Integra realigns company under two business units, revamps Electric Lightwave brand

Integra has made another move to better align itself in the broader business market by establishing two new units that will focus on dedicating resources to the complex needs of mid-sized and large enterprise markets.

Under the new structure, the service provider will serve these segments under the Integra Business and the renewed Electric Lightwave brand.

Dan Stoll, an Integra veteran who previously served as the CLEC's senior VP of strategy and development, will head up Electric Lightwave as the unit's president. Integra said that it would appoint a president of Integra Business "in the near future."

Electric Lightwave, a service provider that Integra purchased in 2006, will focus on providing service to its largest enterprise customers, including government and education organizations, and to its growing base of wholesale service provider customers in the wireless segment. This group will use and expand Integra's growing set of long-haul and metro fiber assets located in the western U.S. to support this segment.

Through a mix of organic builds and strategic acquisitions, including Electric Lightwave, Integra has built a network that consists of 3,000 on-net buildings fed by 9,400 miles of its own fiber. Being an owner of these assets enables Integra to have greater control over the service experience it can give to these more demanding customer segments.

Integra Business will have a set of dedicated account personnel and a customized service and care structure to deliver services to its mid-market customer base. The service provider said that this unit will focus on delivering a "differentiated experience."

"Electric Lightwave will support our top two to three percent of customers in terms of customer count, which represent about 40 percent of our revenue today," said Joe Harding, CMO of Integra, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "Integra Business will support the top 20 percent of our top customers, and that business unit also represents about 40 percent of our core revenue."

Leveraging Integra's product portfolio and fiber assets, these business units will have their own dedicated sales and customer support organizations that will be organized to tailor their focus on the specific needs of their respective customer bases.

"The benefits customers will see from this change is that enhanced and tailored customer experience," Harding said. "We view the needs of the mid-market are different than the needs of those enterprise customers so we want to make sure we got the right talent and the core service model in place to reflect the needs of those different customers."

Although the company could not disclose any specific plans yet, Integra said it will continue to expand the fiber footprint on a success and prospective-based basis. The service provider also plans to expand its products and solutions, including data center and cloud connectivity portfolio portal improvements, throughout this year.

Searchlight Capital Partners, which became one of Integra's key investors in 2012, will be providing necessary capital backing for these expansions.

"We're going to get more aggressive with our investment strategy and we're very fortunate to have some strong investors behind our business," Harding said. "All of our investors are keen to put more money to work and see us continue to expand our footprint in terms of our fiber assets so we think this approach will allow us to accelerate our execution against that goal."

But what about Integra's small to medium business (SMB) customer base that it initially built the company upon? While Integra is not turning its back on the SMB segment, it is not going to focus on aggressively roping in new customers or make major investments to grow that base.

"Integra legacy reflects the fact that when we think about our opportunity going forward, it's not where our focus is," Harding said. "We want to do everything we can to serve and retain those customers, but where we look at investing our capital in expanding our portfolio, it's really going to be directed at Electric Lightwave and Integra Business."

For more:
- see the release

Special report: Dark fiber creates new fortunes for ILECs, cable and CLECs

Related articles:
Integra adds DDoS mitigation service to its growing security service arsenal
Integra serves up new dedicated 100G routes
Integra acquires World Communications, enhances Washington state reach