Powering the Cloud

Uecomm

The company’s fibre optic network is unique in Australia and provides its customers with the reliability, simplicity and speed needed for e-business.

Back when the internet was first on the rise within the communications field, some utility companies had the foresight to jump on the back of the World Wide Web wagon and hold on tight. United Energy was one of those companies and in 1997, after obtaining the necessary licensing, it became the first electricity distribution company in Australia to offer telecommunications and data services. According to Patrick Carson, the head of technology for Uecomm, “They had electrical infrastructure; to them it seemed like a natural progression from where they were at.”

United Energy Telecommunications was born and within the same year the company started building fibre optic network infrastructure that would be offered to all of the corporate and carrier customers. A few years later, in 1999, the company changed names from UET to Uecomm. In May of 2004, the company Uecomm was taken over by SingTel Optus Pty Ltd and is presently a subsidiary of Optus Networks Pty Ltd.

“We are a next generation network service provider,” explains Patrick. “We built a nation-wide fibre optic network that can offer very high speed services to our customers. We serve a wide variety of customers including government, enterprise and corporate customers. We are now focusing on developing products and services for mid-market customers and micro market customers.”

In the future, Uecomm will be adding to the services it presently offers to better serve the growing demand in the mid-market. The company is building specific network infrastructure for Cloud providers that will allow cloud services to be transmit and receive data faster than ever before. This will be achieved by allowing them access to a separate set of “high speed pipes” that go from one data centre to another. The idea doesn’t only benefit the data centres; it will allow these clouds to offer data to whoever needs it with greater reliability and speed than ever before.

Through this new shift into the world of cloud computing, Uecomm hopes to be able to include cloud access within service packages that will then be offered to mid-market companies. “We’re looking at putting together different types of services that will offer things like cloud services, internet and data services, voice and quality of service as well as other peripheral services to add value,” says Patrick. The company will offer mass customised service packages to suit mid-market companies’ needs.

According to Patrick, “The difference with the small companies today is that they are looking to be more streamlined, they are looking to reduce costs, they are looking to get to the market faster, remain competitive, to retain and grow market share. They are looking for more options around pay as you go through outsourcing IT functions normally done in house to the Cloud provider. As part of that, now we’re seeing growth in cloud services like Google Applications, Microsoft 365, we’re seeing things like HR systems being outsourced online so that companies don’t need to have administrative HR overhead. We’re seeing things like Enterprise Resource Planning, or companies that are getting their accounting package online so they don’t have to buy it up front and manage the server and things like that.” Uecomm’s new service packages will address all these areas as well as cloud services.

Access to a cloud service is an extremely useful resource for any small business because it can put software as a service at the fingertips of the employees. Instead of having to go out and shop for a program, it can be as simple as downloading a small application and then paying per use instead of paying hundreds of dollars for a program that may only be used once a year. The other plus is that any and all personal data can be securely stored and backed up on the cloud, making access easy from anywhere in the world. A connection to a Cloud provider can provide this type of service – a very valuable opportunity for any up and coming company to reduce start up costs.

A challenge, however, with Australian companies using Cloud providers for data storage is that the majority of available cloud information is stored overseas and sometimes in emerging countries. This can be a problem for those who need their data to be stored within Australia for issues related to data sovereignty as there may be specific regulation that prevents storing personal data offshore, or concerns with security. Having data stored locally means access to that data securely and consistently fast. “Uecomm,” says Patrick, “will soon become a number one choice for these companies because of the relationships we have with Australian based Cloud services partners.”

The company also understands what its customers are looking for. “Our vision in terms of where we want to go is, we want to build an environment that enables business customers to be more effective and efficient no matter what they do. It’s because of the commoditisation of the network and the consumerisation of IT that there is demand for more transaction orientated businesses services to have a higher level of self service; becoming a one-stop shop type of concept will become more popular. That means the technical complexity of delivering the service won’t be visible to the end user as this will be automated in our network or in our provider’s environment, so that overall this will make things seamless and more user friendly.”

Another way Uecomm is making things user friendly is by maintaining a competent group of IT technicians who are available to help customers based in the Melbourne Network Operation Centre. Patrick explains, “Not only are they local and dedicated for our premium managed customers, Uecomm’s telephone support staff members are engineers who are fully qualified to take an issue from the beginning to the end and ensure that it is fixed promptly. All this happens with the help of systems that allow the technician to look at the entire network and identify problems quickly and eliminate the guesswork.

There is no substitute for a well trained and experienced staff that can take care of issues to reduce downtime. “Our competitive advantage is that we are quite proficient technically, so when our customers want things done properly and right away, whatever their requirements, we are very ready and willing to make sure they get what they need.” The advantage that Patrick is talking about is exactly the reason Uecomm has grown to become a leader in its field.

Making Sense of Management

Management is the art, or science, of getting things done through people. Sounds fairly straightforward – except for the fact that people are not robots waiting to do our bidding. People have their own minds, motivations, and goals. So how do managers keep operations – and the people behind them – running as planned?

September 26, 2018, 10:00 AM AEST