Enterprises are often the first to take advantage of new technology so innovation in this space is to be expected. The three Leading Lights finalists for this year's Most Innovative Enterprise Service each leveraged very different technological advantages to develop services that matched the needs of their larger customers.
Those three finalists are: AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)/Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), which teamed up on a Wireless Field Area Network solution for US utility companies; Telstra Global 's Cloud Collaboration service, which delivers unified communications across four continents; and Zayo Group Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO), which is leveraging its extensive fiber resources with a FlexConnect service that lets businesses connect to networks with the same pay-as-you-go connectivity as they today use to connect to clouds.
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.
Now let's take a closer look at these three very different services listed in alphabetical order:
AT&T/Nokia's Private 4G LTE Wireless Network Solution for Utilities
This service delivers a private network infrastructure over licensed LTE spectrum designed for the specific needs of utilities, with the reliability, enhanced security and scalability they require. This solution is intended to replace the private wireless networks utilities have been building on their own using unlicensed spectrum, which is prone to interference especially as more devices are added as part of the Internet of Things.
Wireless devices that use the network will each come equipped with two SIM cards, one that works in the private network and one that works in AT&T's commercial network band, which will be used for failover purposes.
Using LTE spectrum allows this approach to better enable communications throughout the footprint of a given utility which also allows utility companies to deploy devices deep in their distribution network, enabling more automation. Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) solutions are also supported and AT&T and Nokia will help utilities migrate existing wireless devices and AMI collectors to a private broadband wireless solution.
Telstra Cloud Collaboration
Available across Asia, Europe and the US, Telstra Cloud Collaboration delivers unified communications from the cloud on a simple per-user, per-month service model. Aimed at improving collaboration and enabling work productivity, Cloud Collaboration is built on Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution, and is a fully managed UC solution that lets enterprise move from legacy UC systems or expand what they are doing already.
By offering a global cloud-based solution that combines voice and other UC applications. Telstra Cloud Collaboration lets global enterprises have a consistent platform across their many locations.
Hybrid cloud connectivity is definitely the flavor of the year, but Zayo's FlexConnect has the benefit of a massive fiber footprint owned and operated by Zayo, and delivers a no-contract, pay-per-use Ethernet service that can be ordered online and turned up in 30 days or less.
The core capability allows enterprises who don't need connectivity on a regular basis to turn up what they need, whether it is for disaster recovering, seasonal spikes or short-term DevOps testing on a dedicated Layer 2 Ethernet service that connects more than 300 data centers and major cloud providers. Those include AWS, Microsoft Azure, VMWare, Salesforce, SoftLayer and Cisco Intercloud.
Backing the FlexConnect pay-as-you-go model is Transzact, Zayo's online self-service platform. Enterprises can purchase and managed FlexConnect, at speeds from 500 Mbit/s to 100 Gbit/s, and pay only for the data they transport. Tranzact also allows easy comparison of prices, as well as order tracking and ongoing bandwidth usage.
Key to all of this is the Zayo fiber network, including 110,000 route miles in North America and Europe. Customers benefit from expansive reach of the company’s metro and intercity fiber footprint with dedicated, high-performance connectivity.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading