Fireside / September 2015

The Race through Richmond

There’s a feeling in this city, before even the smallest of snowstorms hit, when the masses stock up on necessities and determine their fight or flight approach.  As 100,000 of the world’s best cyclists from more than 70 countries and 450,000 spectators transcend upon Richmond for the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Road World Championships, that feeling is once again in the air.  With road closures and an intentional influx of people at a level never previously seen in this area, locals are faced with the options of staying put to experience one of the greatest global sporting spectacles or heading out of town for the nine-day event (many of the latter are cashing in on social commerce opportunities like AirBnB). Richmond2015

From September 19-27, men and women will compete in 12 World Championship races through the capital city of the Commonwealth.  A sampling of these races include: Elite Men and Women, Under 23 Men, and Junior Men and Women.  This will be the first time the annual event has been held in the United States since 1986.  Recent locations include Ponferrada, Spain; Florence, Italy; Valkenburg, Netherlands; and Copenhagen, Denmark.  The location is chosen by the UCI through a competitive bidding process similar to the Olympic Games.

Eyes from across the globe will be fixated on our beautiful River City; the event will be covered by more than 500 media outlets and broadcast to a worldwide audience of more than 300 million people.  Live digital streaming of all races will be available via a new, state-of-the-art Richmond 2015 mobile app for iOS and Android devices.  International exposure is not the only benefit for the host city; the Road World Championships are expected to have an economic impact of $158 million on the state of Virginia.

One of our Superior Production Exchange neighbors, Tijo Media, was recently named the official video partner of Richmond 2015, the organizer of the 2015 UCI Road World Championships.  We even offered a “helping hand” for one of the promo video spots, but sadly, Christine’s champagne toast was edited out!  Check out the video here:

Wireside’s HQ is located directly on one of the racing routes and we are certainly gearing up for the all of the excitement to come!

NTT Com Rocks London’s RSA House at the NTT Global Forum

In July, members of the Wireside team packed their bags and made their way to London for the annual NTT Global Forum, a unique, invitation-only event for leaders that leverage ICT to transform global business.

The event was hosted by our client, NTT Communications, a leading ICT provider that owns and operates the infrastructure enabling business today, and held in London at the historical RSA House, a smorgasbord for the weekend historian or architecture buff.

The bottom line of the event is this: enterprise is going digital and this includes businesses embracing the cloud. A similar conclusion was also recently evidenced in a survey conducted by NTT Communications. According to the study, IT decision makers are planning to migrate nine in ten business apps to the cloud and 60% believe this migration will happen within the next two years.

Media invited to attend the event and opening press conference were in fine form, asking lots of smart questions about NTT Com competitors, new technologies and acquisition plans. Here are some key takeaways from the intimate summit:

  • NTT Com is not taking on Amazon. “How do you plan to compete with [insert AMS or Microsoft Azure]?” This is a favorite question of the media. At the event, NTT Com executives plainly responded that they don’t plan to. Amazon focuses on public cloud, but NTT Com’s enterprise-level customers require a more complex ICT solution that includes public and private cloud with data center and security services as well as infrastructure and management support, also known as hybrid cloud.
  • NTT Com is expanding its global footprint: The company is investing in more data centers and global networks, the critical assets that serve as the foundation for NTT Com’s Enterprise Cloud. NTT Com will open a new data center in the UK’s Hemel Hempstead in the fourth quarter, following its March $824m (€742m) purchase of an 87 percent stake in German data center provider e-shelter. Stateside, NTT Com opened a new data center in Sacramento, California in April, with plans to open another in Ashburn, Virginia, in the fourth quarter.  In addition, the company just announced the acquisition of PT. Cyber CSF, a data center service provider headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia, which will be renamed NTT Indonesia Nexcenter. The company has plans to open and acquire still more data centers and steadily grow its reliable, low-latency, high-capacity global networks that serve to connect these data centers around the world in order to provide the seamless support enterprises need to expand their global operations.
  • Speaking of Enterprise Cloud: NTT Com plans to unveil an enhanced Enterprise Cloud platform that will use software-defined networking (SDN) to enable customers to manage their public, private hosted, and private on-site clouds as if they were all one and the same cloud. NTT Com’s lauded Enterprise Cloud offering, launched in February 2013, is the first private cloud to deploy SDN and has a global network of more than 140 secure data centers in 196 countries / regions.
  • Embracing M2M and the IoT movement: In addition to enterprise cloud services, global networks and a global datacenter footprint, NTT Com is building up its experience in the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) markets. The company is field testing wearable sensors, in partnership with Japanese construction firm Obayashi, that monitor workers’ vital signs in a bid to improve safety. It is also working on a connected car service with Toyota (details confidential).

We’re looking forward to the NTT Global Forum in NYC later this year, so stay tuned for more exciting developments!