Sara Baack, Level 3: Flexibility in enterprise Ethernet

FierceTelecom: In addition to SIP, Ethernet is offered in the CBN bundle. Can you talk a bit about the role of Ethernet here and are you seeing more demand for Ethernet from your enterprise customer base?

Baack: It's really designed to be flexible to address different customer needs. One of the points of differentiation for us in structuring the elements of the bundle is the fact that we offer them over Ethernet. We know that customers are moving to Ethernet and are moving to convergence at the same time, so we can offer a landing spot that enables customers to do both.

FierceTelecom: Given the diversity of the business customer base, how do you provide that transition from their existing TDM infrastructure to your new IP-based service?

Baack: One of the options we offer is giving the customer an integrated access device (IAD) that they can attach into an existing legacy key system. A customer that might not have an IP PBX or have the wherewithal to do that in certain sites, but they still want to take advantage of service offering can do so and transition certain sites to a native SIP interface at a later time.

FierceTelecom: A minute ago you mentioned an MNC adopting your services. Are there any other use cases you can share and what sorts of cost savings were realized with SIP trunking and CBN?

Baack: Typically, I think in our SIP trunking implementations save anywhere between 30-50 percent of their network expense by moving to SIP. Level 3 enterprise EthernetThe savings break out in a couple of different ways. Again, collapsing your access costs onto a single circuit to carry voice and data is a big one. Being able to share and pool the bandwidth and manage it at higher utilization level is a key benefit. If you think about a customer that's buying a PRI and a separate DS1 for their Internet access, PRI has 24 lines of voice calling, and at any given time the peak calls could be two to five depending on the size of the office. This means that there's a lot of overhead that a customer doesn't realize they are paying for. When you move to SIP and CBN, which offers the same benefits, you're able to pool and eliminate the utilization overhead you have to manage when you're ordering fixed bandwidth for Internet and data. That translates into a more efficient infrastructure and the cost savings associated with that.

One CBN beta customer that comes to mind is a synagogue in LA that has a middle school, a high school and a couple of other campus locations. What that customer was doing was purchasing a voice PRI in each location, a separate Internet access circuit, and a separate VPN. What they were able to do was collapse all of those services onto a single circuit and recorded savings in the 40 percent range. The thing about the capabilities we bundle together is the translatability to very large virtual-type enterprises down to medium-sized businesses with five locations.

Sara Baack, Level 3: Flexibility in enterprise Ethernet