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WVT Communications Goes from Phone Lines to the Cloud

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November 16, 2012

WVT Communications Goes from Phone Lines to the Cloud

By Robbie Pleasant, TMCnet Contributor

The transition to cloud can be tricky for some companies, but it’s an even more trying task when the company itself changes into a cloud communications provider. That was the case with WVT Communications, which underwent a transformation from telephone to the cloud.

WVT Communications has been around for quite literally over a hundred years, serving as a regional regulated telephone company in southern New York and New Jersey. However, as access lines became less used and less useful, company management knew it was time to change.

As such, with its 2009 acquisition of USA Datanet, WVT began its transformation into a cloud communications company. That would prove to be tricky, as it was a regulated company, and as such needed permission from two public utility governance entities; commissions were needed to approve anything, from acquisitions to the implementation of “casual Friday.”

In spite of that challenge, WVT still managed to acquire Altiva in 2011, which put it nicely in the cloud communication space. More and more of its revenue started to come from cloud communications, although this put WVT in an odd spot. It was a regulated company with unregulated subsidiaries, which meant the subsidiaries in turn must adhere to the regulated guidelines that WVT had to.

In order to complete its transformation, WVT had to petition New York and New Jersey commissions to change its structure, so that the telephone company was a subsidiary of the cloud communications company WVT, rather than the other way around. In order to do so, it had to prove that it would maintain its quality of service and customer ethic as a holding company; given the commendations its service quality had received in the previous four years, it had an edge on that. Furthermore, it had to explain to the public utility commission what exactly cloud communication is, and why the change was necessary.

Eventually, the commissions agreed to the change, and WVT was allowed to change its structure. The company can now regulate its regulated subsidiaries separately from the others, providing greater freedom when it comes to decisions such as acquisitions and stock management, while still maintaining the same oversight and regulations as always for its telephone subsidiary.

“We’re thrilled to see two state pubic utility commissions understand and accept the transformation of our company into a cloud communications company,” says CEO Duane Albro. He’s quite right to be thrilled, too, for it was a tricky task to reach that point, but WVT Communications navigated the yellow tape with skill, and has cemented itself as a cloud communications provider while still offering the same quality telephone services as before.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman

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