Seeing the new strategy through
Business View Magazine interviews Jay VanOrden, CEO of Worldwide Supply, as part of our focus on best practices in the telecommunications supply sector.
Worldwide Supply, headquartered in Franklin, New Jersey, is a global supplier of network and telecommunications equipment and services, and a leader in the secondary market for used and refurbished equipment including routers, switches, and networking services. The company was co-founded in 2004, by its CEO, Jay VanOrden and COO, Jim Smith – two firm believers that one company’s castoffs can always become another company’s treasures.
The company’s customer base is focused on Tier One and Tier Two cable operators, service provider/carriers, and medium to large-size enterprise businesses that might need the necessary equipment and services to build their backbone network to support high-speed voice, data, and video. It sells both new and pre-owned products as well as a variety of services that support them. In many cases, the company will procure equipment from the Tier Ones, then turn around and sell it to the Tier Twos, saving them as much as 80 percent of their costs.
Recently, however, VanOrden reports that Worldwide Supply has evolved in the direction of becoming more of a global IT services company. “We were always known as the refurbisher, the used network equipment guys. That was who we were and what the company was branded as. That was our expertise,” he states. “We made a conscious decision, though, starting a few years back, that we needed to move in the direction of services and software, given where the hardware market was going – the large OEMs, like the Ciscos of the world have been transforming and evolving, as well, for a few years now. So, the writing was on the wall for us. We’re also in the process of rebranding our company to be known as Worldwide Services. The hardware will always be a portion of what we do, but where we used to lead with hardware and then provide complementary services, we flipped that model.”
“The managed IT services is really what our focus is – a broad suite of offerings that we’re providing, highlighted by our third party, multi-vendor maintenance that has been one of the fastest growing portions of our business,” VanOrden continues. “It’s one of the areas where we have made tremendous strides in growth, along with network monitoring, professional services, and 24-hour response time. That’s a few areas in the services arena that we’re focused on and seeing growth.
“On the software side, we partnered with a company that has allowed us to offer a cloud-based solution to help companies do a better job of managing their assets and services. What I mean by that is that if you’re a carrier, or a cable operator, or even one of the large enterprises, one of the things we continually hear as we’re speaking with prospective customers is that they really don’t have a strategy to manage all of their assets – not just the decommissioned assets, but the current assets in their network, the services that these operators are offering their clients, tracking how they’re billing them. And what we found is that a lot of them were doing it manually, whether it is with a spreadsheet or a separate data base that isn’t integrated into their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. So, what we’ve done, in partnering with this company, is develop a cloud-based solution that allows us to help them manage all of those assets and services. It’s another area of the business where we’re seeing tremendous growth and interest in. Also, with the evolution of IoT (Internet of Things) as well as 5G starting to materialize in the wireless sector, we are seeing larger amounts of data being transmitted and stored than ever before and it will only increase. This is one of the drivers and catalysts creating the growth in the services and support portion of the business.”
VanOrden adds that one of the benefits of expanding those parts of the company’s portfolio has been better relationships with some of the large OEMs: “When you’re dealing in the secondary market, exclusively, it doesn’t lend itself to having relationships and partnerships with the OEMs, because, in essence, you’re competing with them in a lot of cases. So, today, we have a direct relationship with Dell EMC; F5 Networks is another OEM relationship that has been added within the last 12 months. A third one would be Radwin – they provide a wireless solution for rural areas of the country where you cannot get high-speed internet. We find that a lot of carriers, and even the enterprise end users, find that as a great solution because in the market, lot of customers in some of these rural areas are still on DSL at very low speeds, and the Radwin solution can provide bandwidth up to 1Gbps, so it’s very comparable to what you might see in populated areas. It’s been a great solution and it built a niche for us, for sure. So, I do expect we will continue to increase our OEM relationships, significantly; that is part of this services strategy that we’re focused on.
“Finally, as we look back over the past year, one of the areas that we’ve also broadened – we are supporting over 200-plus different product brands, today. That’s an area, as you get into these services, where you find companies that are very specialized in one or two OEMs. One of the things we’ve done a very good job at is growing our product brand support. The multi-vendor solutions we’re offering have allowed us to experience some of the growth I was speaking about, because we’re not locked in on just a few different OEMs.”
VanOrden, who had once retired from his first business, MSI Communications, at the relatively tender age of 39, and then came back to start Worldwide Supply, insists that, this time, he’s in it for the long haul. “We have a three-year aggressive growth plan,” he declares, “and I intend to see that through and see where that may take us as a company.”
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AT A GLANCE
WHO: Worldwide Supply
WHAT: A global supplier of network and telecommunications equipment and services
WHERE: Hardyston Township, New Jersey