Interview with Edward Evans, Neutral Tandem

20 September 2011 |


Edward Evans was appointed as CEO of Neutral Tandem in April this year, having served on its board of directors since 2008. Here he discusses the advantages of a legacy network, the acquisition of Tinet and how to make a dumb pipe intelligent.

 

At Neutral Tandem, we’ve got some great legacy products but we have begun to see some flattening in growth. We have built this incredible network with points of presence all over the world and we are now in the process of developing more ways to utilise it. In order to do this, we need to grow our customer base and introduce new products and services, and we’re hoping that our EtherCloud product can be one leg of that stool.

Another area we are exploring is video conferencing. At the moment, certain video conferencing systems can’t ‘talk to one another’, so we are investing in a company that specialises in transcoding. This company has been working with Skype and Google to offer the industry a solution, which will, in effect, make a dumb pipe network intelligent.

I was previously CEO of Syniverse Technologies during the period it was acquired by Verizon in 2001. Using this experience, I have been able to identify what wireless applications the business can use for its existing and next-generation technologies.

Since Neutral Tandem acquired Tinet in October last year, the integration of the companies has gone very well indeed. The move has brought mutually beneficial skills sets to each company. For example, we’ve begun deploying soft switches in London and Singapore so we can now deliver voice over Tinet’s network. In return, Tinet is now able to come into the US market and leverage Neutral Tandem’s network by providing IP transit.

Since I started in April, I’ve spent a period digging deeper into the organisation by talking and listening to our staff. I’ve already been over to Italy and met the team out there to find out what they do and what their challenges are.

Between serving on the company’s board of directors and becoming its CEO, I was lucky to spend some time off with my kids, but in all honesty I started to miss being part of the game. I’ve actually enjoyed being back a lot more than I thought I would. Initially, my thoughts were, “Do I really want to jump back into this again?” But I’ve had such an enjoyable few months and firmly believe that if you’re going to jump, you may as well jump in at the deep end.