Ethernet & SDN Expo

ESDN: tw telecom Stresses Customer Control

NEW YORK -- Ethernet & SDN Expo -- tw telecom is seeking to turn over control of its network to its customers.

In a keynote address at the Javits Center Wednesday, Mike Rouleau, senior vice president of business development and strategy for tw telecom inc. (Nasdaq: TWTC), spelled out how network operators need to shift from operator-dictated service delivery to customer-controlled service delivery. With commercial customers increasingly demanding greater bandwidth capacity, faster service turnaround, and more flexible features and applications, Rouleau said it's time for providers to adopt a much more customer-friendly model for service delivery.

"We have been operating in a model as service providers that makes it really hard to do business with our customers," Rouleau says. "As communications service providers, we have to change the way we deliver these services."

Heartily embracing the Telco 2.0 concept, Rouleau made the case for a "customer-controlled, on-demand, click-to-connect" service model. He said such a model would allow telecom customers to use only what they need and pay just for what they use. "The network is evolving to accommodate that consumption model," he said.

Accordingly, tw telecom has rolled out new "proactive" functions for its customers, enabling them to set up to 16 different performance thresholds. The Ethernet service provider has also created a new Web portal for customers to choose their bandwidth capacity and turn it up on a dynamic basis -- a function that can be automated to respond when one of those thresholds is surpassed.

Rouleau said the cloud is critical to offering the "on-demand elasticity" that customers are seeking. He argued that the cloud enables visibility into network performance, the ability to scale bandwidth on-demand to meet app needs, and network awareness of all apps.

At the same time, though, Ethernet connections are the key to making the cloud work properly, Rouleau said. He contended that Ethernet is "the preferable way to get to the cloud" because it offers security, predictability, and scalability.

"There are still a few challenges with Ethernet," the tw telecom man said. "Ethernet still isn't everywhere people want it to be… but it is the platform for the future.”

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

albreznick 10/8/2013 | 9:39:40 PM
Re: Service delivery Interesting, Dan. What else do you think network operators can do to transform their networks without resorting to SDN or NFV? 
Phil_Britt 10/3/2013 | 11:32:09 AM
On Demand Provisioning On demand provisioning should prove to be a winner for tw telecom and any others who offer it.

Typically the on demand model charges more over time, but with more companies wanting to match expenses and revenues -- revenues would theoretically be higher at times the demand from end customers is higher -- the on demand model has proven to be successful for Salesforce.com and much lesse known companies.

The on demand model is moving deeper and deeper into different areas of technology to enable end users to ramp up quickly without a huge initial capital expense.

DOShea 10/3/2013 | 9:44:19 AM
Service delivery What tw telecom is doing to improve service delivery is a reminder that you don't necessarily need SDN to make meaningful transformations.
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