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Opinion

IT service providers – what’s under the bonnet really counts 1

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Peter Thompson
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GCOMM has been a service provider for nearly 17 years. The development in telecommunications, managed services and cloud computing has seen rapid growth in the delivery of services which has changed the landscape of the industry.

To be a genuine provider of industrial IT services to businesses, a heavy investment in infrastructure is required.

These infrastructure investments need to be made prior to generating revenue. For the service provider, there are many options and the choices of equipment, redundancy, scalability and reliability greatly reflect the level of investment that is made.

Sometimes that investment pit seems endless and it often costs several million dollars.

This investment is a careful balance between having inferior equipment and over capitalising. For some reason, service providers “keep the bonnet shut”.

Why aren’t service providers more transparent?

It is not exactly easy to define why service providers are so secretive about their network or compute infrastructure that is the foundation of their service.

One reason might be that they are embarrassed to describe what they have because it might expose the frailty of their infrastructure in comparison to larger or more developed service providers.

Another reason might be that they hold particular trade secrets or know hows that gives them a competitive advantage over others but in reality, unless there is a patent on a process or technique then the know how is only derived from the feature set of the software that operates the underlying infrastructure of the service they provide.

Cloud computing platforms are very expensive

Proper storage, switching, computing, and networking equipment are just the hardware components. Add to that the cost of software licensing and the software development required to bring a truly commercial cloud computing platform to life – it is extremely expensive.

That’s why global organisations such as Amazon and Rackspace are the leaders in this space and look set to dominate the market.

At GCOMM, we think cloud computing infrastructure can be better done by third parties and it’s better for us to work with them in order to deliver a complete, well rounded service to our customers.

As a telecommunications aggregator, we have a robust core network that is packed full of features that enables enormous capability to our customers and partners. We invest our capital into high end, reliable networking equipment that ensures our network up-time is high.

We have a serious investment in first class networking service provider infrastructure.

There is a significant difference in performance and price between SMB and service provider equipment.

There is also a huge difference in features that create greater flexibility, process packets faster and have in built redundancy designed to mitigate failure of systems to the end customer.

GCOMM uses Cisco infrastructure.It’s no secret.

We decided that it was best to pay the extra money and have a network that is reliable, well tested and backed up by a huge technical knowhow.

We use Cisco for both our routing and switching platforms. We have been transparent about our technology to our existing and prospective customers. We openly state who we partner with and the design of our network connectivity.

Time for service providers to lift the bonnet

The Internet has been a really significant platform for creating transparency.

Some companies have chosen to adopt the approach of lifting the bonnet on their firm for all to see, where others still hide behind the marketing speak and in some ways are misleading their customers.

Customers rely on their networks and computing infrastructure to run their businesses. The customer should be aware of the underlying technology on which their IT will run.

Whilst personal relationships will continue to be the differentiating factor in business transactions, the reality is that in a service provider model, the underlying technology is what will keep the customers business running.

The personal relationship cannot solve deficiencies in investment and unsatisfactory technology that is underpinning the service provider business proposition.

We at GCOMM are making every attempt to be as transparent and clear to our customers and partners.

We have always taken pride in our ability to deliver a genuine business class service and we are planning to take that to a whole new level. We look forward to your feedback.

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About Peter Thompson

Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson founded GCOMM in 1996. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering/Information Systems from Griffith University and his MBA from Nyenrode Business Universiteit in Holland. He believes in building great teams of people, both in business and socially.
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  • I think this is a great article. Businesses need to be mindful to stick to their strengths and partner with organisations that can provide the very best technologies. Our key offering and I believe always will be is our rock solid redundant national infrastructure network. Our specialty the delivery of dedicated private pipes, secure national networks and bandwidth exclusively for business. Add to that diversity of last mile, redundancy and ancilliary services to plug into that with our partners and we really do differentiate from the “we provide everything to everybody”