What differentiates a company from others in the marketplace? The answer to that question varies depending upon the organization. But a few common threads that tend to connect unique and successful companies include:
• a consistent vision and brand,
• the ability to provide customers with the solutions they want and need, and
• the wherewithal to deliver solutions quickly and with minimal customer effort.
Self-service solutions can allow for all that – helping both the organizations that provide them and the companies that use them to move faster and be more competitive and innovative. That’s why communications and network services company Zayo has been working with Ciena to provide business customers with the ability to provision their own connections.
Zayo has the Tranzact e-commerce and self-service platform. And the service provider’s Zayo CloudLink team has been working with Ciena, which brings to the table its Blue Planet Multi-Domain Service Orchestration.
Together, these companies and solutions are employing API, Carrier Ethernet, LSO, and SDN technologies to support the Zayo CloudLink feature. That feature allows enterprises to order, activate, and provision their connectivity to Amazon Web Services (News - Alert) and other public cloud resources in real time. The capabilities are currently in pilot and expected to be available next year, a Zayo Group spokeswoman tells Web-Scale Networking.
“Rapid provisioning of direct cloud connections will empower enterprises to take direct cloud connectivity into their own hands by supporting large-scale cloud migrations, facilitating of multi-cloud connectivity, and offering a pay-as-you-go commercial model,” says Tyler Coates, senior vice president for enterprise at Zayo. And that can lead to higher customer satisfaction and optimized cloud return on investment.
CloudLink is not a product. Instead, it's a Zayo feature that illustrates how the carrier is working to be more agile and responsive to its business customers – and in the process enabling those organizations to be more agile and responsive. Formulating strategies and delivering solutions that look at the larger pain points of businesses, rather than focusing solely on specific products, is what it takes to appeal to customers today and survive in fast-moving business markets, as a Harvard Business Review article by Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi notes.
It says that “differentiation needs to be sustainable; it shouldn’t live or die with individual offerings. The heart of differentiation therefore is your company’s ability to develop and promote distinctive products, services, and branded experiences on a consistent basis. It’s not the output that sets you apart, but the way that everything you do supports the product and gives it context. With truly differentiated companies, much of the distinction goes beyond the product itself.”
Edited by Maurice Nagle