Three insider tips for making your regional network more cost-efficient
Cost efficiency is becoming increasingly important for everyone given increased energy costs. But it’s especially important for rural community-focused service providers like you. The money you spend is not coming out of some gigantic tier 1 service provider’s war chest. To help you get the most bang for your buck on optical networking solutions, we asked Kevin Robinson, Smartoptics’ Vice President of Sales for the Americas, to share his top tips. Kevin previously worked as a Network Engineer at a rural ILEC in Hutchinson, Minnesota, and draws on a wealth of experience building out networks on a smaller budget.
Don’t be afraid to go the multi-vendor route
In the past, it could be risky or even impossible to mix network elements from different vendors. Something might break, you might not know which vendor to turn to fix it, and it could be a hassle. Today openness is the name of the game and it’s getting easier and easier to mix and match best-of-breed equipment. It can save you a lot when you are free to always choose the most cost-efficient solution at a given time and situation.
“These days I see more and more rural broadband service providers going for best-of-breed gear, and both saving big on it and getting a solution better tailored to their needs. Disaggregating layer 1 from layer 2/3 allows operators to choose the best switch or router vendor for their needs. This minimizes vendor lock-in, provides flexibility, simplifies troubleshooting, and reduces both capex and opex costs. With a vendor who embraces openness and has your back, you’ve got nothing to lose and a lot of cost savings to gain,” Kevin explains.
Ensure there are no hidden costs for expanding your network
Future-proof usually means you can easily upgrade to higher bitrates like 100G and 400G when needed. But what good is that if it costs a fortune to add alien wavelengths, upgrade bitrates, unlock capacity or gain access to new features? Rural service providers that want to optimize their network’s cost efficiency need to take a closer look at the total cost of ownership. Don’t just look at the price tag today but how much will a solution cost you tomorrow.
“When people I talk to realize what’s going on with all these hidden fees, they get angry and feel like they’re being ripped off. Fortunately, we are able to provide an open alternative. It’s gratifying to see how big a difference this makes in helping service providers of all sizes get more value for less cost when optimizing their networks. I’m inspired by the quest we are on at Smartoptics to help people break free from these fees and I am hopeful that we can achieve meaningful change together as the trend toward more openness intensifies,” says Kevin.
Choose a vendor that makes what YOU need
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a vendor who primarily serves tier 1 service providers makes equipment tailored to their needs. When you buy this gear, it means you’re almost always bound to be paying for more than you need. Not only does that do a number on your cost efficiency but also makes your network more complex and difficult to manage than it needs to be.
“A common theme with the folks I talk to is that the large vendors don’t really give them the time of day. In contrast, Smartoptics is small enough to listen and big enough to deliver. One thing I love about working at Smartoptics is that we offer optical solutions we can tailor exactly to what a particular application requires. Whether it’s a short span that requires only passive DWDM or a much larger ROADM network, we design what is needed today with the ability to grow it very easily in the future. Let’s build the network that’s right for you together,” Kevin concludes.
Smartoptics is for you. Learn about Smartoptics solutions tailored to rural CSPs in our guide “Opening up a new era of flexible networking”. Don’t hesitate to contact Kevin directly if you have any questions or want to share your own horror story with hidden fees.