SPONSORED Q&A: Irwin Fouwels, CCO, Expereo International

Irwin Fouwels, CCO, Expereo International talks to Capacity about why internet is key to optimising hybrid networks.

Good to have you back at ITW. As a gentle reminder to our readers, what does Expereo do?

Expereo provides a unique portfolio of global broadband and dedicated internet access services. We have built up an in-depth knowledge and delivery capability in well over 180 countries over the last 10 years. We support a wide array of global service providers, multinationals as well as government institutions with services ranging from managed internet access to fully managed, SLA based, VPN services, managed WIFI solutions, complemented with on-site equipment and professional services.  

Last year we spoke about the rise of hybrid WAN solutions as a key trend. What is on the cards for Expereo this year?

Speed and accuracy in access quoting. With internet access now taking central stage in the hybrid VPN and cloud space, speed and accuracy in pricing and availability of a wide array of services, both in terms of technology as well as geographical diversity, becomes paramount in the design and procurement of more and more mission critical solutions. 

Expereo has the ability to provide a technically validated solution at firm pricing within five days in over 90% of service requests, across all technologies from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. While this is not bad, we have raised the bar and are now looking to provide a technically feasible and available solution with firm pricing, virtually in real-time. We are investing in the development of API capabilities of our ExpereoOne portal as well as an extensive set of geo-coding solutions, working with our global partner base to achieve real-time pricing and service availability data, globally. 

We just went live with one of our key selling channels, feeding their global delivery platform with our access availability and pricing through our joint API capability. 

Do you foresee future functionality beyond service pricing and availability?

Certainly. Big leaps are being made in the SDN and NaaS fields, often focussed on the delivery and assurances of wholesale interconnect partners at pre-set commercials.  

For access, public IP and cloud in particular, the array of players – with both geographical and technical diversity – are often of such scale that an aggregator play is essential to enable access to such a diverse landscape, and simply reduce operating cost. This is where Expereo comes in and our ExpereoOne platform makes its mark, extending its e-bonding within the eco-system it operates in from pricing and availability to delivery status, service assurance and ticketing, to billing data.  

You mentioned reduced operating cost, how do you achieve this? 

To both our partners and customers, the procurement cost of a multitude of relatively low unit-cost access circuits are astounding; multiple sources, multiple rounds of price reviews, the haggling over a few percentage points price reduction, and then to find out the service as quoted and ordered can’t actually be delivered on the customer site. Delivery intervals are not met, book-to-bill is affected and worst case, penalties have to be paid. 

Expereo takes away the burden in the procurement and management process and validates service availability and pricing. Through our new platform, we do this across an even more extensive and in-depth provider base, in a faster, more accurate, and more reliable fashion.

What about equipment and professional services?

The game is changing. Expereo has a unique capability of delivering and supporting CPE in-country, anywhere. Delivery intervals are often impaired by equipment getting stuck in customs. In-house cabling and power remain any telco’s nightmare when pressured to meet delivery timeframes. When operating in diverse geographies like we do, SDN, NaaS and virtualisation are not going to solve the basic challenges on the last mile and on-site. 

Even though the notion of “CPE” will change, routing and switching functions are virtualised and will still require an on-site device, installed on-time and with stringent performance SLAs. This is where we see a great marriage between our play in the automation of global access management and our global on-site capabilities.