Global Capacity is hoping multi-site businesses will give up the cumbersome RFP process for ordering telecom network services in favor of a point-and-click system that lets them more easily see what connections are available where and at what price. The newly upgraded version of its Connect Marketplace makes it possible for business customers to design their own networks, tailor their connections to their applications and then use those designs to craft their own network estimates and order services. (See Global Capacity Releases Connect Marketplace.)
Global Capacity 's primary differentiator has been its One Marketplace, which lets business customers easily identify what connections are available to its sites and order those services. With Connect Marketplace, a multi-site business has visibility into all available connections (up to thousands of sites) and can use tools to filter what's available by type of connection, price and other factors.
"Once you have this list of sites, which can be uploaded, you can see everything available at each site," says Mary Stanhope, Global Capacity marketing vice president. "Then you can start a filter, by bandwidth, by distance versus price, by shortest connection, best cost, interconnect or peering points -- whatever is most important."
Project design options can be saved as separate files for comparison and decision-making, and, once a decision is reached, services can be easily ordered, she adds.
"Companies can filter the searches based on their own requirements," essentially creating their own "what if" scenarios, she notes. There is full visibility and the option to manipulate the search parameters at any level, so companies can determine, for example, how many of their sites have access to 10Mbit/s connections.
There are safeguards. If site addresses are entered incorrectly, those are flagged and a list of errors can be exported for resolution. The net value is the ability for enterprises to more easily automate the process of finding all of the available connections and sorting them quickly for whatever is most important to that business.
"We think this obsoletes the written RFP," Stanhope says. "It allows an enterprise to filter for what is most important and save that information, so later they can compare" different saved versions of network configurations.
This is the next step in what Global Capacity is doing in the automation of its processes and the movement toward software-driven approaches. The company is also developing more application programming interfaces (APIs) that it can expose to companies needing network connections on which they can build different capabilities.
Not all of Global Capacity's customers use its portal, Stanhope notes, so the ability to expose network assets through APIs becomes more important, and it's a major area of focus for the company. Since network connectivity remains critical, regardless of the cloud service involved, Global Capacity continues to focus on making connections easier and more flexible, to fuel hybrid clouds, OTT content plays, and more.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading