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Ethernet services

CxO Downloads: NTT America's Doug Junkins

12:00 PM -- As CTO of NTT America Inc. (US$350 million in revenue, about 600 people), Doug Junkins is responsible for procurement and vendor selection as well as well as product coordination between NTT’s Global IP Network and Enterprise Business Solutions units. I caught up with him before his panel at Ethernet Expo NY. (Watch the session at the Ethernet Expo Digital Summit.)

What is biggest thing you’re seeing at Ethernet Expo?
For me, there's lots more focus on packet optical networks here. Ethernet’s not just a service, but the underlying technology for delivering a host of services including IP, MPLS, data centers, cloud services, global virtualization services, and more.

What’s your biggest challenge as CTO this year?
I now have the IT organization reporting to me, which is new since the spring. We’ve been working on integrating the back office billing and accounting and finance with the operational systems such as configuration management and network management of the network infrastructure elements. The challenge in the industry is that there's not a real good delineation of the interface between the OSS systems and the backend systems, but we’re making progress.

What will be your biggest challenge in 2011?
We're getting to the point where we’re outgrowing the technology we have to deliver services to customers. We now have many customers with 10Gbit/s Ethernet connections, and some are bundling as many as 12 of them together. So there’s a lack of availability of 100Gbit/s links and with the price of 100G Ethernet next year, it could be difficult to scale the network. So the biggest challenge I see is getting 100G Ethernet at an affordable price point.

How are you working with your CIO?
Since I’m also the CIO, it’s a lovely relationship!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received to be a success as a telecom CTO?
Very soon after become CTO, I met Anthony Christie, CTO (and CIO) of Global Crossing (Nasdaq: GLBC) for breakfast in New Jersey. His biggest advice to me was to reach out and talk to other CTOs, and not just ones from telecom companies. So I’ve been attending conferences with CTOs where they talk about how they address their problems and I’ve found them to be very open to giving advice, and not holding things close to the vest.

What’s been your biggest mistake?
Not focusing on the integration of the operational systems with the backend systems from an IT perspective until I was CTO and had to look at the whole end-to-end management issue.

What’s been your biggest success?
Being able to keep this team of people as long as we have. We have a veteran group of people in the IP network business that have been part of the organization for a long time, and are very close despite being located in a variety of remote locations. I’d like ensure that’s a part of the culture for the rest of the business.

What advice do you have for telecom vendors trying to sell you something?
I’m a very technical CTO. Vendors really need to know how their product works. So coming from an engineering background, I try to understand products and technologies we’re using very well. When people don’t know how their products work, it gets me very frustrated.

What book are you reading now?
Rules of Thumb by Alan Webber. It says a lot about creating rules for fostering creativity in business teams and not getting stuck in the same old ruts. Executives at our company assign books for their reports to read and then we discuss them at in-person management meetings once per quarter.

— Joe Braue, Group Director and SVP, Light Reading

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