EX­EC­U­TIVE IN­TER­VIEW

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Adel Baz­erghi, BCE Nexxia, on driv­ing growth on routes into Canada

Adel Baz­erghi, pres­i­dent of BCE Nexxia, talks to Alan Burkitt-gray about car­ry­ing traf­fic from in­ter­na­tional part­ners into Canada. Most of the pop­u­la­tion lives close to the US bor­der, but the net­work has to reach the re­motest points in Canada

What is the role of BCE Nexxia within Bell Canada, and what does the group of­fer your part­ners and cus­tomers?

BCE Nexxia is a wholly-owned sub­sidiary of Bell Canada. We are the pre­ferred part­ner for US and in­ter­na­tional cus­tomers that want net­work ac­cess into Canada. Our cus­tomers want cost-ef­fec­tive ways to ac­cess their cus­tomers in metro ar­eas of Canada or even more re­mote ar­eas. Our net­work spans coast to coast to coast – that’s east, west and north.

The US is a very im­por­tant mar­ket for us, both for US en­ter­prises need­ing to ex­tend their reach into Canada as well as Cana­dian en­ter­prises need­ing to ex­tend their reach into the US and other coun­tries.

The mar­kets in the US and Canada are very sim­i­lar – be­cause the two economies are so in­ter­linked” Adel Baz­erghi, pres­i­dent, BCE Nexxia

Our US meet me points are lo­cated in Seat­tle, Chicago, New York, Min­neapo­lis and Ash­burn, Vir­ginia. They serve as con­ve­nient, cost-ef­fec­tive gate­ways into Canada and pro­vide cross con­nec­tion into each lo­ca­tion. Our US net­work also in­cludes a sub­ma­rine ca­ble be­tween Seat­tle and Van­cou­ver.

How are you ex­pand­ing your net­work, in Canada or the US?

Our busi­ness is built on our net­work, the largest in Canada. We have 5.5 mil­lion kilo­me­tres of fi­bre over 75,000km of routes, and we link to more than 33 car­rier ho­tels and data cen­tres across North Amer­ica. The mar­kets in the US and Canada are very sim­i­lar – be­cause the two economies are so in­ter­linked. But we have one-tenth of the US pop­u­la­tion and a huge land size. We in­vest more than $3 bil­lion yearly in R&D and net­work ex­pan­sion.

Our goal is to be recog­nised as Canada’s lead­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany. Our net­work al­ready reaches the Yukon and the North­west Ter­ri­to­ries, and we are con­stantly in­vest­ing in our net­work.

Where are you ex­pand­ing in par­tic­u­lar?

We plan to ex­pand our Eth­er­net and IP VPN foot­print across Canada. We are in the sec­ond year of our $20bn fi­bre in­vest­ment. That al­lows us to serve our cus­tomers bet­ter.

What are the main fac­tors driv­ing growth for you?

Growth is driven pri­mar­ily by the rise in data trans­mis­sion. We see growth in video – and all the OTT play­ers.

There is growth in traf­fic in video gam­ing, and we see ex­pan­sion of cloud and ac­cess to pub­lic and pri­vate cloud.

How are you han­dling the move to vir­tu­al­i­sa­tion?

We’re trans­form­ing so that we have more of a soft­ware-de­fined net­work. Data cen­tres are be­com­ing part of the net­work and part of the soft­ware-de­fined net­work.

We are tak­ing a lot of in­tel­li­gence and mov­ing it to the edge of the net­work, with soft­ware-de­fined fire­walls and soft­ware­de­fined cus­tomer equip­ment. We call it Net­work 3.0: if you look at the net­works a lot of in­tel­li­gence is go­ing to the edge.

How do you stay close to your clients?

From sales and tech­ni­cal teams through our de­liv­ery and ser­vice groups, as a col­lec­tive we are fo­cused on build­ing and de­vel­op­ing great client relationships to bet­ter un­der­stand their busi­ness need and to en­sure we con­sis­tently de­liver prod­ucts and ser­vices that help them drive suc­cess to­day and in the fu­ture.

Our clients are from dif­fer­ent in­dus­tries; how­ever, they face sim­i­lar chal­lenges and lev­els of com­plex­ity in de­ploy­ing their sup­port net­works. If we evolve to ad­dress these needs, we are in a bet­ter po­si­tion to help them.

What are the big­gest chal­lenges that you face?

De­mand for tra­di­tional voice and data ser­vices is de­clin­ing as cus­tomers move to IP. That’s why we in­vest in IP ser­vices, in client premises and hosted so­lu­tions.

The cost of ex­ist­ing tech­nol­ogy makes it dif­fi­cult to ac­cel­er­ate the evo­lu­tion to new ser­vices, but it will hap­pen.

There is in­creased com­pe­ti­tion. Some of our clients have be­come com­peti­tors and we have new en­trants. With the emer­gence of the OTT play­ers and cloud com­put­ing, it’s mak­ing sure we have the right tal­ent to ad­dress new ser­vices – and mak­ing sure we stay at the fore­front.

We’re also very lucky in Canada: we at­tract a lot of tal­ent from abroad and we have some of the best uni­ver­si­ties in the world to de­velop tal­ent.

Baz­erghi: Our clients have the same chal­lenges as we do

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