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A Message from Zayo’s New Chief Technology Officer

By Frank Cittadino, Chief Technology Officer

From my start in technology over a decade ago, I’ve endeavored to stay ahead of the curve and establish what’s next in networking technology. Zayo took notice. QOS Networks, the company I co-founded and led, was acquired by Zayo. QOS Networks built a cutting-edge portfolio of products and services in edge and software-defined networking that scaled operations to meet the demands of large companies. We created a competitively differentiated approach to managing large distributed networks and were well-known and respected for both our product and our exceptional service.

As the newly appointed Chief Technology Officer at Zayo, I plan to continue this tradition with an entrepreneurial spirit, driving innovation to build what’s next in networking. My goal is to capitalize on Zayo’s strong portfolio of existing fiber assets and network services while proactively investing in new technology.

I look forward to molding Zayo’s approach to tomorrow’s technology. In our newly-centralized technology organization, we shift our approach to look ahead and test new technologies to enable the services our customers desire. We will make bold predictions on technology that will empower the next generation of ideas, and take decisive action to position and enhance Zayo as the technology leader in connectivity. 

While the sky is truly the limit for Zayo moving forward, here are my main focuses for the coming years:   

Establishing a Core-Cloud-Edge Strategy 

Zayo has been long known for its robust fiber assets that have largely allowed our customers to achieve scalability in a multi-cloud environment. Our goal was – and still is – to ensure we have capacity in key areas across our fiber, wavelength, and packet networks. 

As we build upon that goal we look to streamline our technology value proposition, simplify our message, and drive alignment in a more holistic multi-domain approach. In 2022, we added best-in-class edge products and services which allow our customers to take advantage of our rich IP services. 

In 2023 and beyond we will place a heavy emphasis on our packet portfolio of products with growth in cloud networking technologies that enable customers to have on demand and high performing networks from end users to the cloud. We are uniquely positioned to deliver this user experience at high capacity with the assets we have in place today.  

Investing in new technologies 

One of the best parts about having a dedicated technology team is having the resources to take a look at what’s out there for technology and invest proactively. My team is going to take a look at cutting-edge technologies in play and double down on growing our capacity with our current partners. This will allow our customers, cloud partners, and other service providers to connect with us seamlessly in a self service approach. 

We have identified two  key areas we plan to innovate in the near term in our waves and IP network to more effectively connect the multi-cloud environment. 

  • Network Automation & Network as a Service (NaaS) – Zayo has grown substantially and is introducing a more robust automation strategy. We aim to improve the way we digitally interact with customers, partners, and vendors driving programmable solutions. We will start from the ground up at layer 1 improving the way we visualize and augment capacity, enhance our network, and connect our network to others. Offering connectivity services in an “as-a-Service” model will drive the flexibility and reach customers need in Zayo’s model of a “fabric.” With this new model, our goal is to connect high-capacity physical and digital infrastructure effortlessly in various areas giving our customers a flexible, scalable, and predictable way to move traffic between domains. 
  • Improving Multi-Cloud Connectivity – Today, Zayo connects 400+ global markets with fiber, waves, IP, and 250,000 edge endpoints. The future will include a highly visible, reliable, and automated solution that improves the availability of ultra-high capacity to our hyperscale partners at speeds of 400G, 800G, and beyond.

Technology Partnerships

We have great relationships now with over 50 major cloud service providers. Having a dedicated technology team will only up-level those existing relationships and make our partnerships stronger and more effective. 

In the early days, our goal will be to aid the near-term vision and strategy of our partners and determine how best to build technology solutions together. As we define course guidance on how we sense the market, we will look to our partners to help us define how we innovate, build, and deliver future solutions.

Zayo’s unyielding focus on the end-to-end customer experience 

The overarching goal for all of our technology and network investments here at Zayo is to create the optimal customer experience. We want to be there to support our customers throughout their entire journey, creating a seamless customer experience throughout their entire infrastructure stack from edge to core to cloud. 

Building and growing a central technology organization here at Zayo will be a means to that end. Customers will see an improved customer experience aided by intuitive customer portals, self-service options, new technology, enhanced offerings, and automation.  

We have a unique opportunity to improve outcomes for customers and prepare their businesses for what’s ahead. I can’t wait to see what my team is able to do for the organization and our customers.