MetTel Innovation Summit highlights accelerating transformation of Telecommunications to Advanced IT Feb 14, 2017 Increasing Rate of Tech Disruption Cited as Challenge & Opportunity for MetTel to Help Clients Navigate Change Some of the largest enterprises in the world gathered last week at the 2017 MetTel Innovation Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona and made one thing perfectly clear – advanced IT services are replacing traditional telecommunications at a record rate. Companies are scrambling to cope with, and capitalize on, the accelerating pace of change dictated by the constant market disruption of technology innovation. Consequently, firms with communications roots such as MetTel are increasingly partnering and competing for business in the advanced IT domains of leaders such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM, Cisco, VMware, Oracle and Salesforce. With a number of enterprise CIOs in attendance, key topics of the Summit centered on enterprise security, the Internet of Things, enterprise mobility, software defined networking (such as SD-WAN), cloud computing, data analytics, unified communications, customer journeys, digital business and advanced network integration. Enterprise companies need to move fast and act as nimble as smaller organizations to succeed. CIOs need new technologies, adaptable, scalable solutions and highly specialized assistance in navigating these relentless changes. Enterprises from across a range of industries providing insights into their challenges and priorities for 2017 included 24-Hour Fitness, Albedo Digital, CNG, Conifer, DS Services, Fortress capital management, Gap, Inc., Republic, SCI, TPR/Tenet Healthcare, Watermark, Wendy’s, among others. Lori Thomas, MetTel VP of customer engagement, set the stage for the Summit demonstrating the steeply rising innovation curve of the past decade that has led to the currently state of constant flux. She showed the increasing compression of the emergence of trends such at IoT, software defined anything and cognitive natural language Q&A to their mainstream adoption within two years. Thomas also outlined the rate of investment and growth within MetTel to serve its customers in navigating change. For example, MetTel has expanded its workforce by 20 percent in the past year, including key hires from IBM, LG, Verizon, Vodafone and AT&T. MetTel has developed new business alliances with LG, ChinaTel, Vodafone and Sprint and launched more than 20 new advanced communications solutions as it expanded globally to 170 countries. In terms of recognition, Thomas listed prestigious awards such as the Stevie Customer Care Department of the Year award (which MetTel will receive later this month) and the AT&T Partner of the year Award for the third consecutive year. Overall, MetTel had a banner year in 2016, its 10th consecutive with double digit growth with record revenue and profit, she pointed out. Robert Safian, editor-in chief of Fast Company magazine, provided an anatomy of a “fast company” – one with the ability to evolve, morph, react, respond and anticipate change in an ever-shifting business environment driven by technology. He outlined the current “generation in flux” for which Darwin’s premium on adaptability to change versus brute strength or superiority applies. Mike Sapien, Principal Analyst at Ovum, referred to this constant flux in enterprise technology terms as a move to managed services and away from commoditized network services. Sapien believes that more and more enterprises will move outside to managed services for everything from unified communications to security to capitalize on best practices and share risk with providers. For their part, providers, in partnership with their enterprise customers, will operate in a mode of continuous development, one that never ends with a specific product or service releases but evolves with real market inputs every day. “There’s no start and a finish to a service anymore because it really is this idea since they’re mostly virtualized on a cloud platform and then offered to you as a customer, they have to be continually monitored and then managed and then turned some features on and off as you see they’re being used or not used,” said Sapien. “What I see happening with most large carriers is this idea of they start to do this and then they start realizing, “Oh my god, this is not going to stop, I’m on this treadmill.” Panels that drove deep discussions on Enterprise Security, Hot New Technologies, key 2017 technology initiatives and avoiding business disruption included MetTel experts such as CIO/VP of Network Services Ed fox, VP of Mobility Max Silber and MetTel Executive Director for Enterprise Solutions Zac Grant. Market disrupters contributing to the dialogue included Atif ghauri of consultant Herjavec Group, Stephan Tallent of security leader Fortinet, Mike Sapien of Ovum, Steve Woo of cloud innovator, VeloCloud, Krista Geiger of Purple WiFi, David Rosenthal of Broadsoft. We will delve deeper into the best practices shared and revelations discovered at the Summit over the next few weeks and look forward to hearing your reactions and observations.