Different Horses for Different Courses – EarthLink’s Rolla Huff Speaks at Bloomberg’s ‘Next Big Thing’ Summit

“Different horses for different courses” was the end note on the panel, “How Software is Eating Everything & the Future of the Network” on Monday, June 18, where EarthLink’s Chairman and CEO Rolla P. Huff joined Michael Gregoire, CEO at CA Technologies, and Sanjay Poonen, President and Head of the mobile division of SAP AG, in a fascinating discussion about the outlook for software development, the cloud, mobile technology and the security issues they raise. Special thanks to Bloomberg’s Peter Burrows for moderating the panel.

What’s the next best thing to actually being there?

Throughout his 22 minutes on stage, Rolla’s participation highlights EarthLink’s exciting transformation as he shared advances in cloud and virtualization. He shares that, “We were a consumer ISP and that’s probably now 20% of our business. 80% of our business is serving mid-size business customers in the cloud, infrastructure management, and networking,” to showcase EarthLink’s transformation strategy to IT services and businesses in the cloud. Rolla goes on to state, “I think from a small to mid-size business perspective, we are at the early stages of moving those kinds of business models into the cloud. There is not a lot of skill set in these small businesses to actually move their models to the cloud securely. We are really trying to put together a portfolio of services that allow these companies to variablize their cost structure to consume IT as a service versus going through the cycles of buying hardware and software.”

Rolla Huff also shared his thoughts around IT services, cloud, mobile and security:

Do you think the industry is serving the small and mid-size companies as well? (Jump to video)

“I think it’s at the very beginning stages of serving the industry. There is lot of marketing motion above Fortune 500. But below the Fortune 500 there is not. 80% of the typical IT org is built around production, so a Fortune 500 company would hire the enterprise organization to help them think through how to move more of the business into the cloud. But the gentleman that owns a 200 terminal trucking company in the SE, you just don’t have people to help you think through that. There is a real need there. Everyone understands the fact that they need to get the cost structure up there, but helping them get there is a real tough model. I think people that can bring that to life without hand-holding 24/7 put a control point up there so applications are up there that you don’t need an IT staff to manage – I think there is real promise there and that is where we are focused.” – Rolla Huff

What are the trends in tablet vs laptop? Are the BYOD trends picking up? (Jump to video)

“We like the idea of giving business the ability to let their employees bring whatever device they feel most comfortable into the office and securely putting their desktop no that device. So once again, we think there is a real positive momentum around business saying “I just want to keep my data secure, if people can bring their devices from home, we don’t have to buy them.” They are happier. Otherwise, it’s always a food fight as to which iOS or Android device they will use. And we feel that is where it’s going.” – Rolla Huff

Question from the Audience: Emergence of the cloud – mobile and how these things are coming together. What would be the next technology out there that would be as disruptive as the cloud/mobile? And what is slowing the adoption of the cloud? (Jump to video)

“Security is slowing down adoption in the business market. Everyone is concerned and there is a lot of effort being put into it. But the other cold reality is that if you believe that we’re in a period of flat GDP growth, the cost of technology is going up. There is only one thing that can fix that for most businesses and they need to have their IT organizations part of a federal enterprise-class platform. Even though security scares everyone to death, there is a push to take business into the cloud – no doubt. I hope that security is the next big thing that comes out. Because with everything that’s moving into the cloud, it’s absolutely critical and I think there is huge opportunity there.” – Rolla Huff

Cooking Up Easier PCI Compliance with National Restaurant Association and ANX eBusiness

At the National Restaurant Association (NRA) tradeshow that kicked off this weekend and runs through today, the NRA, EarthLink and ANX eBusiness announced an exciting new relationship designed to make it easier for restaurateurs to meet Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements.  The PCI Compliance solutions offered by EarthLink and ANX provide a single trusted source for the IT and communication services they need to effectively run their restaurant and point-of-sale systems while safeguarding customer data. Working with the NRA as the exclusive PCI compliance and secure connectivity solution for their members, EarthLink and ANX will actively market the offering to NRA members, including via email campaigns, educational webinars and blog posts, networking events, and participation in NRA’s educational programs council. Click here to read the press release.  EarthLink also exhibited at the event, and the team met with many prospective new customers. Restaurateurs are an increasingly important focus for EarthLink’s retail sector, as our solutions are an ideal fit for multi-site, distributed enterprises.

L. to R:  Chad Leedy, ANX; and Chicago-based EarthLinkers Chris Johnson and Amos Biggers..

L. to R: Chad Leedy, ANX; and Chicago-based EarthLinkers Chris Johnson and Amos Biggers..

Restaurants continue to be a primary target for hackers, with the vast majority of data breaches occurring at small operations. Restaurants are targeted for a number of reasons, including outdated Point of Sale systems, operating systems, and security, and because they lack the time and resources to effectively manage security and achieve PCI compliance.

“We are excited about our relationship with the National Restaurant Association, because for the first time their members will have access to simple, affordable, and comprehensive PCI compliance solutions from a trusted source,” said Greg Griffiths, Vice President of Retail Solutions at EarthLink Business. “Together we can strengthen data security, for NRA members, their customers, and for the restaurant industry as a whole.”

Watch for more news and views from EarthLinkers at the NRA show in coming posts!

EarthLinkers Keep Pace with the Boston Marathon

4/15/13, 5:45 p.m. EST. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and individuals whose lives were touched by the tragic explosions at today’s Boston Marathon. We are grateful to report that we have accounted for the safety of our employees in attendance there today as spectators and runners.

Monday, April 15th marks the 117th Boston Marathon. Race day is always exciting for EarthLink, and not only because the company is the Boston Athletic Association’s (B.A.A.’s) official IT services provider. One team of EarthLinkers has been busily preparing, monitoring and proactively routing web traffic for the Boston Marathon, ensuring that the web site for the iconic event is accessible for the more than 1 million site visits and 12 million page views during the event, while another team of EarthLinkers is preparing to run the race!

Team EarthLink at the Boston Marathon

“EarthLink is a great partner to have our back with web traffic on race day. They provide us with the peace of mind to know that we have ample data storage and servers in our arsenal. Even if we get 100 million site visits, we know we can provide a good experience to each and every one of them,” said T.K. Skenderian, Marketing and Sponsorship Manager, Boston Athletic Association. Click here to view the full press release, and click here to view our B.A.A. case study.

For five lucky EarthLink employees, Monday is the day they will run the Marathon after winning a company contest for complimentary race waivers. Mark Clementi – Circuit Design Tech, Rochester; Christine Antonini – Provisioning Team Lead, Rochester; Justin Davidson – Manager Network Support, Burlington; Scott Turner – Manager System Administration, Atlanta, and Linda Scavarda – General Ledger Accountant, Huntsville will each fulfill a lifelong dream when they compete in the Marathon.

Scott Turner wrote, “I ‘m not as fast as most Boston Marathoners but my goal is to be like a freight train – unstoppable!  Life is more of a distance race than a sprint and thanks to the EarthLink waiver, I get to fulfill my dream — running the Boston Marathon on my 60th birthday!’  And Justin Davidson also shared, “I remember the first time I ran this race for our company in 2011. While running I remember saying to myself, ‘I know it is a race, but I really wish it never ended.’ 

Congratulations to everyone on Team EarthLink, whether running in the Marathon or keeping the technology infrastructure operating at peak performance!

For the latest EarthLink updates, visit our press release page, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Talkin’ Cloud Tags EarthLink Among Top 10 Cloud Providers to Watch

Last week, EarthLink landed the prestigious #1 position on MSPmentor’s 6th annual World’s Top Managed Service Providers (MSPs) List! Now comes news that Talkin’ Cloud has named EarthLink among the 10 Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) worth watching at the VMware Partner Exchange 2013, the virtualization company’s annual partner conference starting Feb. 25 in Las Vegas. Thousands of VARs and IT consulting firms will attend, but Talkin’ Cloud expects CSPs like EarthLink to grab a good share of the limelight. Click here to read the full post.

For the latest EarthLink updates, visit our press release page, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook and LinkedIn.