Connectivity Insights from the Zen WOW Conference 2017


So 30th November 2017 saw myself and Paul Burns (TSG’s CTO) attend Zen’s Partner Conference, this year entitled “Way of Working”. For those of you who maybe don’t know, Zen are one of TSG’s Internet Service partners who we work with to provide connectivity solutions to our lovely customers.

The services we supply via Zen include (but are not limited too) Internet Hosting, Domains, ADSL, FTTC, FTTP, Ethernet, Hosting and Wide Area Network services. So a myriad of services really.

As part of my role within TSG, I work closely with Zen to ensure we are at forefront of all things around connectivity outside of our business. You may have noticed I am not mentioning internet access, the reason will become clear as you read on.

Fittingly the venue for the event was the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry (as a side note, some of those robots in the main lobby were a little bit freaky!) and it was a fitting venue as some of the discussions we had were very exciting and innovative. All stuff that I am excited to bring to our customers going forward.

The most exciting development is something we have been talking about within TSG for a while, aligning the change in how we consume ICT within any organisation. As we continue to see a strong increase in businesses adopting cloud services (Cloud adoption stands at 88% in UK) connectivity now means so much more than just “an Internet Connection”. Historically an internet connection was there to facilitate random web searches, however our need for strong, reliable connectivity has now evolved into a business-critical requirement.

With the move to cloud services like Office 365, Azure, Hosted Voice, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service, allowing the traffic to run freely across “an Internet connection” is going to ultimately cause us issues the more we expect from these services.

For example, let’s think about Netflix and access to your One Drive. Which is more important? 10.30am when you have that important meeting? or 10pm when you want to watch the latest episode of “Stranger Things”?

We need to think about how we manage those traffic streams. The big issue is that there isn’t a one size fits all solution either as we use bandwidth differently throughout a 24 hour period. All of this begins to supersede the concept of Quality of Service (QoS)

I won’t go into too much detail here about the discussions yesterday, but trust me, connectivity can be exciting. If you are considering the cloud for any of your infrastructure, or looking to maximize your use of cloud, you should be getting excited about the connectivity element as that is fundamental to the success of a business’s migration to the cloud.

Some very exciting and thought-provoking topics – and that isn’t even mentioning things like FTTP (Fibre to the Premise), FOD (Fibre on Demand), G-FAST (Ultrafast Broadband) and the upcoming voucher scheme for GIGABIT connectivity.

All in all, a great day. Very much looking forward to working with Zen to take the most from their leading European Network (you can learn more about that here). Then working with our customers to ensure that they are benefiting from the best of breed network connectivity. Even if it is benefiting from the increased rollout of FTTC (Openreach are seeing this as both a business and residential service) and G-FAST moving forward. That reminds me, I need to catch up with Paul about how he got on with our Account Manager team at the Crystal Maze.

What’s next?

Anyone who knows me, knows I get excited about connectivity, which is strange, but I love helping customers understand what they need to achieve and suggest what is the best course of action for them moving forward. Maybe in the new year as new technologies come about we can talk about it in a future FutureTech, but if you want to talk to us now about any burning connectivity questions, do let us know via the Contact Us Page.