A one-time solution to a logistics problem became the starting point for big business and paved a path for a future full of business opportunities in the New York market. That’s how, looking for the answer to a logistics problem, a New York company came to Netcon Americas and started this whole change process.
Netcon, the exclusive representative in the Americas of the ConnectMaster™ platform, made the automation of mapping underground networks the critical element of Phoenix Fiber’s business transformation. During the three-year project grew to become Cleareon Fiber Networks.
Today, as a partner of major North American telecommunications companies and with a strong presence on the island of Manhattan and Brooklyn, Cleareon has become a reference in its segment, going from a provider of dark fiber and interconnection services to a telecommunications broker in the region, with an unbeatable competitive advantage over the competition: its unbeatable speed in the analysis of feasibility for new connections in the area.
This is how Cleareon Fiber Networks built a network of alliances with more than 14 companies and today cooperates for an increasingly connected New York.
We invite you to take a step-by-step look at this success story.
It was mid-2015 when Phoenix Fiber, a new company full of big goals, started its operations in the Manhattan area of New York City. Its service provided some corporate customers a type of data connection concept known as clear fiber or dark optical fiber.
This technology uses fiber optic cables that are not carrying any data, i.e., dark fiber. The advantage, especially for large metropolises, is that because they are unused, they have the potential to transmit huge amounts of data freely, virtually uninterruptedly, and without limit.
At the time, Phoenix Fiber’s goal was to sell dark fiber optic cables for connecting data centers on the island of Manhattan. However, New York has a very restrictive rule regarding cabling: it is all done underground.
Phoenix Fiber’s big problem was finding the plans of the underground pipes, ducts, and boxes that show their distribution over the island since it was practically impossible (and expensive) to build them. These plans would give them complete visibility of the best points and routes for their dark fiber optic cables.
Aside from the problem, Phoenix Fiber knew well the importance of storing information in a dynamic, integrated, and current manner. In other words, they needed a complete solution that would bring in the necessary data, organize it, and provide tools for their management and network operation.
That’s when Phoenix Fiber found Netcon Americas. After market research for a network inventory management platform that involved more than five tools and the publication of a request for proposal (RFP) to the market, Phoenix Fiber Network chose the ConnectMaster™ platform. In the decision, the company considered both technical and commercial aspects.
Netcon America’s services during the implementation of the ConnectMaster™ platform involved a great deal of technical and operational effort to integrate the various sources of information about the inventory of networks with internal and external plants and physical and logical resources in a single interface.
Having established a partnership, they first looked for available ways and places to install the optical cable network. The strategy, after some analysis, was to take advantage of the city’s subway infrastructure due to the vast and long network of tunnels, service vaults, and cable ducts all over Manhattan Island, which proved to be really valuable and well distributed.
Because they have such a vast and long network of tunnels, service vaults, and cable ducts covering the entire island of Manhattan, Netcon and Phoenix Fiber found this to be a viable and promising option. The subway cable ducts proved to be really valuable and well distributed. In the first instance, they realized that they could connect the desired data centers with them. However, what was missing was to know the best paths for these connections.
This is where the process became a real challenge. The subway company, contacted by Netcon and Phoenix Fiber, provided the duct plans, but with a complicating factor: they came in AutoCad files, more than 40 of them, and many out of scale.
Thanks to Netcon’s assistance, however, this challenge was incorporated into the mapping and data migration process, which is part of the ConnectMaster™ platform implementation process that linked the data using a georeferencing process.
In a thorough job of about six months, the Netcon team relied on the submitted files and mapped every corner of Manhattan Island and Brooklyn, identifying the access points of all the thousands of underground boxes and over 15,000 mapped pipeline network points and routes. Then, with the mapping of the underground networks completed, ConnectMaster™ was able to read the cable duct network information, perform the calculations, and create the network points that would feed the planned datacenters.
With the mapping complete and the software in operation, Phoenix Fiber established itself in the competitive regional connections market, always working with dark fiber technology and enhancing its business model throughout 2016. For about a year throughout 2016, they operated in the same segment, refining their business model.
However, with the constant decrease in fiber optic internet prices, and the desire to reduce the complexity of its process, which made the customer the operator of the connection equipment, Phoenix Fiber saw an opportunity to expand, seeking new services to diversify and increase its portfolio.
By choosing to extend its service offering, it looked in the market for companies that would complement its business. Then, they found Pangaea Network, a regional provider of Carrier Ethernet services.
At the time, in addition to its carrier services, Pangaea Network had dark fiber networks and circuits contracted from other companies to create its network infrastructure. However, Pangaea Network did not have its network infrastructure data organized, having files without standardization and automation, such as AutoCAD files and Excel spreadsheets.
Faced with this new challenging scenario, Phoenix Fiber Network invited Netcon Americas, once again, to audit Pangaea Network’s network, with the objective of mapping all of its physical and logical resources and migrating the network inventory to the Connect Master platform.
After a thorough analysis by Netcon Americas, which accounted for each device, its physical connections, equipment, and technologies, and given Pangaea Network`s opportunities, Phoenix Fiber Network made a decision. In October 2016, it acquired Pangaea Network and had since changed the name of the company. It was in this transaction that Cleareon Fiber Networks was born.
With the company’s purchase, all the physical and logical inventory already mapped from the two companies was incorporated and integrated into the ConnectMaster™ platform. Thus, Cleareon Fiber Networks, now much more than a provider of dark fiber optic cables, became unbeatable in assessing the feasibility of new connections in its region of operation, thanks to the latest information tools and resources.
Because of the partnership with Netcon Americas and having completed the entire mapping, the new Cleareon Fiber Networks found itself in a prime position in the regional interconnection market of Manhattan Island and Brooklyn.
Its automated to-scale schematics and cable duct plans gave the company greater ease in drawing new interconnection lines. The impact of the information that Cleareon Fiber Networks had was such that even the Empire City Subway company was impressed with the level of detailed mapping they now had. According to the company, not even they had such complete plans.
With this, approaching and serving customers of all types to offer any connection and a greater scope of services became not only feasible but also simple and fast.
This new and immense potential of Cleareon Fiber Networks drove the opening of new business fronts. Other companies in the segment began conversations and signed strategic contracts to expand the mapping of third-party networks, using Cleareon Fiber Networks` knowledge .
There were more than 14 companies that joined forces with Cleareon Fiber Networks, which became a telecommunications broker in the local market.
In short, because of the vast mapping undertaking and the ease brought about by ConnectMaster™ in consolidating new connection operations, it became much faster and easier to find the right company with the conditions, capability, and technology to perform a specific service or even budget how much it would cost for clients to build their networks.
Thus, Cleareon Fiber Networks put network knowledge to good use and added all the technology of the ConnectMaster™ platform to transform its entire business model and market its services through GIS technology.
Companies that previously only competed with each other in one of the most important and populated cities in the world are now allies in sharing knowledge to increase their sales.
What can Netcon offer?
To serve both interconnection service providers and utilities companies, as well as road infrastructure companies or city halls and public agencies that intend to organize and discipline the use of underground infrastructure, Netcon offers advice, consultancy, support, and the expertise of a multinational company that works in many of the biggest cities of the world to promote a more organized, profitable and easy offer of connections.
Netcon has more than 40 client companies of the most varied sectors and sizes, which use the ConnectMaster™ platform to have total control of their networks. Netcon ensures the delivery of a specialized solution, elaborated by a highly qualified team that will automate all the necessary processes.
In this way, Netcon commits to building the entire environment and integration required for the successful implementation of the ConnectMaster™ platform, regardless of the case.
In addition to the complete solution, Netcon provides advisory services for companies looking to sell connection capabilities or neutral network infrastructure and services and is very interested in sharing experiences and learning together about new network technologies and new services that can be offered to the corporate and residential sectors.