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Integra Telecom rebrands itself as "Integra," expands focus to enterprise market

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Integra Telecom on Wednesday announced during the Channel Partners show in Las Vegas that it has renamed itself "Integra" to illustrate its flexibility to serve the large business customer market segment.

Joseph Harding, Integra

Harding (Image source: Integra)

The CLEC said that removing "Telecom" from its brand name has two benefits: It defines its stance as a broader solutions-based service provider, and maintains the reputation of the Integra name it has built with its existing SMB (small to medium business) customer base.

Integra has coupled the new brand name with the tagline "Technology you trust. People you know," which it says is a way to tell customers that they have coupled a large set of products with personalized customer service. This is something that many medium-sized enterprise customers can't get from larger telcos that have their eyes on multinational corporations (MNC), the provider says.

Despite making a bigger push into the larger business market, Integra will continue to serve the SMB market that was its primary target for the past 14 years.  

"The small business segment continues to be a focus area and we want to serve and support those customers," said Joseph Harding, Integra's senior vice president of marketing, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "When we looked at our network assets, our differentiated service model and the progress we made, particularly in the last 12 months around our product portfolio, we feel like we're really well positioned to serve larger business customers as well."

Right now, 61 percent of Integra's customers bill $1,000 a month, while its fastest growing segment is with multi-location customers that spend $5,000 a month.

To serve these larger customers, Integra has over 2,200 on-net buildings on its fiber network. In areas where it has not been able to serve customers with fiber yet, it has been expanding its Ethernet footprint via Ethernet over Copper (EoC).

One of the key areas that Integra will focus on throughout 2013 will be focusing on expanding its on-net and near-net opportunities.

"When we think about our go-to-market tactics and how we allocate our capital, there's 16,000 enterprise buildings located within 2,500 feet of our network that cumulatively represent about $3 billion a year in addressable telecom spend," Harding said. "Of course, you can add onto that cloud and managed services spend, which would make that number larger."

Harding added that they are "focusing our sales people on what I call those near-net or on-net buildings and increasing our capital to extending our network to reach those locations directly, which is a different network expansion strategy than a traditionally Unbundled Network Element (UNE)-based CLEC that would be largely focused on extending the Local Serving Office (LSO) footprint."

Much of the CLEC's transformation to target larger businesses began Dec. 2011 when former Level 3 Communications (NYSE: LVLT) executive Kevin O'Hara became CEO of Integra.

While Integra created a sizeable network footprint through its acquisitions of Electric Lightwave and Eschelon, those assets were primarily used for backhauling its SMB traffic.

With that fiber network foundation, Integra over the past year has leveraged its base of copper and fiber-based networks to deliver a suite of business and wholesale products to larger business customers, including E-LANwavelength services,wholesale dark fiber, and 60 Mbps EoC.

"With a rich underlying fiber network that's an asset, but if you don't have the products enabled to leverage that fiber asset base it's only going to get you so far," Harding said. "As we looked to expand up market, we wanted to make sure that we had the right set of products and services to support the requirements of those larger customers."  

All of its network and service introduction efforts have been paying off. Since 2011, Integra increased strategic sales to 80 percent, while growing strategic revenues from 24 percent at the end of 2011 to 34 percent.

In Q4 2012, the service provider reported revenues of $149 million in total revenue.

For more
- see the release

On the Hot Seat: Integra's Kevin O'Hara on transitioning to larger-scale wholesale, retail business services

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