The three finalists for the Leading Lights' Most Innovative Enterprise Service reflect the growing need of enterprises to keep their employees and customers connected, no matter where they are located, for maximum impact and productivity.
Though they are distinctly different services, Comcast Business Ethernet @Home, Earthlink Secure WiFi and Tata Communications IZO Internet WAN are all about maximizing connectivity to do business better, while making it easier for enterprise IT departments to adopt and support more sophisticated services.
Here's a closer look at our three finalists in this category:
Comcast Business Ethernet @Home
Leveraging its experience in delivering Ethernet over its hybrid fiber-coax networks to businesses, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) launched a service that lets those businesses connect their home-based employees via secure connections with guaranteed bandwidth. The service, launched late in 2014, gives workers a high-speed broadband connection and businesses the ability to offer remote, private access to work files that prevent sensitive information from being shared over the public Internet.
As Light Reading Senior Editor Mari Silbey noted, in her coverage of the new service, [email protected] creates a significant new revenue opportunity for Comcast on top of its existing HFC network, opening up a new market for enterprises including the health care industry, financial services, call centers and even professional sports.
Combining Comcast's broadband footprint -- the largest in the US -- with dedicated corporate network extensions, and the promise of fast installation as well, creates a service well suited to the growing army of teleworkers, including those who work full time from a home office and those who need secure, after-hours access to work materials.
[email protected] provides performance guarantees that address latency, as well as security because the service doesn't use the public Internet.
EarthLink Secure WiFi
This service targets multi-location businesses such as retailers, restaurants, financial services and healthcare sites, and gives those businesses an opportunity to provide both private and public WiFi for employees and customers. The service includes a public WiFi that the business can make available to its customers both for their convenience and as a marketing tool, and private secure WiFi connectivity for its employees, to improve business productivity.
EarthLink Inc. (Nasdaq: ELNK) teamed up with cloud WiFi provider AirTight Networks Inc. to be able to offer a Secure WiFi solution, featuring a Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS) designed for large, multi-location networks. The service includes scanning and protection of airwaves for secure access and WIPS for local networks from a single access point. In addition, EarthLink Secure WiFi provides protection for cardholder data environments and automates the process of PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance.
EarthLink has specialized in addressing the needs of companies with many smaller distributed locations, providing the support and consultative services necessary to deploy services without extensive on-site IT support.
Tata Communications IZO Internet WAN
Tata Communications Ltd. 's IZO Internet WAN brings predictability, reliability and speed of service turn-up to global connections, using agreements with local service providers and integration of its backbone network and those local access routes to give multinationals greater ability to connect their operations across continents.
The service is Internet-based but insures deterministic routing of traffic and guaranteed end-to-end service level agreements. It provides customer service and reporting at the level expected by large multinational enterprises while also reducing their total cost of ownership by as much as 30%.
As more enterprises move to cloud-based applications and services, they need guaranteed, reliable and cost-effective connections into more places around the globe and Tata is delivering that in a global, business-grade Internet service that is held together by its Tier 1 IP backbone and partnerships with a wide range of local and regional service providers.
The service reaches 34 countries, 500+ cities and more than one million buildings, covering 85% of the world's gross domestic production.
The Leading Lights 2015 winners and newest class of Hall of Fame inductees will be unveiled at the Leading Lights awards dinner, which will be held the evening of Monday, June 8, at Chicago's Field Museum. The star-studded soirée will follow a day of special workshops covering topics such as SDN, 5G and Carrier Ethernet for the Cloud that take place ahead of Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which this year is being held at the McCormick Place Convention Center on June 9 and 10. (Details and the agenda are on our show site, Big Telecom Event.)
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading