Lumen Technologies to empower customers to set up the wavelength subnetworks

Ed Morche, president of strategic enterprise and government markets at Lumen Technologies (formerly CenturyLink) was interviewed by Citi’s Mike Rollins  at the Citi 2021 Global TMT West Virtual Conference.  Mr. Morche said that Lumen will offer a wavelength topology tool in beta over the coming weeks in order to help its enterprise customers work in a more seamless fashion.  The company’s top priority was to constantly improve the customer experience for enterprises. The focus on customer experience is part of Lumen’s digital first strategy, which includes customers ordering, operating and interacting with Lumen on their own terms.

“So making sure that our products and capabilities are completely digitally enabled so that our customers externally can choose when and how they interact with us,” said Morche when explaining Lumen’s digital first strategy. “They’re not reliant on human interaction. We’re here for them if they want us to be. But for those customers who are more independent, or want to work different hours, or just want to be on their own, (we’re) ensuring that they can do that in a very seamless way. And then internally, that allows for a lot of bureaucracy and optics to move out of the organization and into more creative roles,” he added.

Lumen launched hyper WAN last year, which allows customers to go online to order SD-WAN and MPLS services at the same time with security, hyper DDoS—which allows customers to either work with Lumen’s SoC or order it online— and dynamic capacity without going through Lumen’s sales team.

“Then what we’ll see coming from us in beta in the next couple of weeks is a wave topology tool, which I’m really excited about,” Morche said. “So we operate, I would say the largest network in the world, but I’ll say it here, it’s one of the largest networks in the world, and wavelength is a huge part of what we provide to our customers. So they might interact with us looking to provide their own diversity. They already have a route from somebody else, (but) they want to purchase diversity from us.”

Morche said normally customers would work directly with Lumen’s sales team and a sales engineer on setting up their wavelength topologies.

“There would be a lot of collaboration back and forth, or they may want to build an entire diverse wavelength backbone on their own,” Morche said. “So we have opened up the fabric of our network so our customers can see all the points that they can set up wavelengths, all the different routes between those points, and where we have capacity.”

“The customer says ‘Yes, that’s what I want,’ and we authorize that. It flows through into delivery and into assurance. So that tool, from the very beginning of customer interaction, collaborating with us using our network, but not necessarily our people, flows all the way through as an ‘as built’ to the very end.”

If a customer loses its diversity, Morche said Lumen automatically creates a trouble ticket and starts working on the problem as it notifies the customer.  “That automatic auditing of capability, that intelligent networking, that unearthing of capability and network is so important to improving customer experience,” Morche said. “So that’s really the first thing that we’re focused on.”

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Chris Wallendal  wrote in a Seeking Alpha column: “Lumen is investing in new capabilities and services to target the large client International and Global Accounts Management (“IGAM”) and Enterprise segments with their extensive networks. The Small and Medium Business (“SMB”) segment is challenged for growth by a large portion of legacy voice services, while the wholesale segment is volatile and faces commodity like competitive pressures. The Consumer segment is still working off no longer supported video and legacy wireline services, but its largest revenue comes from broadband services which is showing growth from demand for high bandwidth (>100Mbps) customers.”

References:

https://kvgo.com/citi/lumen-technologies-january-2021

https://www.lumen.com/en-us/home.html

https://www.fiercetelecom.com/telecom/lumen-tees-up-wavelength-topology-tool-to-enable-a-more-dynamic-customer-experience

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4396578-shedding-light-on-lumen-technologies