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GlobalConnect Carrier’s new Carrier Access Portal will deliver top-notch network planning and management. Here’s how.

As businesses and consumers adapt to a post-pandemic landscape that sped up the rate of digitalization, the demand for high-speed, reliable network services continues to grow at a near-exponential rate. To deal with the surge in demand, hyperscalers such as carriers and other service providers are looking for smart tools that help them plan, price and provision new capacity at lightning speed.

One such tool currently being developed, and soon to be deployed, by GlobalConnect Carrier is the new Carrier Access Portal (CAP), which is tailored to the meet the needs of highly professional customers that know what they want – and want it fast, says Martin Højriis Kristensen, Market Director at GlobalConnect Carrier.

“The demand for capacity and new services is constantly increasing and changing in the new landscape,” he says, offering a few examples. “Retail chains are entering a phase of growth following the slack caused by the recent pandemic. Shops are opening, others are closing, wholesale is coming back online, hotels are back in business, etc.”

In addition, the use of video meetings has become an established practice in a new hybrid work environment, which contributes to a spike in network consumption. These trends combine to create a need among network providers to plan and deliver new capacity as swiftly as possible.

“Discussions with our customers reveal that they are looking for new tools to manage their business with us, both in terms of new business and ongoing business,” says Kristensen. “They have a constant need to increase their capacity and to better understand the network. Since we are continuously improving the network, there are always ongoing planning and infrastructure developments and deployments, which affects our clients’ business opportunities. The new Customer Access Portal will further improve our ability to communicate efficiently with our customers”.

“Our relationships are personal”

The appetite for automated self-service tools, however, does not rule out the importance of person-to-person interaction, according to Kristensen. “The relationships we have with our carrier customers are very personal and they want a key account team that knows and understands their business,” he says. “A lot of the time however, they prefer to do things on their own within the portal.”

GlobalConnect Carrier’s strategy rests on a commitment to provide state-of-the-art digital tools, Kristensen explains. “It’s a dual strategy that seeks to merge the digital and automated with a personal touch,” he says. “We are building a universe that combines the best of both worlds: a digital domain with an option to fall back on personal contact whenever needed.”

Thanks to a comprehensive range of APIs, the new CAP becomes an extension of GlobalConnect’s network into the customer’s own network. “They can use it to understand what’s in our network and ask for more services,” says Kristensen.

He believes the quote option will be the single most appreciated feature of the new CAP: “We now have the ability to automatically quote a price for relevant services for our entire footprint and for all our customers,” says Kristensen. “A customer can quickly check out the available services for a certain address and how much it will cost, and then accept or reject the quote – all inside the CAP, completely automated.”

The CAP may also be used for ordering all major forms of network connections: High-speed POP connectivity between hubs, ethernet from hub to end location and Internet-based networks that rely on cloud services. Different configurations offer different results in terms of capacity, diversity and redundancy, with the CAP displaying options and pricing in a flash.

Kristensen predicts that carrier clients will use the CAP not just for quotes and orders, but at an operational level as well; to keep track of network status and error prevention. Looking ahead, he says the next level of interaction between network providers and carriers will be machine-to-machine. “We are now getting to a point where computers talk directly to each other,” he says. “The APIs enable far more functionality and the less we and our clients need to escalate issues to a human, the more time we can spend on improving services.”