By Marc Dyman, EVP Kinetic Wholesale
A rewarding ITW 2023 is in the books. Hopefully, you have also worked your way out of the accompanying email backlog that comes following a week away from the office. After many fruitful customer meetings, engaging dinner conversations, and chance encounters in the halls of the Gaylord National Convention Center, some industry-shaping trends emerged for me. Read on for my observations from ITW 2023 that will serve as our guide throughout 2023.
No Surprises, More Strategy
There is one thing providers don’t like: surprises. As I joined customer meetings, I was struck by how aligned our Kinetic team and our customers are (i.e., no surprises)! It is clear to me, through the quality and level of conversation, that we, our Kinetic team and our customers, feel part of the same team and share a vision.
One big takeaway was that wholesale buyers want to focus on their strategic projects and demand the same from their providers. It’s our job to streamline processes, get them the right answers, and own their experience end-to-end to ensure they can meet their objectives.
Providers are taking notice of Kinetic’s fiber-based PON broadband technology. The newer technology inherent in PON (Passive Optical Networking) delivers a symmetrical, high-capacity service providing great value to our wholesale customers and their business clients as a result of its superior performance as compared to asymmetrical cable coax (i.e., basic cable broadband). The Gig speeds provided on Kinetic’s PON infrastructure are more capable today. With 8 Gbps and 10 Gbps capabilities on our roadmap, we continue to invest in the technologies that enable our wholesale customers to deliver on their customers’ expectations well into the future.
SD-WAN continues to grow and be sold in the marketplace by many of our small to mid-size provider customers. They prefer the experience of SLA-backed dedicated Internet and broadband compared to the costly investments in ethernet NNIs that larger providers prefer.
We also received a resoundingly positive reception to our plans to scale our premise-based wavelengths offering for larger business and enterprise clients that need to backhaul to the cloud or connect to their data centers at 10G ethernet or wavelength. This service has one location at the customer premise in our rural footprint and one in a tier-one market where Kinetic Wholesale will backhaul (places like Atlanta, Dallas, and Chicago). This service expands our footprint availability for higher capacity services. Customers can choose between ethernet 10G for a more protected service and wavelength as an unprotected service.
Focus on Automation
A recurring theme in our meetings was how we are committed to making it easier for our partners to do business with Kinetic Wholesale. The need for serviceability insights at a location emerged as a topic in almost every meeting. On this front, our current APIs prove invaluable in enabling providers to qualify and sell transactional business and quickly qualify large bulk deals. Identifying current on-net buildings and flagging any that require construction builds is critical to enable strategic conversations on larger deal structures and ensure the best outcomes for our customers.
It’s also important for our partners to remain current about the locations we serve because we are constantly building new fiber connections. Here again, visibility into the providers’ systems and tools is the best way to ensure they don’t miss out on newly added locations. Static building lists can be adequate initially but are not a long-term recipe for success in enabling frictionless access to our ever-growing footprint.
Looking back on the show, the conversations with our partners regarding strategy, product technology, and access validate Kinetic Wholesale’s strategy. I want to recognize our entire Kinetic Wholesale team for their professionalism. In participating with our team at meetings with customers, they continue to prove they’re a group who “get it.” Together with our customers, our team shows a continued commitment to making progress toward our common goals.
I keep returning to the four principles of a good wholesale partner, which I shared on my previous blog: Experience, Investment, Connection and People. Everything I heard at ITW served to reinforce that our values are shared by many of our customers and fulfill their expectations of us.
This year’s ITW conference was memorable, not just because of the in-person connections and networking opportunities, but because it served to validate that we have the right strategy and team in place. And a mandate to continue to deliver on our wholesale partner’s expectations through 2023 and beyond.