According to a recent survey, a whopping 73 percent of Canadian enterprises say they waste time and money managing their IT infrastructure. Struggling to keep up with mobility demands and the increasing cost of maintaining dated IT systems, many are looking for an alternative.
“Large companies are wasting over 200 hours per week managing their networks alone, and countless small and medium-sized organizations don’t have any IT expertise at all,” says Paul Monaghan, director of product architecture at Rogers Communications, one of the largest communications and media companies in North America. “They need help.”
- Rogers is a long time provider of cable television, wireless telephony, and high-speed Internet for Canadian consumers, and also delivers fiber and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) networks for Canadian businesses.
- More recently, Rogers has been revamping its services portfolio and expanding its focus from pure connectivity to business enablement.
“We re-envisioned our business and quickly realized that we can offer far more value than an Internet connection,” Monaghan says. “If we free our customers from the burden and complexity of IT management, they can spend more time on business innovation and growth.”
That’s why Rogers is now rolling out a number of virtual managed services—delivered and fully maintained from the cloud.
Starting with managed Wi-Fi
The first jewel in Rogers’ new services crown is Wi-Fi as a Service built on Cisco Meraki® technology. Developed specifically for cloud management, Cisco Meraki products come out of the box with:
- Centralized management
- Layer 7 device and application visibility
- Real-time diagnostics, monitoring, and reporting
“We are the first provider to offer Wi-Fi as a Service in Canada, and the demand has been astonishing,” Monaghan claims. “We knew it would be good, but we didn’t know it would be this good.”
The solution delivers more than mobile connectivity:
- Users can enjoy features like in-building wayfinding, and businesses can engage those users with mobile couponing while also leveraging analytics related to on-site traffic patterns.
- Those capabilities are in high demand by retail, healthcare, and other public-facing industries, and also enterprise organizations that have mobile workforces and large or distributed work environments.
Equally important is the minimal equipment required to deliver such capabilities. With only small access points to deploy, there are no disruptive installations or large capital investments. And everything can be managed remotely by Rogers.
“It’s so easy for a customer to understand the costs and benefits of Wi-Fi as a Service, and we can get them up and running in a matter of days,” says Monaghan. “We want to make technology easy for businesses; like getting water from a tap.”
Expanding the services portfolio
Rogers is now in the process of expanding its cloud-based services portfolio using Cisco Virtual Managed Services technology. Canadian businesses will soon be able to attain a comprehensive infrastructure, connect multiple sites, and take advantage of firewalls and other software—all through the cloud and fully managed by Rogers.
“Most businesses don’t need a complex MPLS network,” says Monaghan. “They simply need an Internet connection, and that’s been our core business for decades.”
What was old is new again, for both Rogers and its customers. Connectivity has been elevated—from a standalone, commoditized offering to a delivery mechanism for business efficiency, agility, and differentiation.
“The future will benefit the innovative,” Monaghan says. “We are delivering technology innovation, so our customers can focus on business outcomes.”