Ethernet Services Q&A: Reliance Globalcom

11:10 AM -- In the run-up to Ethernet Expo Americas 2009, I recently had a chance to discuss the topic of Ethernet business services with Craig Waldrop, Global Cloud Xchange ’s senior product manager for the operator’s network services portfolio.

Craig’s employer has been a leader in managed Ethernet services since 1999 and has one of the largest VPLS network footprints of any global provider – now reaching 48 cities in 17 countries. Reliance Globalcom has more than 30 active MPLS and Ethernet network-to-network interconnection relationships with other operators, along with hundreds of carrier alliances in place to deliver Ethernet and IP VPN services to off-network locations.

Below are highlights from the interview.

Heavy Reading: Can you give readers a sense of your strategic commitment to Ethernet and what it means for business end-users looking to increase productivity and position themselves for future growth?

Craig Waldrop: We see Ethernet as an absolute core technology that is going to be part of our portfolio going forward for years to come. We’re a pioneer in managed Ethernet services. Our view is that this is the type of technology that allows clients, at relatively low cost, to ramp up bandwidth in line with changing demands. And this can be done pretty much instantly.

HR: Can Ethernet services compensate for an enterprise’s lack of funding and/or network experience?

CW: Absolutely. It’s simple and familiar to them. We can just deliver an Ethernet pipe, and the network looks like a wide-area version of a LAN.

HR: What size or type of company can best benefit from a Layer 2 managed Ethernet service?

CW: Historically, our managed services were adopted primarily by enterprises in the legal, health, and financial industry verticals that needed extremely high bandwidth and/or the lowest possible latency. More recently, managed Ethernet services have pushed into other industry sectors like manufacturing that are attracted to Ethernet’s unit cost and bandwidth flexibility and are also looking for connectivity diversity to keep critical applications up and running. All the key verticals are in tune with fully managed Ethernet services today.

HR: I hear a lot of talk about tailored or customizable solutions. Can you give an example of what you are doing along those lines in a particular industry vertical?

CW: One example is our FinancialConnect service. We have a significant focus on very low latency, round trip times, and packet loss. There’s a lot of interest in that, and we’re seeing this business expand even during the economic slowdown. In some other verticals, one common theme is the unpredictability in terms of bandwidth requirements. We offer dynamic controls like OnDemand bandwidth to improve business agility and help address this issue.

HR: What about geographic trends for Ethernet services?

CW: Multinational corporations are now extending their connectivity requirements into market segments like India and China, where economies are growing. They are looking for scale and simplicity. The underlying managed Enterprise Global Ethernet service that we offer them is the same there, but it is customizable because they all have different applications with particular IT problems. In much the same way many end-users are bypassing landline phones and going to 3G mobile, enterprises in India and China are skipping over legacy ATM and TDM services and moving to Ethernet.

HR: How critical is it for an operator to have a native Ethernet network with reach into emerging markets?

CW: The emerging markets are really the parts around the world where the demand for Ethernet is going to be the most accelerated. Ethernet is the way to catch up. We see lots of growth in the global product offering.

HR: Thanks, Craig. I’m looking forward to hearing more from Reliance Globalcom at the Expo.

— Stan “EtherMan” Hubbard, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to Ethernet Expo Americas 2009, Light Reading’s ninth conference and exposition covering the hot topic of Carrier Ethernet network technologies and services in North America. To be staged in New York, November 3 & 4, admission is free for attendees meeting our prequalification criteria. For more information, or to register, click here.

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