Note, Items that have times next to them are finalized. All other panel descriptions are tentative.
- Tuesday Afternoon Tour – 3:30 – 4:00 pm
- Cloud Opportunities & Risks for the Small/Medium Business – Tuesday 4:00-5:00 pm
- Reception at ITS Fiber/Seminole Inn – 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 (Stuart Hall at the Hutcheson Island Marriott, in Stuart, FL)
- Breakfast – 7:30 – 8:30 am
- Beyond Fiber – Building A Business Bundle That Your Competition Can’t Match – 8:30 – 9:15
- Extending Your Network into the Business – 9:15-10:00
- Break – 10:00-10:15
- From Central Office to Data Center – 10:15 – 11:05
- Pathways to Virtualizing the Data Center – 11:15-12:00
- Lunch – 12:00 – 1:00 – Catered at the Hotel
- Services – Understanding Your Customers’ Needs before They Do – 1:00 – 1:45
- Hidden Opportunities – Virtual Companies and SOHO Workers – 1:45 – 2:15
- Break – 2:15-2:30
- Services – Apps to Help Your Customers Be More Productive – 2:30-3:15
- Services – Opportunities to Virtualize the PC & More – 3:15-3:45
- Beyond Fiber – Marketing Business Services – 3:45-4:30
Tuesday Afternoon Tour – 3:30-4:00 pm
Visit the “Mount Everest” of south Florida with a special tour of ITS Fiber. Located in the middle of the Sunshine State, see first-hand how ITS Fiber leverage its assets to build a world-class data center and fiber network through the combination of existing new assets. Through its relatively sheltered location in Indiantown, FL and its extensive underground fiber network, ITS Fiber is able to provide unmatched reliability and bandwidth to businesses from the interior to the coastline.
Cloud Opportunities & Risks for the Small/Medium Business
The cloud equalizes the playing field for the small and medium size business and allows them to compete against larger players. The cloud allows a business to scale overnight from local to a national and international presence, greatly expanding its market potential. Similarly, a business can reduce fixed costs by employing software as a service, eliminating the need to deploy servers and maintain software.
As the daily headlines indicate, there is a dark side of the cloud as well. This dark side is a place where businesses are hacked, customers identifies are exposed and liabilities are enormous. The risks to a business go beyond security concerns, however, and include items as seemingly mundane as policy changes and/or business failure of a cloud service provider.
Despite these risks, the convenience and competitive necessity of the cloud means it is here to stay and a small/medium business needs to have a strategy about how they deal with the cloud.
The Cloud Opportunities & Risks for the Small/Medium Business will examine this topic and explore questions, such as:
- How does a small/medium business, that doesn’t have a massive IT staff, balance the need for tight security with the pervasive nature of the cloud
- What’s the best way to identify possible holes in either security?
- What should one look for in a cloud service provider when signing up for a cloud service?
- Are there any Terms of Service clauses that should standout as red flags
- How does a cloud service provider’s privacy translate into the businesses policy?
- How do you keep up with changes to policies?
- How does one balance the desire to be able to work anywhere and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) with potential security issues?
- On a related note, what sort of employee training is necessary to ensure all are on the same page?
- What policies should be in place to ensure employees only have access to certain data?
- What sort of steps should a business take to mitigate liability if there is a breech?
- What sort of back-up do you have for the back-up? That is, what happens if the cloud service goes out of business or changes terms so radically their changes will hurt your business?
Reception – 5:00 – 6:00 pm
After the tour and panel, there will be an opportunity to unwind with some refreshments at the historic Seminole Inn.
Beyond Fiber – Building A Business Model That Your Competition Can’t Match – 8:30-9:15 am
A robust fiber optic infrastructure can be the proverbial “camel’s nose under the tent” for providing high-value business services. The fiber network serves as a gateway to an operator-owned data center; a data center optimized for a given market. The combination of these two elements creates an opportunity for exponential revenue growth of relatively high-margin services for the operator that provide increased value, reliability and cost savings for the end-customer.
Jeff Leslie, CEO of ITS Fiber, will discuss his how company has built a “whole-product” centered around their robust, underground fiber network, their unique geographical position and a culture that is Noticeably Better. He talk about their approach that leads with fiber to generate new opportunities and to grow revenue by solving problems throughout his customers’ business. [Note, this session will be available only in the event hosted by ITS Fiber].
Infrastructure Challenges – Creating an Extraordinary Network
Extending Your Network into the Business – 9:15-10:00
With a robust and reliable fiber network, the operators’ challenges move from the last and mid-mile to the last 100 feet. The in-building network becomes an opportunity for the operator to garner additional revenue as well as create a closer working relationship with the end customer; essentially becoming or augmenting an operator’s IT staff.
This session will examine how operators are creating in-building wired and wireless networks that meet the need of various types of business customers; how operators can differentiate from the competition; and what are the revenue and margin opportunities.
Infrastructure Challenges – The Differentiated Data Center
From Central Office to Data Center – 10:15-11:05 am
The central office is the original data center in the sense that had many of the attributes for what a data center requires, such as reliable power, physical security and bandwidth. With the collapse of the switch from racks of equipment to virtually nothing, much of the space in many central offices sits idle.
This panel will look at what needs to be done to convert a C.O. to data center and look at things such as:
- How to differentiate from the data center behemoths
- The typical upgrade costs and typical revenue per square foot that could be expected.
- Typical physical modifications necessary to meet data center demands
- Scaling beyond the central office – what happens when you have success.
Pathways to Virtualizing the Data Center – 11:15-12:00 pm
SDN (Software Defined Networking), NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) and VM (Virtual Machines) provide the potential to use lower-cost, white-label servers, while dynamically applying resources when and where needed. This session will provide a high-level view of where the industry stands with this still developing technology, how operators can benefit from it and resources to help.
Services – Understanding Your Customers’ Needs before They Do – 1:00-1:45 pm
Knowing where to invest in infrastructure has always been a challenge. With tight budgets and competitive markets, it is more important than ever to identify the highest returns on investment. Additionally, there are businesses and business opportunities serving businesses with virtual locations.
This session will explore the relatively new bandwidth and software tools available to network planners and marketing staff and how they are able to work together to target network investment, as well as shape service packages that optimize the value for their business customers and provide for stickier relationships.
Hidden Opportunities – Virtual Companies and SOHO Workers – 1:45-2:15 pm
The broadband ecosystem is allowing millions of professionals to untethered from the traditional workplace and work from anywhere; whether it is the local coffee shop to bus stop to the home. The collapse of office walls brings new opportunities and challenges; both for the workers, as well as the operators that provide their broadband. FARR Technologies’ is the prototypical, next generation of company that has been virtual from day one. Having come from a traditional environment and having helped broadband operators design their networks, FARR Technologies brings a unique perspective as to the things an operator must do to serve an ever-expanding virtual workforce.
Services – Apps to Help Your Customers Be More Productive – 2:30-3:15 pm
Hosted or cloud voice is a natural for entities that have had switching as a core part of their business. It is a great value for the customer, as it removes the hardware and eliminates the associated maintenance. Hosted voice is just the start and there are a variety of applications that can be built on this offering.
This session will examine opportunities service providers have for customizing applications to better meet their customers needs. It will also look at the process for how operators have customized applications for specific businesses and the type of revenue and return from this sort of offering.
Speaker: Chris Carabello, Sr. Director Product Marketing, , Metaswitch Networks
Services – Opportunities to Virtualize the PC & More – 3:15 to 3:45 pm
With the rise of tablets, smart phones and networked computers, it is easy to overlook the staying power of the PC and associated software in businesses. Maintenance of such an infrastructure is a huge pain point for businesses. Virtualizing the PC to centralize software into robust and redundant servers is possible, but not too practical when the data center is a thousand miles away. The addition of a fiber network with its inherent low latency, speed and reliability, is the missing link.
This session will look at the viability of a virtualized PC offering, what is required to overcome customer concerns and the business model for such a service. It will also look at how this complements the demand for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).
Beyond Fiber – Marketing Business Services – 3:45 to 4:30 pm
Despite what Kevin Costner’s character said, build it and the customers won’t always come. Often, operators moving into business services are the “new kids on the block.” People won’t necessarily recognize their name and, if they do, they might associate it with a 100-year-old company, instead of an advanced managed services provider.
This panel will give examples of how operators have built a brand that reflects their new service offerings. It will also provide ideas for how to market and get the word out about these new services. It will also look at the small things an operator can do, beyond the core product, to differentiate from their larger competitors.
Moderator: Leo Staurulakis, EVP/CEO, JSI/JSI Capital Advisors
Denise Lechner, Marketing Manager, ITS Telecom
Ken Pyle, Managing Editor, Viodi View, Topic – 2 Minutes on the Merits of LinkedIn