Macquarie Telecom Future-Proofs its Network & Injects AI-Driven Innovation | Juniper Global Summit
Macquarie defies industry expectations to future-proof its network.
Australian “un-telecom” provider Macquarie Telecom built its business entirely around customer satisfaction. In this Global Summit talk with Luke Clifton and David Flanagan, learn how Macquarie worked with Juniper to overhaul and future-proof its networks—and deliver a great customer experience.
How to future-proof your networks
What it takes to handle a network overhaul
Why Macquarie Telecom considers itself “un-telecom”
Who is this for?
0:07 Hey everyone, my name is Mike Marcellin.
0:09 I'm the Chief Marketing Officer at Juniper Networks.
0:11 Joining me today are my good friends from Macquarie Telecom.
0:15 We have Luke Clifton Group Executive
0:17 and David Flanagan, who is the Chief Product Officer.
0:19 Luke, David, welcome and thank you for joining us today.
0:22 Good morning, Mike. Really good to see you.
0:25 Good to see you, Mike. Good to be here.
0:27 First things first,
0:29 Juniper and Macquarie have been working together for some time.
0:33 Recently, we work closely on the overhaul
0:37 and future proof of Macquarie's network.
0:39 Maybe you can start by just giving those
0:42 who don't know an overview of your business.
0:44 I love the fact that you're on telco in the [?] and market.
0:47 Maybe you can describe a little bit about
0:49 your business and your strategy.
0:51 We've been in business in the Australian
0:53 and Zed market now for, coming up to 30 years.
0:57 We've built a business entirely around customer satisfaction.
1:00 I know that's a thing that you probably don't hear a lot
1:03 in the telecommunication space globally.
1:06 We think we operate in a market where
1:09 a lot of our competitors underserve and overcharge their customers.
1:14 We've built a business around entirely on customer satisfaction,
1:18 delighting our customers.
1:19 We've got our NPS score that most recently is hitting plus 74.
1:25 We've built a business entirely around doing the opposite
1:30 to what the traditional telcos would do.
1:32 David would well know that we start
1:34 most of our management meetings
1:36 looking at what our competitors are doing and saying.
1:39 If we did the opposite to that,
1:41 A, would our customers like it, and B,
1:43 can we make money out of it.
1:45 That's what we mean being so on telco.
1:49 Juniper has been a really strong part of that journey
1:52 for us over the last 25 to 30 years.
1:57 That's certainly an amazing Net Promoter Score for sure.
2:00 Anyone who follows that metric, that's truly impressive.
2:03 I want to piggyback a little bit off of something that you said,
2:05 which is around creating that great customer experience.
2:09 Juniper is True North, is experienced first networking,
2:13 so maybe are the other side of the same coin.
2:17 Tell me how you focus on
2:19 that great user experience for your customers.
2:21 There's two things that we're always looking for
2:25 when we're engaging with a customer.
2:27 The first thing is to have something we call radar on,
2:31 always be carefully listening to what
2:34 the customer is really asking for,
2:36 spending time to understand and unpack
2:39 what the customer is trying to achieve.
2:41 They're not only looking to service
2:43 that need but to delight the customer.
2:47 Looking for those sometimes unknown requirements.
2:52 If you think about it, trying to anticipate
2:55 what problems the customer is going to have,
2:57 trying to put a solution into place that the customer might
3:00 have not even anticipated,
3:02 that delights them in terms of the engagement they've got
3:05 with a telecommunications company.
3:06 It's very rare in our industry to see people who'd do that,
3:09 built a whole business
3:11 based on the back of that type of engagement.
3:14 That's why we think about engaging with our customers.
3:17 Well, I think that unique approach is one of the reasons why
3:19 you were recognized with the Juniper Elevate Award,
3:22 if I'm not mistaken.
3:23 I think you've won a few other awards too.
3:24 Maybe you can share a little bit about that.
3:27 Well, last year.
3:29 Thanks for mentioning it Mike, we're really proud of it.
3:31 Last year, we got recognized
3:34 for the global World Communications Award for customer service.
3:38 We went up against 400 entrants from across the globe
3:43 to win the award.
3:45 That recognized our ability to
3:48 not only service customers, not to delight them,
3:52 but also get their referrals to other customers.
3:55 The vast majority of the business that we win
3:57 is based off the back of customer referrals,
3:59 like do you really recommend Macquarie Telecom
4:01 to a friend or a colleague.
4:04 Off the back end of that,
4:05 last year, we were recognized
4:06 with the World Communications Award globally
4:08 for our service to customers.
4:11 That's amazing. Well, congratulations on that.
4:13 That's impressive.
4:15 Maybe David, over to you.
4:18 That's the challenge that you put out
4:22 into the market into your company.
4:24 Talk a little bit about how Juniper has played a part
4:27 in helping you achieve your objectives.
4:30 Juniper has been a really strong core networking
4:33 partner of Macquarie Telecom since the early 2000s.
4:36 Our core background network has always been a Juniper core.
4:40 We've grown and evolved our backbone over the last 20 years.
4:45 We've got to the stage a couple of years ago where,
4:48 the NBN, which is the National Broadband Network in Australia,
4:52 started to reach critical mass.
4:55 The NBN gave our customers an access network solution
4:58 that was multiples of what they had previously.
5:01 Combined with growth and subscriber capacity,
5:05 customers choosing more bandwidth,
5:07 leveraging other SDs and solutions for their networking.
5:12 We saw a need to change our core network
5:14 and grow that core network substantially.
5:17 We implemented 100 times increase on interstate capacity
5:22 at 10 times increase into capital capacity.
5:25 As you know, the core networking part of the business
5:29 is the product that really underpins
5:30 every other product in our catalog.
5:32 Whether it's UC or an SD-LAN, VPN solution,
5:37 that's the core backbone of everything we do
5:39 has to be absolutely up reliable, up 100% volt tolerant.
5:45 These are some of the things that we leveraged
5:47 through the Juniper engagement with our core network.
5:48 We implemented a homogenous code network
5:51 across eight capital cities in Australia.
5:53 That's pretty much all of the capital cities in Australia.
5:55 That particularly the modern's aspect of the network
5:59 gave us the ability for future automation,
6:02 simplifying our network down to
6:04 common architecture structures across the network
6:07 was really critical to our future in terms of automation,
6:11 and that automation, in turn,
6:12 drives out customer experience even further,
6:15 eliminates errors.
6:17 It eliminates design mismatches across the cities.
6:21 It's a really fantastic opportunity to clean the entire network out.
6:25 We did it in a big bang,
6:27 so we basically just rolled out
6:29 the brand new network across every capital city.
6:31 We cut across all of the capital network backbone links
6:34 and all the access links as well.
6:36 I'm really pleased.
6:38 It was a relatively short project for telecom,
6:40 which took us about six months to implement
6:43 and we engaged Juniper professional services,
6:46 and that was a really critical part of the project.
6:49 Juniper professional services gave us
6:52 the world's best architectures and designs.
6:55 They challenged our engineers, we challenged their engineers
6:58 and we really had a great outcome at the end of it.
7:00 Outcomes are next to none on their availability target,
7:03 having poor network,
7:04 switchovers not even noticed by our customers.
7:08 It's a really sensational outcome from an uptime
7:10 and performance perspective,
7:11 but more importantly, it's a platform for the future
7:14 of our products and services
7:16 Well, it's truly impressive.
7:19 Short, compressed timeline,
7:20 which means high stakes, high pressure to get it right.
7:23 I'm glad we could play a part in making you all successful.
7:29 Let me actually double down a little bit
7:31 on an item that you talked about, David, which is around automation.
7:34 Obviously, you can upgrade the network from more reliability,
7:39 more capacity, and that's hugely important,
7:42 but talk a little bit more about
7:44 how you're trying to focus on automation.
7:47 What benefits that brings to your business, to your customers,
7:50 and how Juniper has helped with that.
7:53 Over the past 12 months,
7:55 we've focused on automating certain customer products
7:58 and as the core network rolled out,
8:01 the next phase of the automation project
8:03 is to really focus in on those transport products
8:05 that support the rest of our product catalog.
8:07 We're focusing first on the core transport products,
8:11 and the core transport products support SD-LAN,
8:14 Mist WiFi Solution that supports our SD-LAN solution.
8:18 It supports all that UC collaboration solutions as well.
8:21 Getting the core transport right in terms of automation,
8:24 really sets and delivery teams and our customer activation teams up for success.
8:28 Just thinking into the design right now
8:31 and getting focused in on the best outcomes and the equipment as well.
8:36 Maybe Mike, I might jump in there just very quickly,
8:39 but really we've built a business on servicing customers.
8:42 The more I can get the majority of stuff out would facing,
8:47 looking at our customers and how to delight them
8:49 whilst not necessarily having to look after
8:51 our own network 24 hours a day, even though, of course, we will,
8:55 that automation, that self-healing networks,
8:58 the ability to drive more productivity into our engineering teams.
9:02 Whilst not necessarily having to make sure
9:04 all the lights are green all the time,
9:06 just means that we can spend more time servicing our customers
9:08 and that partnership and that joint vision
9:12 between Juniper and Macquarie
9:14 about what you do and what we do well
9:16 is really beginning to come to the fall
9:17 with the top of work that we're doing together here.
9:20 Yes. That makes a lot of sense.
9:23 Speaking of trying to deliver
9:27 the great experiences for your customer.
9:29 I know managed services are a big part of your business.
9:33 David, you touched a little bit on Mist WiFi and SD-LAN,
9:37 which I know are some of the managed services that you offer.
9:40 Talk a little bit about
9:42 the importance of managed services to your business,
9:44 but also some of the interesting
9:46 and forward-looking things you're doing
9:48 around AI to support those managed services.
9:52 Many services are critical to every part of our product catalog.
9:55 Everything we do is managed.
9:57 We service the midsize business market in Australia.
10:00 The midsize business market in Australia have smaller IT teams.
10:04 Those IT teams want to focus on their business and their applications,
10:08 they don't necessarily want to focus on the network and the planning.
10:11 Our business is to make sure that the network supports their business
10:15 and keeping that network up, keeping it configured and optimized,
10:19 that's the core part of the value that customers choose Macquarie for.
10:23 One of the areas which we've grown over the last six months
10:26 is we've launched an SD-LAN product based on the Juniper Mist
10:30 and Juniper switching environments
10:32 which has been a sensational change to the traditional telecoms.
10:36 The traditional telecoms tend to stop at the router edge.
10:40 Getting into the LAN is also about customer experience,
10:44 having those user-level metrics from the edge device
10:47 whether it's a phone or a laptop and a service,
10:50 having those performance metrics all the way
10:51 through to the cloud services we provide gives us the ability
10:55 to provide that outstanding customer experience.
10:57 We can find much quicker where the issues might be,
11:01 we can leverage the Marvis Virtual Network Assistant
11:04 to diagnose and solve problems before they occur.
11:08 The AI operations capability, the AI-driven enterprise
11:12 has really given us the confidence to service our customers more
11:16 all the way from the client devices, all the way through to the cloud.
11:19 It's a really exciting time.
11:22 In terms of the product,
11:24 we signed a large tire and auto company in Australia
11:27 and we're halfway through that roll-out now.
11:30 We signed that before we launched the product
11:32 and it's really exciting to see that roll out
11:36 much faster than we would roll out even the LAN network.
11:39 Our teams are rolling five or six slots a day which is sensational,
11:43 and that's all due to the capabilities that you've got there on
11:46 zero-touch provisioning and the activation experience.
11:49 The customers it's, it's breathing fresh air.
11:53 I imagine as a challenger,
11:56 you're generally walking into customers or prospects
11:59 that have an incumbent provider potentially.
12:03 How does that AI-driven solution help you differentiate
12:08 and ideally break into competitive environment?
12:12 With the Mist solution and the visibility and the analytics,
12:16 just the demonstration is enough
12:18 to show the capabilities we're capable of
12:21 in terms of the end-to-end management.
12:24 Giving customers the confidence that choosing Macquarie
12:27 and choosing Juniper Mist AI Solution is a great solution for them.
12:32 In fact, we've turned around a lot of Meraki networks quickly,
12:36 leveraging the solution just by demonstration.
12:39 This is fantastic.
12:41 David really touched on it but
12:45 as much as Juniper's helping us concentrate
12:48 on what we do well which is servicing customers,
12:51 if you think about our customers that we're trying to sell to,
12:54 they don't really want to worry about the WiFi
12:56 or they don't really need or want to worry about
12:59 whether the application is working well on the edge,
13:01 they want somebody to take care of that.
13:03 Especially for the mid-marke t here in Australia,
13:05 we've got a resource-poor and time-poor IT teams
13:09 and they're looking for partners like us that help them do what they do.
13:13 Solutions like AI-driven Mist looking at uptime
13:18 in terms of the network performance,
13:20 Essentially, the customer is looking for an application
13:22 to run just as well as the cloud
13:24 all the way through the network and then to the edge.
13:26 That's what they want a partner to do and that's the reason why
13:30 we think we've been very successful in the Australian market,
13:33 taking to the incumbents that really like to
13:36 talk about their demarcation lines
13:38 and what the customer is responsible for or we're responsible for.
13:42 We take a more holistic view
13:44 of the performance of the applications
13:46 that need to be driven at their networks.
13:48 What's the next big trend you're thinking about
13:51 or what's next for Macquarie?
13:52 What should we look for over the coming year or two?
13:56 Look, David and I talk about this often
13:59 because he's my chief product officer.
14:01 I'm always talking about what he's going to bring
14:03 to the market next.
14:04 I might pass to him but we're really excited
14:06 that in whatever we choose to do, whatever part of
14:11 the competitive landscape we're going to choose to go and tackle next,
14:15 even if it's going to be a very important part of that journey for us.
14:18 David, what do you think is next?
14:20 Two big things for Macquarie Telecom on the next 12 months
14:23 and one's really centered around that customer experience.
14:26 I think with the capability that we've got
14:29 with the AI operations throughout the network,
14:31 I think there's a step up on managed services that we can do.
14:34 We do a great job of managed services.
14:37 I think we can actually lift the game again and change the market there.
14:41 I think the number one thing that we're looking to do
14:44 is really enhance our security portfolio.
14:47 We've got a good security portfolio.
14:49 I'd love to focus in on security protection products that manage customer security,
14:55 whether they're in the office, at home, at the cafe.
14:58 Wherever that worker may be having a fantastic security product
15:02 which unifies all the security aspects regardless of location,
15:05 I think is going to be critical to our business in the next 12 months.
15:08 It's the exciting part of what we're doing at Macquarie Telecom.
15:12 Also, from a detect and response capability,
15:16 having a holistic security practice
15:18 across the telecom group for Macquarie Telecom
15:20 will certainly help customers manage their cybersecurity incidents
15:25 and in the mid-sized business market, they need that help.
15:29 It's a crowded market.
15:31 It's a confusing market and Macquarie Telecoms can provide that clarity
15:34 around what's required to manage your cybersecurity.
15:37 It's always remarkable how aligned our strategies are.
15:39 I don't know why that is but as you well know,
15:41 our connected security strategy just acknowledges
15:44 that there's no network and security.
15:46 They're intertwined.
15:48 You can't deliver networks that are not secure.
15:51 Look forward to partnering with you on that next opportunity.
15:54 Well, Luke, David, thank you so much for your time today,
15:58 and more importantly, thanks for your partnership.
16:01 As I said, we are kindred spirits in many ways
16:04 and it's always a pleasure to talk to you and to work with you,
16:07 and help be a part of your success.
16:10 Thank you.
16:13 -Thanks. -Thank you so much.