Building Beyond 2018: What we took from the Zen 2018 partner conference

Zen Partner Conference

This week saw our annual visit to the Zen partner conference, this year held in Central Manchester, to discuss all things internet connectivity and beyond. This year’s event was especially exciting (well, for me anyhow), as the world of internet connectivity is in the throes of change and, to paraphrase Justin Fielder (Zen’s CTO), “making networks clever”.

It’s true, currently when we provision internet circuits, we assess the bandwidth requirements of our customers and then provide a circuit based on the agreed requirements. We can apply some brains to the services via tools like the Sophos UTM and with larger deployments, utilising IP VPN technology. This has served a purpose for the past years.

Although the way in which we consume our IT services and technology has changed drastically in the past 3-4 years, how we purchase our bandwidth hasn’t and, in many cases, the bandwidth available to us isn’t sufficient for us to benefit from the latest in cloud, IaaS and PaaS technologies.

I’m excited by some of the announcements made yesterday, many of which I look forward to sharing with you during 2019 (wow!). But many of the highlights we can already look at.

One of the keynote speakers, Bertrand Mazieres (GM, Commercial & Propositions – Infrastructure at Openreach) spoke about the business’ Fibre First programme, which has seen Openreach adopt deploying Fibre to the Premise (FTTP), or Full Fibre, as part of its roll-out programme. This means many who haven’t benefited from the roll out of Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and superfast broadband may just find themselves fast tracked to ultra-fast as part of this strategy. Just for clarity, ultra-fast broadband delivers speeds of 330Mbps download! Super-fast is only a paltry 76Mbps – maximum.

What was interesting was the roll-out plans in major cities with hubs like Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and, of course, London. We are able to, via Zen, offer FTTP customers to eligible customers (with some great offers at the minute, too).

Other services that I think will massively benefit our customers is Full EoFTTC, or in English, a fibre broadband circuit with leased line service levels and a guaranteed minimum bandwidth. All at a fraction of the cost of a traditional leased line. If you’re a TSG customer already and are on fibre broadband, expect a call in the coming weeks where we will go through your options.

I suppose one of the key themes of the day was that bandwidth is expected to explode with the introduction of full fibre services to 3m properties by 2020. As such, Zen is preparing for this and working on giving us, its trusted partner, a new method in deploying services to our customers, meaning you as a business can benefit from the making the most of your bandwidth.

As more announcements are made, we will obviously communicate these via the TSG blog. But if you want to begin exploring what this could mean for your business then do please get in touch with the telecoms team here at TSG. We’re always happy to talk bandwidth, optimisation and strategy. One of the reasons we were shortlisted for the Spirit of Partnership award.

It’s a shame after so much great stuff coming from the presentations, my golf suffered like a poor dial up connection at 9pm at night back in the 90s.