The older and larger the company, the more difficult it is to adapt to today’s software development environment. This was the experience of the eighty-five-year-old company CenturyLink, a global communications, hosting, cloud and IT services giant. As a result, the Louisiana-based company partnered with Pivotal to enable cloud innovation with Pivotal Cloud Foundry.
CenturyLink needed to overcome the difficulty of continually improving its managed services, cloud, and colocation offerings to remain competitive. The company wanted their developers to focus on their core competencies and developing innovative products and services, while adopting technologies that could also leverage their legacy systems.
“If you rest on your laurels for even a quarter, you start falling behind very quickly. If you are not rapidly accelerating, you’re probably becoming irrelevant.”
Richard Seroter, CenturyLink vice president of product
CenturyLink offers network and data systems management, Big Data analytics, and IT consulting, in more than 60 data centers in North America, Europe and Asia. It also hosts CenturyLink Cloud, a VMware-based public cloud in 13 locations worldwide. The company has 50,000 employees and provides customers with advanced cloud services and complementary agile infrastructure, network, and managed services.
CenturyLink owns its own network backbone to support mission-critical IT services. The company’s customers can use its data centers to implement solutions that take advantage of many parts of the network stack. Recently, its cloud enterprise customers began asking for the ability to adopt Cloud Native application architecture that takes advantage of an agile software development environment. Meanwhile, these customers wanted to maintain their investments in legacy systems and infrastructure.
CenturyLink aimed to meet demand with a Cloud Native platform that enabled these architecture patterns. Pivotal Cloud Foundry addressed the company’s needs. The company integrated Pivotal Cloud Foundry with the CenturyLink Cloud to offer a hosted, dedicated platform with a variety of capabilities to CenturyLink customers. They benefit from the cost and scalability of a high-performance public cloud and seamless automation across a mix of cloud providers.
In addition, CenturyLink is undergoing its own agile transformation with Pivotal by using the Cloud Native platform to modernize strategic applications. The company is building new products and documenting its successes and lessons learned for the benefit of its customers.
“We’re not just selling cloud, we’re also consuming it. This benefits our customers because they can see we’re on the same journey.”
With Pivotal Cloud Foundry, CenturyLink was able to increase the speed of software innovation, streamline its application and deployment process, and improve customer service by providing the services its customers wanted. IT employees now have the bandwidth for data initiatives and the ability to explore how to help customers take advantage of emerging technologies. The company is in the process of incorporating Pivotal Cloud Foundry as it introduces its own automation suites to move more quickly from ideas to generating business value with new applications. Soon, CenturyLink customers will be able to connect their own network components to Pivotal Cloud Foundry themselves in minutes.
In the near future, CenturyLink will begin to develop and deploy many more next-generation applications. The applications will link together services like VoIP, messaging, cloud, storage, and colocation. The company is now preparing for significant growth. “Pivotal Cloud Foundry…[provides] an ideal test bed for products and services,” Seroter said. “We’re testing processes so that we provide an easy on-ramp for customers.”
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