Innovation in the small business space takes a particular creativity, as the revenue generated in this market segment comes in many smaller envelopes, so new products must be ready to scale and have remarkable efficiency out of the gate.
In the case of both of the finalists for this year's Leading Lights award for Most Innovative SMB Service, the latest technology is being applied to solve small business problems and enable these businesses to benefit from the same capabilities that pay off for larger companies.
AT&T is combining SDN and NFV to deliver its Managed Internet Service on Demand, while Global Capacity is pushing Ethernet over Copper to offer its Asymmetric Ethernet (AsyE) Service across diverse local loops. In both cases, the service offering brings small to midsized businesses something they haven't been able to get in the past that meets their current business needs.
AT&T's Managed Internet Service on Demand
Introduced in the fall of 2015, this service builds on AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s Switched Ethernet on Demand, using NFV to virtualize the access router on the customer premises and SDN to deliver on-demand services. Customers use a web-based portal, the AT&T Business Center, to customize services, bandwidth and other network features, giving them greater control and the ability to change their services to meet their needs, in an almost real-time basis.
The AT&T Managed Internet Service on Demand, available in 72 US markets now and expanding to the rest of AT&T's US footprint over the course of this year, speeds up service deployment for SMBs by using software-based systems to automate processes that used to require special hardware and longer turn-up cycles. Moves, adds and changes are easily and efficiently done as well.
Global Capacity's Asymmetric Ethernet (AsyE) Service
Global Capacity is a top US provider of Ethernet over Copper, offering the service from 830 Central Offices and reaching approximately 2.2 million businesses business locations across 58 metro markets in 28 states. This service provides critical cloud connections for customers who aren't in buildings served by fiber optic cable.
As many of these businesses move to cloud-based business applications, they need higher upload speeds than in the past to accommodate data and workloads being pushed into the cloud. Global Capacity's Asymmetrical (AsyE) Service delivers those upload speeds up to 10 Mbit/s on a 50Mbit/s download service.
AsyE also offers Class of Service prioritization to deliver lower latency and packet loss for better overall performance and business class Service Level Agreements, at about the same price as a business DSL or cable service. In addition, Global Capacity gives SMBs proactive around-the-clock service monitoring and can couple this service with its wireless backup service options.
The winner will be announced at the Leading Lights awards dinner, which will be held during the evening of Monday, May 23, at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas, ahead of the Big Communications Event May 24-25 at the Austin Convention Center. You can still join us in Austin. Service providers can register to attend BCE at no charge.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading