Q&A with Grant Kirkwood, CTO and Founder of Unitas Global

By Contributing Editor Sarah Chamberlain

  1. What problems does Unitas Global solve for enterprises?

The biggest problem that Unitas Global can solve for enterprises is the tech skills gap. Inherently, migrating to the cloud from a traditional infrastructure is a one-time event. It will be the first time an in-house IT employee has moved data to the cloud and, by nature, they won’t know the best practices. Working with a managed services company like Unitas will prevent enterprises from making avoidable and costly mistakes. All of the problems in the migrations phase, from building, managing and operating a cloud infrastructure to connecting the physical people back into cloud structures can be simplified and streamlined by partnering with a company like Unitas Global. Handing over the responsibility to someone else allows in-house IT employees to focus on tasks that are making a day-to-day difference in their business.

  1. What milestones did you achieve in 2018 and how will these developments help Unitas keep up with the demands of the quickly growing and ever-changing telecommunications industry?

Our biggest milestone in 2018 was launching the Cloud Connectivity Manager (CCM) tool, which helps us identify access connectivity to enterprise locations. CCM takes GIS data for buildings and shows where telecom fiber providers exist in relation to those buildings. We can then use this information to find the most logical multi-party solution to give enterprises the best connectivity. CCM ensures fiber diversity, finds the best physical fiber routes and ensures the best price for access. This tool is unique to Unitas Global and significantly improves on previous methods of finding the same information. Companies used to take two to three weeks to quote the best multi-party connectivity options, but now Unitas Global can use CCM to find the same information in a matter of seconds.

CCM is a powerful tool that is becoming more important as a lot of our customers find that best-effort is not reliable enough to get their users onto cloud infrastructure and applications. Our clients are putting an increased focus on improving the quality of access connectivity and CCM allows them to easily improve the function of their connections. CCM is valuable to how we service our customers and what differentiates us in the market.

  1. What are you most looking forward to accomplishing over the next year? The next 3-5 years?

The theme for Unitas Global this year is connected multi-cloud solutions. Unitas means “unify” and we want to focus on bringing practice areas together that historically have been discrete purchasing activities for enterprises. All of the pieces at Unitas Global exist as part of the overall cloud ecosystem, but we want to bring together the technology and concepts around these pieces to offer one cohesive offering to our clients. With the launch of the CCM tool and acquisitions in the public cloud services space, the projected growth over the next three to five years will be exciting as Unitas Global continues to act as the leading provider in the market, offering holistic solutions for enterprises.

  1. What do you think is the greatest challenge(s) that is impacting your industry and how are you working to overcome it?

Overall, in terms of cloud migration, a lot of preconceived notions about security and cost have naturally dissipated as the industry has matured. What remains is a resistance to change within enterprises. Implementing the new technology is the easy part, but changing how individuals operate within an organization requires a lot of effort. Overcoming this hurdle is part of the reason that Unitas Global made the decision to acquire Solinea last year. They have a team that focuses not just on the technology part of cloud migration, but also on the business processes and cultural changes that have to happen to be able to take full advantage of what these new platforms can provide. We are making that group front and center with enterprises that are starting the cloud migration journey, and ultimately, make the transition more comfortable for them.

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