Bill McCarthy: Cisco on Opps, Challenges for CLECs

February 13th, 2007 |
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Bill McCarthy, operations director with MetaSwitch partner Cisco talked with PodTech.net about opportunities and challenges for competitive local exchange carriers. The interview took place during a MetaSwitch-sponsored breakfast event at the World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida.

Transcript:

Host: Catherine Girardeau – PodTech

Guest: Bill McCarthy – Cisco Systems

Catherine Girardeau – PodTech

From the World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida this is PodTech.net.

Bill McCarthy is Operations Director with Cisco Systems managing field service providers. Bill talked with PodTech.net about opportunities and challenges for the new Competitive Local Exchange Careers.

Bill McCarthy – Cisco Systems

When we think of emerging providers, our definition would be CLECs’ new greenfield opportunities like a bondage a couple of years ago. But, we also work with ISPs, we work with the Euroflings (Inaudible), but lot of folks here are trying to figure out the riddle in terms of translating the competitive business and this is something that’s profitable today.

Catherine Girardeau – PodTech

So, tell me a little bit more about Cisco’s role in the current climate, about what’s going on with CLECs?

Bill McCarthy – Cisco Systems

Well, traditionally we’ve been involved with the core and the edge built out over the CLECs infrastructure. We’ve also been very interested historically in capturing CPE, so if they’re adding customer from the insurance perspective and there is a piece of Cisco equipment attached to that. A lot of design work consultation on how to build out the infrastructure. As we go forward, and this is a lot of what we spoke about this morning is, the ability to create new services to deliver over that infrastructure is becoming more and more important, because I think many of the CLECs are struggling with, how do we become more profitable, more effective in reaching our end users with relevant services. So, our efforts have moved from simply providing infrastructure now to move into efforts from service creation, understand the market, understand what’s available, I am trying to build those next solutions with our customer base.

Catherine Girardeau – PodTech

I would think that would involve some pretty significant business partnerships or collaborations. How is Cisco collaborating with MetaSwitch?

Bill McCarthy – Cisco Systems

MetaSwitch has filled a good product yet for us. Our partnership with MetaSwitch initially was geared towards how do we go and approach CLECs with business customers and residential. John and I actually worked on the first couple of projects together, John Lazar who is the CEO of MetaSwitch and they’ve been very successful in the market in the United States, especially with the emerging providers and they’ve also been a wonderful partner for us and they help facilitate building — if somebody is going to make the transition of Voice over IP, they also have to make an investment in IP infrastructure. So, from our perspective that’s very natural on a very healthy match.

Catherine Girardeau – PodTech

Finally, where’s this going? What are the regulatory changes or deregulation changes that’ll change the business climate for Cisco?

Bill McCarthy – Cisco Systems

Yes, that might be the $20,000 question. If somebody said to me where do I think the pendulum is right now, it probably favors a larger providers. They’ve CC changes of last 12-24 months; they’ really probably favored the larger service providers. That seems in my view to go in seasons. The larger providers are innovating well today, some of the larger incumbents, I mean they are some new things, IPT wheels driving — in my opinion, is forcing them to make investments, so they historically haven’t had to make, it’s forcing them to change their back-offices, it’s forcing them to try to go out and compete with Cable which is very difficult. The CLEC market has to respond to that same competitive environment, because users want a lot of the same things. Users want more and more rich content, they want applications, they want them quickly. So, in our opinion, in the CLEC market the game is really going to be about speed. How quickly can you profitably modify your business model so that you can go and hang in there with the ILECs, compete with the Cable companies but also create some things that give you differentiation in the market place, so that you can continue to make money not only with that thrive. Certainly some folks are going to fall by the wayside, there are others that are very — they are very efficient in invading and we are going to see those individuals continue to have success, those individual companies have success.

Catherine Girardeau – PodTech

Bill McCarthy is an Operations Director with Cisco Systems, this is PodTech.net.

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