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TMC ITEXPO Spotlights WBS Connect

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TMC ITEXPO Spotlights WBS Connect

December 24, 2008
By Rich Tehrani
CEO, Group Editor-in-Chief, TMC
WBS Connect (News - Alert) has built an extensive technology framework throughout North America, Europe, and Asia and are working to expand its presence in South America and the Middle East. Having been named one of the few exclusive wholesale providers of the Switch SuperNAP datacenter, located in Las Vegas, Nevada WBS Connect has proven to build a strong foundation. The company claims that its technology solutions will help propel businesses forward, with a promise to stay on-top of the latest connectivity solutions and keep you in the loop with un-biased guidance. 

Recently, I had the chance to speak with WBS Connect Scott Charter, Managing Partner:
Are you generally optimistic, Pessimistic or realistic?
I am generally optimistic. In our industry, broadband usage and the associated content is skyrocketing for the foreseeable future. Opportunities abound!
How many frequent flyer miles have you amassed?
Not as many as others in the industry. I avoid flying if it isn’t necessary. At WBS Connect, we use video conferencing, web conferencing and other tools that enable us to make more efficient use of our time (and money).
How surprised are you at the global financial situation?
I’m not very surprised. I knew it was coming. All the signs pointed toward an economic slowdown.
How is your company changing the way it does business as a result?
We are constantly looking for products and services that help reduce capital and operating expenses, both for our internal use and to add to our product portfolio. Specifically, we have been concentrating efforts in video conferencing and cloud computing.
How have customers reacted to the slowing global markets?
We are somewhat insulated from this. Many companies increase online delivery of information in tough financial times, which means they still need networking products and services. The closest thing I can think of is that we need to remind some of our customers to pay on time. The economy has slowed down, but our market is hot. We may be moving at a slower pace, but we’re still moving.
Do you see this time as an opportunity or a rough spot to get through quickly?
It’s a huge opportunity, particularly for companies that can leverage products and services that help enterprises reduce capital and operating expenditures
What will companies need to do to survive this downturn?
Find ways to work more cost effectively.  Do you really need to get on a plane? Do you really need to build your own data center?  Companies should look at leasing data center space via cloud computing services.
How do your company’s’ products help customers in a slow market?
WBS Connect is concentrating efforts in two product areas we feel are perfect for companies tightening their budgets in these tough financial times.
The first is cloud computing. This is a utility billed service, in other words pay only for what you use. Growing or new companies can let us handle computing, storage and backup for them in the cloud. This enables companies to pay a monthly expense for IT services as opposed to forking out capital dollars to purchase servers. Additionally, they can avoid hiring IT personnel to manage their operations. Their bill fluctuates with their actual usage, meaning they don’t have excess capacity sitting idle during slow business periods.
Second, we are offering high definition video conferencing services. This can replace or at least significantly lesson costly business travel. The life-like quality enables true eye contact for effective business communication. Not only can companies defray the hard costs of air travel and hotels, but they can enjoy increased efficiency by making better use of valued employee time.
What do you feel is the strongest segment of the communications space?  Technology?
First, on-line delivery of videos for marketing and company communications. Generally, people would rather watch a video than read text. It’s a quick and powerful way to deliver your company’s message.
Second, semantics searches. This Intelligent web searching technology incorporates the context of words, not just keywords. Semantic searches will help users research more efficiently by delivering more relevant results.
Which would you rather be president of and why? Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Cisco (News - Alert), the United States.
Google (News - Alert). They have the ability to do so much more than just search, and they have the cash to make big things happen.
What does an Obama administration need to do to help communications and technology become more pervasive?
Appoint Lawrence Lessig as the chairman of the FCC. Boost investments in broadband initiatives, specifically in higher education.
Will this slowdown present an opportunity to reinvest in your company/market? If so, where will you invest?
We are currently investing in our network to support products and applications related to cloud computing and video conferencing services.
Which country will present the largest opportunity for your company in 2009/10?
Either the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or Asia. The UAE is underserved today, and is one of the best localized networking hubs in the world. Requirements for networking services continue to grow in Asia. I see this as a hugely untapped market.
What device(s) do you use and wish you used?
I currently use iPhone (News - Alert), Mac, and H.264-SVC video conferencing technology (from the desktop to the boardroom). I wish I could use a teleporter. It’s clearly the next logical step after telepresence!
If Nokia, RIM, Google and Apple devices are stranded together on an island, who survives and why?
Apple. They are engineered from the ground up. I find I am biased here because I am a Mac fiend. 
I understand you are exhibiting at ITEXPO which takes place Feb 2-4 2009 in Miami. What will you be showing there?
WBS Connect will be exhibiting their Business Video Communications suite of products. Included are: High Definition Video Conferencing, Video Calling, and Web Collaboration.
What sorts of companies/people should come to your exhibit?
Any business looking to streamline operations and increase efficiency during this economic downturn should visit our booth. Also those who need to reduce or avoid capital expenditures.
Why should customers choose your company’s solutions – and how do they justify the expense to management?
WBS Connect provides high bandwidth Internet connections and data networking services worldwide. Leveraging our expert network engineers and global carrier partnerships, we provide customized, flexible and scalable solutions including: IP transit, network transport, data center collocation, network consulting, HD video conferencing, cloud computing, and email defense services. Other key facts include:
·         More than 25 global carrier partnerships and over 100 Gigabits of traffic in production
·         58 points of presence in North America, Europe, and Asia
·         Access to over 70,000 “on-net” buildings worldwide
·         Triple digit revenue growth for the past 4 years
·         Network turn up times as short as 3 days from our on-net facilities
·         Unbeatable, wholesale pricing
I am a purchasing decision-maker, why do I need to speak with you before I buy?
We are not married to any one partner or any one solution. We have over 25 technology partners, and customize each solution to best fit the client. We’re always looking to offer “best of breed” solutions. We’ll give you what you need, rather than trying to sell you what we have. 
What is your favorite part of your job?
Researching and finding new, exciting technology to embrace, both internally for our own use and to offer to our customers.
What do you look forward to in the future and why?
I look forward to the sun rising each day. I see opportunity for great things over every horizon.

Rich Tehrani is President and Group Editor-in-Chief of TMC. In addition, he is the Chairman of the world�s best-attended communications conference, INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO (ITEXPO (News - Alert)). He is also the author of his own communications and technology blog.

Edited by Jessica Kostek
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