I have supported the telecom underdogs, the competitive entrants, my entire 28+ year career in telecom. I guess that the die was cast during the early days of my career at MCI starting in the late ’80s. The culture at MCI was so strong that regardless of your position in the company you knew the mission. For me, it was us against the RBOCs and AT&T. This culture served MCI well from the early days up until the mid ’90s as MCI was one of the best run telecom companies and grew rapidly accordingly.
As I branched out from MCI, the telecom markets were opening up (’96 Telecom Act) and capital was pouring in resulting in the start of the CLEC experience. Together with other like-minded MCIers, I co-founded a few startups whose mission was to provide tools and services leveraging our collective expertise gained from years of fighting in the trenches against the incumbents. One of these startups, Broadmargin, was a great success in that we enabled over 100 competitive carriers to better compete against the incumbents saving them hundreds of millions in network cost in the process. The closing of the CenturyLink – Level 3 deal this week was kind of a sad milestone for me in that it marked the end of the independence of the last major CLEC (all of the majors are now controlled by RBOCs / ILECs).
The last several years we have been focusing on helping the next generation of service providers. This group of companies cannot be called “carriers” as not all are traditional telecom companies. This group includes businesses such as hosted UC providers, CPaaS, Call Tracking providers, Emergency Notification providers, resellers, application providers as well as the more traditional CLECs, MSOs, etc. Our definition of who we provide services to has changed to from carriers to “any company that uses network services to deliver its service”. I love working with this marketplace as they share my entrepreneurial and innovative spirit and are open to trying new approaches to managing network expense.
As I look to the future, I am excited that we are able to bring one more tool to this marketplace to help level the playing field for this group of companies. This tool is our SaaS platform called gpxcloud and will transform the carrier-facing backoffice (Ckt Quoting, Ordering, Network Inventory, Cost Mgmt, Contract Mgmt, Usage Mgmt, BI) for these companies enabling faster customer growth, increased profitability and enhanced customer experiences.