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Adtran Aims to Ease IT Cash Flow

Adtran recently announced a first-of-its-kind managed services program that gives businesses access to the latest wired and wireless networking technologies at an affordable monthly price without the burden of capital expenditures.

The program, called ProCloud Subscription Services, allows managed service providers (MSPs) quick activation of cloud-managed services for new customers. Businesses, in turn, get the ability to:

ProCloud Subscription Services is good news for cash-poor campuses as well, as I learned in speaking with Keith Fletcher, COO of Speros, an Adtran MSP partner, about this new program. The program is covered under the Category 2 services designation in the federal government's E-Rate program.

ProCloud Subscription Services removes capex and brings Wi-Fi solutions to a rental model, Keith said. This is so important for businesses because it removes a key barrier to entry that I often write about: infrastructure. Old, aging, and misaligned infrastructure often derails opportunities to leverage technology the right way in many businesses and organizations, especially since it impacts cash flow.

Keith, who is no stranger to infrastructure, said this Adtran program is a good fit since Speros is a Toshiba partner offering voice solutions with which Adtran gateways interoperate. In addition, Keith emphasized, the Adtran NetVanta product line "just works." But by offering a wireless LAN subscription model, businesses and organizations can gain more than a new Wi-Fi network, he said. And I, too, have found the NetVanta managed switches can provide good return on investment based on my experience installing them in campus and enterprise networks.

Businesses often recognize the need for quality of service, network stability, useable metrics, and reducing costs, but cash flow is often a barrier to entry. By taking years to budget in capex line items, businesses still end up falling short because their typical two-, three-, and four-year implementation aren't always effective. Moving to an opex model for managed switches, wireless access points, and managed Wi-Fi service means being able to take advantage of cost-reducing moves like implementation of SIP trunks or hosted voice services sooner rather than later.

The old adage "time is money" still rings true today, especially for the scores of businesses doing the fast dance as they try figuring out how to deal with higher costs from old technology such as PRIs and T1s. In addition, many businesses are still reluctant to move servers to the cloud, despite the costs of not doing so. These businesses are missing key opportunities to reduce costs and improve internal and external service to staff and customers. They face death by technology that strangles both budget and efficiency/effectiveness.

As part of ProCloud Subscription Services, MSPs have the opportunity to participate in a two-year technology refresh program. Infrastructure in any organization is often out of sight because it's gear in closets and services "in the cloud" that people don't see. There's a misguided perception that once a firm invests in a network infrastructure then that's it. Infrastructure components do not last forever, and the reality is that the refresh rates are often dismal because customers want to hang on to their original investments as long as possible. When it comes to technology, this strategy becomes impractical and the costs of hanging on begin piling up. These costs show up not only in the budget but in decreased performance, lower customer/user experience, reduced productivity, decreased network reliability, and so on.

With this program, Adtran is making it easier for both vendors and customers to move ahead. Moving key infrastructure from capex to opex is a win for everyone.

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