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Equip your network for lasting Digital Transformation


Read on for insights from the Zayo webinar, “Is Your Network Ready for the Future?” with experts from Moor Insights and Strategy and DC BLOX.

Enterprises seek better network solutions as new technologies emerge and the need for capacity grows. But there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to building a future-ready network. So, how can you ensure your network is ready for what’s next in a way that fits your unique business needs?

To address this question, Zayo Vice President of Product Management, Chaz Kramer joined with Will Townsend, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, and Jeff Wabik, Chief Strategy & Connectivity Officer at DC BLOX for a webinar titled “Is Your Network Ready for the Future?”

In this blog, we’ll break down the key things to consider when building and adapting your network in preparation for the future, as discussed during the webinar.

Bandwidth requirements

Businesses in every industry are looking to scale their bandwidth as connectivity needs grow. Emerging applications like automation, wireless applications, and cloud adoption require greater bandwidth. Furthermore, it’s not always clear when the need for more bandwidth will arise.

“Everyone needs more capacity, and at times, it’s on short notice,” says Kramer, “We get requests at Zayo from customers that say ‘Hey, something happened we didn’t expect and we need capacity, not in 30 days, we need it now.’ We have to consider how to provide that capacity on-demand, creating an environment that allows our customers to scale in a manner that goes beyond planning.”

A good network provider will anticipate your future bandwidth needs and can pivot quickly and allow you to scale bandwidth as needed. Zayo operates the underlying infrastructure which assures customers that we’re more nimble than others when it comes to scaling beyond what a single fiber pair can provide.

“When there’s an outage, the clock is ticking. Responsiveness is critical to quality.”

Network quality and responsiveness

It’s one thing to ensure that you’re getting the right amount of bandwidth to suit your business needs. It’s another to ensure that that connectivity is reliable. These days, outages are more than just annoying inconveniences – they pose a real business threat. Time offline could mean lost sales and revenue, lower employee productivity, and unhappy customers.

“Quality is the most important part. The network can never go down,” Wabik says, “Everything we do with the help of our partners like Zayo is making sure we at least have a five-nines solution that allows us 326 seconds of allowable downtime per year. And we try to beat that – many years we’re at a hundred and we have no downtime for our customers.”

Outages are perhaps the most frustrating event that can happen to a fiber customer. While route diversity can help prevent some outages, it can’t prevent them all. When it comes to outages, your provider should do its best to prevent them, first and foremost, but also respond to them quickly when they do happen.

“We have network events daily and our customers never notice which is how it’s supposed to be,” says Wabik, “But internally, when there’s an outage, the clock is ticking. So responsiveness is critical to quality.”

Network reach

In considering the right fiber network partner, you must figure out where you need connectivity now and in the future. The fiber provider you choose should meet your current and future geographical connectivity needs. “It’s about network reach and where you are,” says Kramer, “We have fiber to a lot of places our customers want to go.”

So ask yourself: where does your business need and want to go? Is your business nationwide, global, or local? Is the network you’re considering where you are or where you want to be? These questions will help you determine which fiber network provider you should work with.

Service quality

No matter what you’re buying, good customer service is a must-have. You should choose a network provider that is proactive and responsive to customer needs beyond just responding when there’s a crisis like an outage.

Aside from preparing for the worst, your network provider should respond to any changes you need to make in your network and should work with you to build a custom network solution that fits your needs. Some networks, like Zayo, have automation built into the system to reduce delivery times and inefficiencies and respond immediately to changing customer needs.

Above all, a good relationship between a provider and a customer is about good communication. Wabik sums this up:  “Listen more than you talk, understand what the problem is, and solve the problem. Quality is everything.”

Network security

In our digital world, businesses must consider cybersecurity in any technology-related decision. Luckily, fiber is a highly secure physical asset that is extremely difficult to tap into.

“The easiest way to ensure security is a dedicated fiber link to the customer,” says Kramer, “The only way someone’s going to access the network is if they splice into it somehow, which isn’t going to happen. So from a baseline security standpoint, that’s something we should easily control.”

When it comes to securing your network, however, you must consider your full stack of technology solutions and fortify your network at every layer. Today’s enterprises may have dozens of security solutions to keep the network protected. Investing in solutions like DDoS Protection and Firewall is a good place to start.