The Top 20 Bridge Builders
Light Reading believes that the ability and desire to integrate, manage and exploit a wide range of networking and service provider IT (SPIT) capabilities as part of a broader business and operational transformation is going to be critical to the world's communications service providers (CSPs) within the next few years.
We've called that networks + IT integration process Bridging the Chasm, and have laid out our views in Bridging the Chasm: A Manifesto and this video interview below:
The key question to consider now is: Are any CSPs doing anything about this? Are there any "bridge builders" that are breaking down the traditional barriers between their networking and IT teams and reaping the benefits of a converged technology deployment and service creation strategy?
The answer, we're glad to say, is "Yes." We've picked 20 of them, profiled below by clicking on each company name:
The Top 20 "Bridge Builders"
- AT&T Inc.
- BCE Inc. (Bell Canada)
- BT Group plc
- CenturyLink Inc.
- China Mobile Ltd.
- Colt Technology Services Group Ltd. (COLT)
- Deutsche Telekom AG
- France Telecom SA (Orange)
- Global Crossing
- Globe Telecom Inc.
- NTT Group
- Reliance Communications Ltd.
- Rogers Communications Inc.
- Softbank Corp.
- Sprint Nextel Corp.
- Swisscom AG
- Telefónica SA
- Telus Corp.
- Verizon Communications Inc.
- Vodafone Group plc
Our selection process
We've already talked to one operator, BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), that has taken a top-level decision to unify the management of its networking and IT teams under a single senior executive and seek ways to innovate and create best practices that rely as much on existing and emerging SPIT technologies as they do on the physical infrastructure that underpins every CSP. Here, that executive explains his job to LRTV:
But BT is not alone, as our list shows. We think the companies above are, in one way or another, attempting to Bridge the Chasm. Identifying these operators is not an exact science -- every operator has its own operational idiosyncrasies.
We have looked for common traits and evidence of at least a desire and strategic will to foster a new operational model that brings together the traditional strengths of a telecom operator's chief assets -- its networks and the people that build and run them -- and the back-office capabilities that can transform a telco into a new-age service provider.
Those traits are:
The final thing to point out here is that we listed the Top 20 in alphabetical order, rather than attempt to rank them in any way. We also sought to identify key individuals who are either influential executives in the Bridging the Chasm process or holding posts that are vital to that process. We hope you'll look at each operator's profile to appreciate the variety of different approaches here.
Of course, as this is the first attempt to identify these companies and individuals there will undoubtedly be some unwarranted but not deliberate omissions. What we want is for you -- yes, YOU -- to add your suggestions and comments to the message boards below, suggesting companies that, maybe behind the scenes, are in fact Bridging the Chasm and have been overlooked in our global sweep.
We welcome -- nay, positively encourage -- all communications on any aspect of this topic. It's a moveable feast -- let's not leave it standing still.
— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading
We'll be talking more about these issues, delving deeper into all aspects of Bridging the Chasm and identifying those operators that are leading by example at our exclusive Executive Summit event in Florida during October. To get more information about this invitation-only event, click here.