|Issue:||Latin America III 2000|
|Topic:||Tying It All Together – The Power of Cable and Satellite – Getting the Solution Right|
|Organisation:||Impsat Private Networks|
In the global world in which we are living, information speed and reliability are factors that may determine the success of a company. The field of business does not matter, we live in an unforeseeable ever changing environment and, we are increasingly facing situations in which strategic decisions involving people at distant locations – many times in other states or countries – need to be made immediately. At this point, no doubts subsist: the telecommunications services are essential parts to support the business competitiveness.
In order to meet the demand generated by the globalisation of businesses and by the advance in the communication technologies, telecommunication companies have been compelled to constantly evolve. In the first place, it is necessary to serve the client at all points where he is present, no matter where they might be. It is at this level that we need to know how to associate technologies in order to attain the required effectiveness and speed. Let us think in terms of Latin America. Today, connecting the main metropolitan centres by optical fibres, for instance, connecting Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires, is perfectly feasible and attainable. These metropolises aggregate a considerable number of corporate decision-making points, but most companies have manufacturing facilities in isolated or less developed regions. In these regions, the information demand does not justify the high investment of an optical fibre connection. Even so, if it is necessary to transmit data, voice, images, etc. between the parent company, let us say in São Paulo, and the companys branch in Amazonas, what better way to communicate than by satellite? Here is my point: the optical fibre did not come to replace other technologies, such as the radio and the satellite, but rather to supplement them. “Satellite and earth solutions do not compete, they complement each other.” Satellite and earth solutions do not compete, they complement each other. In addition to the need to cover more territory, the new times bring new needs to each client. The explosion in Internet use, the mobility this tool brings to the business world, the momentum of globalisation and the deregulation of the telecommunications market, among other factors, have caused profound changes in the perceptions and expectations of end clients. All this is reflected in the clients expectations when they hire telecommunications services. Previously, it was enough to offer network transportation solutions with specific technology, today the providers are facing growing demand to provide more sophisticated services. First, we must understand precisely what a good communications network means to a company and, as a provider of network services, take on the clients challenge. Now, to guarantee the business competitiveness, telecommunications networks are used to transmit decisive, confidential and urgent information; the network, then, is of unquestioned strategic value. For this reason, an advance in a companys transmission technology can make a decisive difference, even determine his leadership, in his respective market. It is the duty of the telecommunications providers to know and identify the needs of his clients, and more, to develop specific solutions to meet them. This is the level of sophisticated service that the client is looking for. The network management, for instance, is a natural evolution of the telecommunications business; it is a service developed to meet demands generated by the new market reality. It includes transportation services between different places, the rental and maintenance of equipment, monitoring, reports, designs, support, etc. The definition of network management service grows day by day: todays users demand services that apply not only to WANs and call centres, but to LANs and desktops as well. As the level of market demand increases, with more and more companies outsourcing their networks, the great differential among providers will certainly be their ability to provide complete, end-to-end, solutions with a maximum flexibility and dexterity. As far as technology is concerned, the use of IP, Internet type, networks is growing most rapidly; it makes cost effective virtual private networks (VPNs) possible and is the great differential ensuring the service providers success. Although, the greatest share of the market still focuses upon providing single applications – just IP or voice only – the integration of voice and data transmissions on one single platform pro-vides the greatest, most cost effective, difference. From the point of view of a telecommunications operator, the supply of managed services aims at making advanced, specific, solutions available to their clients. This sort of service differentiates between them and makes them competitive, since basic signal transportation is becoming, increasingly, a commodity. Another point to be stressed is that managed services permit the provider to approach the end user, to get to know the needs of his clients first hand, something of extreme importance, and maintain his client base. Conclusion Impsat, for instance, is already adding to its earth and satellite solutions a substantial multiple service platform of great versatility and capacity. The platform provides broadband data transmission (Internet, Extranets, Intranets access, transparent links) frame relay, LAN to LAN, ATM and data centres. These services are designed to create a communications architecture connecting small, medium, and large size companies to their clients and providers, for local, domestic and international communication, making their daily businesses increasingly effective and competitive.