On January 15th, 2014, we announced a rebranding initiative that represents a significant evolution of the company's vision. The basics of the change are pretty well stated in our press release, but I wanted to go into a little more detail so everyone understands what's behind this and what to expect as we move forward together.
Simply stated, we believe that this industry will be indistinguishable from the IT industry in the next five years. That belief prompted us two years ago to begin to develop value-added services that treated network infrastructure as part of a larger IT concern. Those services are so tied into what we do from a network services standpoint we believed it was time to make the shift.
You may be wondering if this is all about the cloud. The answer is yes and no. The evolution of technology (in large part the maturation of our network infrastructure) has allowed applications and data to move into shared infrastructure, where in theory you can get more bang for your buck. However, we don’t see “cloud” as a discrete phenomenon. Rather, it’s the result of an evolution that both drives and is driven by technological development. We believe that the end result will combine network, applications, and data in a way not seen since the early days of mainframe computing. As a result, we believe it’s vital that we adjust our focus accordingly.
No, not by declaring ourselves the next whiz-bang cloud brokerage. That’s an intermediary step that frankly I don’t believe will be sustainable. We are striving to build a comprehensive technology infrastructure company that can provide solutions covering the entire spectrum of technology, both today and in the years to come.
Our experience with enterprise voice and data networks as well as hosting and collocation are a key piece of the puzzle. But we recognize they’re not the only piece. In order to provide our clients the solutions they demand, we have to completely incorporate service elements that we previously kept behind the curtain. Things like outsourced infrastructure management, help desk and on site support, and professional services. And we’re making investments in those areas, too, bringing on staff and refining our operational processes to better integrate those services into our overall offering.
Does that mean we’re abandoning our roots as a master agent? Quite the contrary – part of this transformation includes taking a hard look at where we’ve faltered over the past few years. We’ve had a down-to-business focus on doing what we do well and with little fanfare, almost being “the most known unknown.” As a result, we have failed to offer our partners the kind of structured rewards that signal that we know where our bread is buttered. I’ll admit – my background is technical, not sales, so my attitude before was that “President’s Club” type of rewards were hokey. I’ve come to realize that things like that not only motivate in and of themselves, they foster significant camaraderie.
So yes, we're still a master agent. But to be more accurate, we are a solution provider that enables our partners to offer comprehensive infrastructure solutions to their clients. That includes carrier services, and likely always will. But it also includes a host of related services that together deliver real value to clients. Most importantly, formalizing this vision lays out a path for us that includes continually expanding our value-added services to ensure that we and our partners are properly positioned for where we believe the market is headed.