrix NetScaler mobile gateway is an intelligent traffic management solution which can markedly improve the customer experience provided by mobile operators, even when traffic is encrypted. Critical network services can be consolidated and virtualized using NetScaler. Because of the unique architecture, NetScaler can be deployed on any hypervisor, on a ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: What's Next for Mobile Payments?

3|21|17   |   7:49   |   (0) comments


2017 marks the fifth consecutive year for Mastercard at Mobile World Congress and it was a great time to reflect on the amazing advances the payments industry has made as well as discuss "What's Next' in the digital commerce future. We spoke to James Anderson, executive vice president of digital payments at MasterCard, about digital wallets to tokenization to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: 2 Billion Adults 'Trapped' in Cash Economy

3|21|17   |   03:51   |   (1) comment


Despite advances made in the last several years, two billion adults around the world are trapped in a cash economy and lack what we take for granted -- a safe way to receive, save and use money. Shamina Singh, executive vice president of sustainability and president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, chats about how Mastercard is developing new ways to ...
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
High-Band 5G: Let's Address the Range Question, Shall We?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/21/2017
Eurobites: A1, Nokia Turn It Up to 11
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/22/2017
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Welcome to the Wild West of Privacy
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/24/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Neither Do We Click Here
Is that a prerequisite?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.