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Cbeyond’s Brent Cobb Talks with Cisco about Customer Intimacy and IPv6 (Part 2 of 2)

This is the second section of our two part interview with Brent Cobb, Cbeyond’s Chief Revenue and Customer Officer. The first part is located here.

How will IPv6 Transition affect your customers?

Brent Cobb:

Cbeyond has been watching IPv6 unfold since the late 90s. Today the company is in the implementation phase of its transition to support IPv6, and we’ve chosen Cisco’s Carrier Grade v6 (CGv6) implementation as its solution. To us IPv6 will impact how the plumbing of the Internet works – but we try to take the really sophisticated technology of operating a network and applications out of the discussion and service delivery to the small business into the discussion. The majority won’t be impacted directly by IPv6 because Cbeyond will make changes within our network, within our data centers, and within our application environment so our customers don’t have to understand the difference between v4 and v6. It will be transparent to our customers because we’ll handle the complexity.

Why did Cbeyond choose to stay with Cisco for IPv6?

Brent Cobb:

If you go back to the explosion of the Internet in the early 90s, Cisco was a pioneer and has been a marquis name since then. Our customers expect us to work with world class partners. Cbeyond was a pioneer in VoIP for small business and both companies saw the opportunity for an integration of voice and IP. Cisco has continued to evolve in the integration of other services into an IP network. It makes sense for us to continue to invest with Cisco since we’re all IP based.

What are the next steps at Cbeyond?

Brent Cobb:

Customer intimacy is a big investment and cloud services is another major area of investment for us. A percentage of our corporate bonus is tied to customer satisfaction. We send four annual surveys out to customers and pay bonuses based on the results. “How do you support and engage a customer?” -- that’s something we spend a lot of time on in our company. We invest in the development of tools and automation to help ensure we receive maximum scores. We care about health of these companies and go out of our way to help them identify issues to ensure they operate more efficiently.

It’s an exciting time here at Cbeyond. Although the economy is challenging we’re continuing to grow with our customers.

We saw cloud and VoIP as big trends early on. Since Cbeyond was founded in 1999 and started delivering services in 2001, every one of our services has been delivered in the data center. So when someone said “cloud,” we’ve chuckled a bit internally and said that’s what the “C” in Cbeyond represented. Delivering managed services this way is what we’ve always been about.

In 2010 we made an acquisition on cloud PBX. Now we’re scaling these acquisitions so we can expand beyond 60,000 customers to 100,000 and we’ve started to integrate those products into our bundles. We bring big business services and communications to small business at prices they can afford and we help deliver profitably. We see the server opportunity as another way to bring what big businesses do – virtualization -- to the small business segment and with customer intimacy.

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