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Metro Connect Fireside Chat Recap


Metro Connect returned for 2022 in Miami, Florida where we learned about the future of digital infrastructure from the most influential voices in the digital infrastructure industry. Steve Smith, Zayo CEO, gave an insightful fireside chat on Wednesday about the nuances of the industry, the future of Zayo, and growth in new spaces. He was joined by Natalie Bannerman, Deputy Editor of Capacity Media and Warren Roll, Managing Director of DigitalBridge Investment Management for the 30-minute discussion.

The Future of the Industry

The technology and communications industries are all about looking forward and being prepared for the next big shift. No idea is too big and no edge is too small. There are so many things to be excited about for the future of the industry including the growth of Cloud, SaaS, SD-WAN, SASE, and Edge solutions. Steve predicts that the future will be a “multi-cloud experience” where whoever creates a truly seamless cloud-like solution will come out on top. He also notes that the demand for Private Wireless solutions is driving a 66% compound annual growth rate over the next several years, with Edge deployments growing even faster at 81%. There is a ton of opportunity to move into these spaces and the industry shows its hunger for the right solutions.

For the next few years, Zayo will focus on company growth, investment in our network, developing partnerships with our top customers, and looking for opportunities to expand and densify through our mergers and acquisitions. We are looking at four key themes to drive our product and technology roadmaps: network expansion, network-as-a-service, digital experience, and managed edge solutions. We hope that focusing on these topics will transform Zayo into the largest independent global provider. In the short term, Europe is a great place for Zayo to expand.

Challenges Facing Zayo

One of the biggest challenges facing the industry is that companies require more security, higher bandwidth, and reliability, all in one seamless solution. These hypergrowth opportunities present complex scaling issues for companies and service providers alike. We have to make sure that we can provide these services while having the capacity to grow with our customers.

The pandemic is accelerating digital transformation, making it difficult to keep up with technology implementation, especially at the edge. Financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail are all changing at an incredible pace, creating permanent changes in customer behavior. Being a provider for a changing industry requires quick responses, careful planning, and the foresight to anticipate shifts in the market.

How Zayo is Making a Difference

Zayo has a strong fiber network with over 15 million fiber miles, 40,000 on-net buildings, and 1,400 on-net data centers. Steve notes that our product portfolio including Transport Services, Cloud Connectivity, and Packet Services all provide the foundation needed by our customers to scale seamlessly. Zayo is also creating new, affordable solutions in areas that need them the most. Zayo recently released Shielded Internet Access (SIA) in key markets which pairs a dedicated internet connection with DDoS protection and an optional Cloudlink service in one convenient, cost-effective, bundled service.

Zayo also focuses on creating a more sustainable business through efforts in environmental impacts, social responsibility, and corporate governance. Through our ESG strategy, we will address issues like greenhouse gas emissions, renewable power procurement, energy and waste reduction, diversity and inclusion, employee engagement, human rights, data privacy and security, business ethics, a responsible supply chain, and more. We have already seen improvements in our employee satisfaction and overall diversity of our employee base, and we are shooting for net-zero by 2030.

We are excited to see what the future has in store for Zayo, and we look forward to continuing to innovate and make an impact on the world. We hope to see you next year at Metro Connect.

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