Feature: Hydro One Telecom is reaching for the sky
Ontario-based telecommunications company Hydro One Telecom is implementing a cloud-based back up service which, allied to the expansion of its network to additional data centres, will provide more coverage for a diverse client base, pledges President and CEO Paul Madore. He spoke exclusively to Business Review Canada.
Hydro One Telecom delivers high capacity telecommunications solutions to service providers, small and medium businesses, enterprises, financial institutions, wholesalers, utilities and public-sector organizations via an expansive fiber-optic network in Ontario extending into Montreal and the United States.
It provides high-speed data networking services for Network-to-Network, Cloud-to-Cloud, Network-to-Cloud and Data Centre-to-Data Centre business requirements.
The company has now added what it believes will be a valuable new service to its portfolio: a comprehensive, cloud-based Backup as a Service (BaaS) solution that will complement the coverage and connectivity it already provides.
“Our BaaS solution will be used to help protect the critical data of our clients and give them a real-time, enterprise-wide view of its status across all protected data sources,” says Hydro One Telecom President and CEO Paul Madore.
“By offering a secure, reliable, manageable and affordable service to our clients, we are also providing an even more valuable asset to them which is peace of mind.”
- Manulife appoints Rona Ambrose to its board of directors
- Exclusive interview with Breakthrough Entertainment's Nat Abraham
- Business Review Canada magazine - August issue
The service will meet the needs of clients looking for a single, consolidated repository that simplifies backup and recovery of data stored: on physical servers and virtual machines; in SaaS-based apps such as Google Apps, Salesforce.com or Microsoft Office 365; in cloud-based platforms such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure and for everyday use on desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets.
All protected data, regardless of the source, can be viewed and controlled via a dashboard for even the most complex disaster recovery and business continuity strategies.
The company pledges its fiber-optic network provides high-speed data networking services that are secure, diverse, reliable and scalable.
These services are available to data centre operators, tenants, cloud providers and companies who want to access the services that are provided within these data centres. It’s an award-winning service that looks set to win the company new fans.
“Better customer service, better pricing, shorter installations times. It has been a pleasure working with Hydro One Telecom,” says Chris Evelyn, President of WISP Internet Services.
“We look forward to continuing to grow our business in partnership with them.”
Hydro One Telecom endeavours to embrace new partnerships to strengthen its broadband network delivery and service sustainment capabilities.
Madore elaborates: “Through collaboration with specialized technology partners, we can deliver the services and guaranteed data capacity required to meet business objectives. Our technology partners include Cisco, Juniper Networks, fellow Ontario-based firm FlexITy Solutions, Arbor Networks and Alpha Technologies.”
It is business partnerships like these that look set to expand as Hydro One Telecom broadens its network to over 30 data centres across Ontario and Quebec with plans to connect to 13 additional locations in 2017.
“A company’s most valuable asset, besides its employees, is its data,” maintains Madore. “We are investing in our network to address the growth of data traffic driven by analytics, mobile devices, big data and the Internet of Things.”
Madore brings more than 25 years of experience in telecom to his role, and has led operations and engineering teams with C1/Fundy Communications, Bell Canada and GT Group Telecom.
Prior to his appointment as President and CEO, Madore was Hydro One Telecom’s Director of Telecom Engineering and Service Delivery, where he led engineering, design and service delivery covering Hydro One Telecom’s commercial and power system.
One of Hydro One Telecom’s biggest, and most natural alliances, is with its parent company Hydro One.
Ontario's largest electricity transmission and distribution provider boasts more than 1.3 million valued customers, serviced by a team of 5,500 skilled and dedicated employees serving communities across Ontario through a 30,000-circuit km high-voltage transmission and 123,000 circuit km primary distribution network.
It’s a USP that allows Hydro One Telecom (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ontario Inc., which in turn is wholly owned by Hydro One Limited) to leverage its parent company’s fibre assets and deliver a diverse range of telecommunications solutions.
“We're a unique service provider because most of our network travels along the electricity grid above ground providing the physical diversity needed by more and more of our clients,” explains Madore.
“Businesses rely on dependable electricity services. What you may not know is that Hydro One Telecom plays a critical role in the delivery of that service via our highly available, high reliability telecommunications network.
“This high capacity network has been built to serve the needs of a world class utility, other carriers, commercial clients and the public sector. We believe reliability and commitment are the cornerstones of our customer service success.”
Madore maintains the primary focus of his leadership team should be to utilise the customer feedback on how services are actually working to better deliver them: “Our 24/7 operations centre is always there for our customers and so is the Hydro One Telecom leadership team.”
He is rightly proud of his company’s 90 percent customer satisfaction rating as it strives to build on its reputation as an excellent manager of third party connections.
Through its positive working relationships with other carriers, who are both partners and clients, Hydro One Telecom aims to openly share routing information to ensure solutions offered to clients deliver the diversity they require.
“My team and I work hard to earn our customers’ trust and confidence every day and with every contact on every service we provide,” promises Madore.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.