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Leading Lights 2017 Finalists: Most Innovative Enterprise/SMB Service

Carol Wilson
4/28/2017

This category is where the rubber meets the road for network operators. Delivering innovative new services to business clients is one of the imperatives for any successful telecom network operator. It's not surprising that this was a highly competitive category for Leading Lights awards, nor is it shocking that the three finalists are offering very different types of services -- that's the nature of innovation.

All three have some roots in the cloud, which has become pervasive in delivering of innovative new business services.

Before digging into the finalists' details, I'll remind you that winners for all of the Leading Lights categories will be announced at the Leading Lights Awards Dinner on Monday, May 15, at Brazos Hall in Austin, Texas. The following day will mark the start of this year's Big Communications Event.


You're invited to attend Light Reading's Big Communications Event -- the ONE event that delivers context and clarity to the software-driven future. There's still time to register and communications service providers get in free.


AT&T – AT&T Collaborate
Think there's nothing new in voice services? AT&T would beg to differ. Its AT&T Collaborate services starts with hosted voice -- something everyone offers -- and adds collaboration tools that can be added to create a customized tool set for enterprise needs. That includes more than 30 hosted voice features, such as mobile client, web meetings, cloud-based telephony features, a mobile app, single number reach for both fixed and mobile users, and security and business continuity, among others.

AT&T Collaborate customers can easily access common Unified Communications apps such as instant messaging and desktop sharing, across devices, using existing networking resources, without adding a lot of cost and administrative overhead. The service can be used as an over-the-top application or in conjunction with an AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) virtual private network to ensure quality of service. An administration portal allows user-based additions and changes. Pricing of the service is per seat and incorporates a mobile client with each user seat as well.

Equinix – Data Hub
Collocation may be a mature market, but that doesn't mean the end of innovation. Check out the Equinix Data Hub, which creates colocation tailored to let enterprises do data processing at the edge of their networks, storing their data repositories adjacent to where they have high-speed network connections to public clouds and other sites.

The collocation service is an innovative approach to hybrid clouds, enabling enterprises to move their data out of the massive data centers, close to public cloud connections, while retaining control and management of that data. As more enterprises embrace software-as-a-service models for consuming applications, they are also exploring more flexible approaches to data storage and processing, while remaining vigilant as to how that data can be accessed.

Equinix Data Hub also enables a big data/analytics infrastructure for private data processing clusters such as Hadoop to handle analytics workloads that leverage the public cloud. And it can be used to enable multi-site deployment for data redundancy so enterprises can simultaneously replicate data between multiple Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) IBX data centers.

Global Capacity – One Marketplace Hybrid WAN
If you thought there was little of note going on at the Global Capacity One Marketplace, the company's signature approach to offering access connections over multiple networks to more than 9.6 million US locations, you'd be wrong. How about a Hybrid WAN service that combines private line, MPLS, Internet and broadband service over fiber, cable, copper, and wireless access technologies so that every connected business site can get the right connectivity for its location and needs?

Global Capacity enabled this new Hybrid WAN offering by adding Multi-Cloud Ethernet virtual private line (EVPL) to its services and upgrading its high-speed Ethernet backbone and MPLS core. Enterprises with multi-site locations can more easily upgrade their networks to take advantage of the more efficient and cost-effective connectivity at each site without cumbersome RFP processes and design/pricing.

The Hybrid WAN allows secure connections to public and private clouds and to applications service providers. One of its target audiences is over-the-top service providers that are delivering hosted or managed services. Most recently, Global Capacity also added SD-WAN capabilities to its Hybrid WAN.

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

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Michelle
Michelle
4/30/2017 | 7:23:51 PM
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