Cloudscene recently caught up with Neil Templeton, VP Digital Innovation Marketing, for PCCW Global, to discuss Console Connect’s evolution over the past 12 months, the challenge of digital transformation, and driving change with on-demand connectivity.
PCCW Global’s Software-Defined Interconnection® (SDI®) platform Console Connect makes connecting and managing hybrid multi-cloud environments an efficient process.
In the past 12 months, the company has seen huge demand from an ecosystem of customers and partners needing to connect their cloud-based applications and IT infrastructure in a way that is simple, predictable, and secure.
Since being acquired by PCCW Global in 2017, Console Connect has become a leading vendor, cloud, and carrier neutral platform which now connects 200 carriers in 120 data centers in over 38 countries. Based on the 58 markets in which Console Connect SDI® by PCCW Global operates its services, this network fabric is ranked #2 globally on Cloudscene.
Driving vertical, geographical, and ecosystem expansion
Neil says, “A major focus for the team has been directly integrating hyperscale cloud providers into the platform and continuing to build out interconnects to data centers, other SDN fabrics, SaaS partners, and major Internet Exchanges.”
Strong demand from Asia, Europe, and American-based MNCs – as well as regional service providers who want to extend their geographic capabilities over the network via NNI integration – has driven Console Connect’s expansion into new markets. Full global expansion is on the cards.
From a vertical perspective, they have had broad interest from various sectors, including:
- Large multi-country businesses including manufacturing, petrochem, pharmaceuticals, and oil and gas
- Financial and professional services
- Media – including eSports
As the foundation for PCCW Global’s international digital platform, the capabilities of the Console Connect solution are expanding with additional products and services being introduced. This includes future applications, the IPX network, and the global IoT platform. The team is also continually incorporating additional SDN/NFV products and developing customer management, billing, and network management capabilities.
The ecosystem is also growing. Console Connect is on-boarding enterprise data centers and Internet Exchange points across the network and building a comprehensive ecosystem of connected service partners including public cloud Internet as a Service (IaaS) providers and business Software as a Service (SaaS) providers.
Enabling the migration of mission-critical business apps
Enterprises are now exponentially migrating critical business apps to the cloud – such as, ERP, billing, accounting, and CRM. This is driving massive changes in the way businesses architect their WAN.
Neil says, “With network connectivity a core component of the overall solution, businesses are looking for security, predictability, and high performance to serve these types of apps. They also need the same level of agility in their network as they get from their cloud.”
Key drivers of change and growth for Console Connect include the increasing uptake of hybrid and multi-cloud models. These dominant cloud models are influencing the need for businesses to seamlessly connect private infrastructure to public or private cloud with a network that provides privacy, reliability, and control.
Just as SD-WAN is making the edge more agile, SDI® platforms are delivering new levels of agility in the underlying WAN infrastructure. On-demand connectivity allows network engineers to set up circuits in seconds and dynamically adjust capacity of connections between sites, data centers, and clouds easily and quickly.
Tackling the challenges of digital transformation and speed-to-market
“Digital transformation and speed-to-market are two of the most important challenges for service providers today. Carriers need to respond to customers’ demand for greater flexibility, responsiveness, and innovation,” says Neil.
Digital-first, self-service channels are becoming ever more prevalent as customers look to manage their businesses online.
Neil believes that, for his team, this all this translates to the ongoing task of enhancing the Console Connect platform as well as finding the right talent to support the company vision.
“Telecom operators are increasingly becoming software businesses and have to transform the way they develop and deliver services. The development of Console Connect to enhance functionality, integrate and automate additional products, and extend the ecosystem is an ongoing task and one that we have totally restructured our approach and processes to support,” says Neil.
With an extensive in-house software development team, as well as the entire organization’s adoption of the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe) methodology, the business is enabled to achieve new levels of speed and agility, and continuously and more efficiently deliver value on a regular and predictable schedule.