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GCS CEO Neal Axelrad Talks ITEXPO West with TMCnet

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September 06, 2011

GCS CEO Neal Axelrad Talks ITEXPO West with TMCnet

By Carrie Schmelkin, TMCnet Web Editor

Global Convergence (News - Alert) Solutions (GCS), a Next Gen Network Solutions proprietary rating and routing company, has seen the communications service provider marketplace evolve over the past year as the market has grappled with disruptive changes from a technology and landscape perspective.

“The pace of technological development exceeds all forecasts and the new entrants into the marketplace, particularly the social media entities such as Facebook, Google and LinkedIn are collectively presenting enormous challenges to communications service providers,” Neal Axelrad, CEO and co-founder of GCS, told TMCnet recently. “Still, the marketplace presents new opportunities and the creative companies, both big and small, are rushing to meet those challenges and take advantages of these opportunities. What this means for GCS (News - Alert) is that we continue to see our market opportunities increasing and we are becoming more and more of a strategic asset to our existing customers.”

In just a week, GCS will be discussing these trends and the communications service provider market at ITEXPO West 2011, the event that has been dubbed the largest communications and technology event of the year. ITEXPO West, taking place from Sept. 13-15 in Austin, Texas, brings together thousands of people from within the communications and technology communities who gather with enterprises, SMBs and other end users to build their businesses and gain knowledge for the future at ITEXPO.

Recently, Axelrad sat down with TMC’s CEO Rich Tehrani to discuss predictions for the market, how the cloud has influenced GCS’s development cycle and what GCS hopes to take away from ITEXPO.

What do you see as the next disruptive force in technology and how will it impact your market or business?

Social media is having a dramatic impact on the way people communicate. We believe that the social media companies (Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, etc) are the new communications service providers (see facebook and Skype (News - Alert); Google and Motorola) and will play a substantive role in how the communications marketplace evolves. We are making the necessary investments now to help engage these companies and demonstrate how we can help them improve the experience for their communities.

How has the acceptance and adoption of the cloud model influenced your development cycle and process?

Since our product inception we have always offered a SaaS (News - Alert) option delivered via the cloud. Today, 25 percent of our revenue comes from cloud/SaaS offerings and we believe that over the next 12-18 months that number will double. By 2014, we believe that 75 percent of our revenues will come from our cloud-based offerings and the market fully embraces the cloud and all of its benefits. Having made the investment in supporting our cloud based offerings we are well positioned to support this shift in the market.

What is the most common request you are seeing from your customers? How is your company addressing these demands?

Today’s communications marketplace is incredibly complex. The rapid advances in technology have lowered the barriers to entry into the market which creates enormous opportunities, increases competition and, unfortunately exacerbates challenges. In our market, we are seeing service providers struggling to deal with the challenges they face in meeting the new realities of the market. With new entrants into the market, service providers need highly sophisticated software solutions that allow them to interact with these new entrants while maintaining their existing relationships without impacting their voice network, their margins or their customers. Our tools do just that and, as a result, we’ve never had greater demand for our products and services.

How do you see the mobile operating system war (iPhone (News - Alert) vs. Android vs. RIM vs. WM7) playing out?

I think that if it’s a war, it’s a war between iPhone and Android. RIM and WM7 are fighting for scraps comparatively. Google, with its acquisition of Motorola’s phone division, now has a key ingredient to challenge the iPhone’s position as design and innovation leader in actual phone design not just operating system. I think Google will spend some time figuring out how to leverage this new asset in a way that allows it to compete with the iPhone, but in the end I think they will offer a substantial alternative to the iPhone. Whether that means, it will win the war or just occupy a significant market share, we’ll have to wait and see.

What are you most looking forward to at ITEXPO West  in Austin? What do you see as being the biggest trends at the show?

I am curious to see how the marketplace is reflecting the current trends in mobility and social media. How are communication service providers addressing these opportunities and challenges.

What issues will you be addressing during your ITEXPO session and why should attendees be sure to attend?

The future of communication networks. How communication service providers’ networks are evolving and what they will look like in the future. It will be a lively discussion as those of thus involved in helping CSPs, build, manage and utilize next gen networking technologies engage and share are perspectives on where it’s all heading and what it means.

To find out more about GCS, visit ITEXPO West 2011. To be held Sept. 13-15 in Austin, TX,  ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. GCS will be participating in a session titled, “The Networks of the Future,” on Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. Don’t wait. Register now. 

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Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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