Fred Briggs: MCI's CTO shifts the company's playing field |  Networking

They are examining things like their supply chain, ERP [enterprise resource planning] -- things that will bring them closer to their customers and [will] differentiate themselves in new markets.

As we go further into this new space, it will also bring new possibilities to our enterprise customers in terms of the basic tools, basic telecom services, connectivity, security, and interfaces with back-office systems -- all of the tools necessary to set up an infrastructure and serve customers in this new digital world.

The waay we interact with our customers will broaden considerably because the range of products we offer will change considerably. There will always be telecom services involved, but we are also becoming a significant player in hosting and co-location, which is really a business we have been in for over a decade.

But now we are making the toolkits and microservices, transaction processing and underlying infrastructure necessary to take what we have been doing to the next step to begin offering customized solutions and e-commerce tools our enterprise customers need. So we will be formulating customer solutions from a broader set of products in a much different ways than we did in the past.

InfoWorld: As you move into this new market space, whom do you consider your biggest competitors?

Briggs: The interesting thing about this space is that there is no real competitor that is offering full packages and complete solutions. There are no large companies offering truly end-to-end solutions. There are some regional and small players offering pieces of it, but no company with the worldwide presence that we have.

InfoWorld: What about AT&T and some of your more traditional competitors? Aren't they moving in similar directions?

Briggs: Yes, others are moving in this direction since most everyone has realized that e-commerce is such a big part of our economy.

But our question to those competitors is this: Can you match our global reach, our hosting facilities, our microservices, and the potential partners we have in this area? Again, everyone has pieces of this, and some would like to emulate what we are doing, but they lack the basic set of resources to do it.

InfoWorld: Just what does it take specifically in terms of resources to provide the kinds of capability you are talking about?

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