Rick CalderThe demands of today’s internet-dependant workforce continue to challenge networks and IT leaders as they work tirelessly to ensure secure and efficient connectivity. Having a secure, up-to-date network is essential for business performance, and lagging behind may lead to more than just a drop in revenue.

On Friday, June 19th, ACG members will have the pleasure of hosting Rick Calder, President and CEO of GTT, a leading global cloud-networking provider. Mr. Calder will be discussing how GTT has managed to grow and stay viable throughout the years.

Mr. Calder brings over two decades of experience in the telecommunications arena to GTT, where he has full strategic and operational responsibility for the company and also serves as a director on the company’s Board of Directors.

The Corporate Growth, Capital Style editorial team recently got to sit down with Mr. Calder ahead of his presentation, where he discussed changing trends in the world of technology, network connectivity and security, as well as what GTT is doing to stay ahead the curve.

Here is what Rick had to say: 

CGCS: How has the role of IT changed within the enterprise in the last decade?

Rick Calder: GTT is focused on multinational clients and we have found that CIOs of multinational enterprises are beset by a series of challenges. One challenge is the burgeoning use of the public Internet by employees during work hours, which may not be for corporate purposes.

You have employees streaming Spotify, Pandora, or looking at their favorite sports broadcast, during company time, and CIOs are faced with the concept of “do I allow that or do I not?” I would say that for the large firms they generally do, but it is continuing to put increasing pressure on the connectivity demands at every corporation.

We also see the incredible growth of file sizes and the amount of data that is transiting around a corporate enterprise is enormous. We deal with companies like Novartis with human genome information, Take-Two Interactive with making the next version of Grand Theft Auto. Both companies have developers around the world transferring huge files amongst each other for collaboration purposes. The size of the file transfers is having an impact on the bandwidth requirements for these firms.

One of the more recent trends that CIOs are dealing with is the concept of moving business applications from on premise to the cloud and accessing cloud-based applications such as Salesforce.com etc. Multinational firms may be the laggards in doing that; it was more of an SMB trend in the early days because smaller firms didn’t have any IT departments to handle their business applications.

We have seen with the advent of secure private cloud networks and hybrid cloud scenarios that CIOs are very willing to move applications to the cloud and that’s accelerating. And again, there’s this huge demand for bandwidth that we see from multinationals around the globe. 

CGCS: What technologies have led to that change, and how do you see large enterprises determining what to spend their money on when it comes to technology?

Rick Calder: The last trend that I spoke about is that business applications have moved from being a capital expense to an operating expense. That has changed the thinking of CIOs about moving things to the cloud service providers such as IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, etc.

Clearly what the multinational CIO needs to do is to think about secure network connectivity to these cloud service providers. Whether you’re a small, private multinational or a big public multinational, security has been a key watchword. Security is required for any public corporation and it’s also a required area for an audit committee.

As we’ve seen recently, if the United States federal government can be hacked, everyone needs to worry about security. So I think implementing a multi-layer security solution is increasingly important for CIOs.

To conclude, I’d say that the movement of applications to the cloud, the burgeoning use of the public Internet, increasing file sizes and the incredible need to have multi-layered security in place and are top of mind for CIOs.

CGCS: Why was the acquisition of MegaPath Managed Services in strategy? How has the acquisition process been?

Rick Calder: MegaPath continues a trend; we’ve actually been doing one selective strategic acquisition per year for GTT. Part of our strategy is to focus on providing cloud-networking services to multinationals, which is exactly what MegaPath did. It helps expand our cloud-networking portfolio by deepening our managed services and particularly in the security area.

MegaPath was also very focused on servicing some of the largest brands in the US, although those brands and those multinational companies have significant demand outside of the U.S. so we see really interesting opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell to these clients

In terms of progress, it’s proceeding quite well. We announced during on our first quarter earnings call in May that we completed the organizational integration and now have one go-to-market organization in place. At the end of this quarter/June, we’ll be collapsing and completing the integration of MegaPath’s network into the much larger GTT network and cut over to our primary systems on July 1st.

So we believe that the majority of the integration process is well under way, and everything we expected in diligence is proving out to be that or more. We are very bullish about the performance of the business in the second half of 2015.

CGCS: What topics can ACG members and attendees expect to hear you discuss at your upcoming presentation on June 19th?

Rick Calder: I have been at GTT for eight years and we have really transformed the business over those eight years. When I arrived, GTT was a $50 million unprofitable firm trading on the bulletin boards. With our approach, we will have a $400 million business that is generating $75 million in EBT, and have basically built one of largest global internet backbones and IP networks that serves multinationals around the globe.

We have a very compelling portfolio of cloud networking services and we see very strong growth prospects. GTT competes very effectively with some of the largest incumbent telco monopolies in the world, and we’re winning business from them each and every day.

We moved our listing from the old AMEX to the NYSE MKT, and we most recently moved to the ‘big board’. GTT has full access to the debt and equity markets at this stage to continue our growth, both organically and through strategic acquisitions.

I will be talking about the trials and tribulations of that growth over time from a couple of different dimensions, and that’s something ACG members should find compelling.

To hear more from Rick Calder and to register for the upcoming monthly meeting and other ACG events, click HERE