Global Crossing Brings IT Staff to the Fore

Ask Global Crossing (Nasdaq: GLBC) CTO Anthony Christie how his company has "bridged the chasm" between network operations and IT staff, in order to deliver cloud-based IT applications, and his answer is simple.

As the man in charge of the process, Christie simply used his internal IT team -- the people managing private cloud services and IT apps internally for Global Crossing -- to develop those same services for customers.

"Part of the ability to look an enterprise's customer in the eye and say, 'We know how to do this,' is that when they ask who is running this, who are the operations and delivery people, we can tell them it is the same people who are delivering the apps and infrastructure to all of the private cloud services that Global Crossing uses internally around the globe -- they are my team," Christie says.

So there, chasm bridged.

To be fair, Christie's IT team got hands-on training in cloud capabilities from Gabriel del Campo, data center vice president of Latin American-based Impsat Fiber Networks Inc. , which GC acquired in 2007. Impsat was already operating multiple data centers in Latin America and offering advanced hosting services. DelCampo moved to Europe for two years to train GC's IT staff there, as they transitioned to become customer-facing employees.

"You have to fortify them with people that are good at facing customers, and I'm not suggesting that we haven't added people, given the nature of managing global infrastructure and IT apps," Christie says. "They have day jobs, too. But that's where the competency has come from."

Christie believes Global Crossing's approach "is very different from what a lot of telcos have done in the past."

Global Crossing's cloud services are available extensively in Latin America, and more recently in Europe. They are coming to North America this year, as the carrier plans to announce two new data centers here by mid-year.

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— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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