Worldwide Supply/Worldwide Services
Serving the new normal
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 solutions provider of network, server, and storage equipment and services. The company was co-founded in 2004, by its CEO, Jay VanOrden and COO, Jim Smith. The company’s diverse customer base is focused on cable operators, service provider/carriers, and medium to large-size enterprise businesses that have a need for equipment and services to build their backbone network to support high-speed voice, data, and video. Worldwide Supply is a provider of both new and pre-owned products, as well as a variety of services that help their clients reduce network costs by 50-80 percent.
Over the last few years, however, VanOrden reports that Worldwide Supply has evolved in the direction of becoming more of a global IT managed services company which has led to the creation of Worldwide Services, which provides an array of remote and on-site services designed to maximize its client’s network uptime. They include: 24/7 Field Services & Technical Support, Multi-Vendor Maintenance Programs (NetGuard), Cloud & Network Migration Services, Network Monitoring & Infrastructure Management, Consulting & Project Management Services, Network Security, Network Lifecycle Management, Asset Recovery Programs, Spares Management & Repairs, and Materials Management & Reverse Logistics. The new division serves the following sectors: Cable Operators, Carriers/Service Providers, Construction, Enterprise, Healthcare, Insurance, Manufacturing, Energy: Oil, Gas & Solar, Retail Networks, Utilities, Wireless, and Government, via 400 service centers in over 79 countries.
“It’s a separate entity,” VanOrden explains. “It still falls under the Worldwide Supply banner because we still supply large volumes of network infrastructure equipment. But it was a way for us to start to work towards changing the identity and the brand. I can see that at some point in the future, we probably will be known as Worldwide Services, even though there’ll be some equipment components still to the business. Right now, though, it’s two separate entities under one roof.”
This past year, because of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, Worldwide Supply/Services has met some interesting challenges, and as VanOrden relates, the company has done very well compared to most. “We’ve been very fortunate in the fact that our industry was classified as a necessity from day one – supporting IT and network infrastructure,” he reports. “So, from a company perspective, we have not missed a beat, no interruptions. In fact, it’s been the opposite. Because of the niche that we’re in – building networks and supporting remote communications – our business has actually thrived through this challenging time. Nobody likes to benefit off what has taken place, but it has afforded us an opportunity to help companies across the globe that were not prepared to manage and work from a remote type of standpoint. So, we’ve been extremely busy and fortunate.”
“One of the things we’re very proud of when the pandemic first hit, being headquartered here in New Jersey, we participated in building the networks for the temporary hospitals throughout New York City, providing both equipment and services so they could care for patients with the overload from the pandemic,” VanOrden adds. “That was one of the areas we participated in, as well as helping several educational facilities ramp up to support remote learning capabilities being put in place.”
VanOrden adds, “The industry is undergoing a significant expansion in terms of company’s challenges in trying to build out their networks to support the remote workforce. It came in a couple of waves; right after the pandemic, there was a real push to get companies up immediately, and now that they’ve been able to take a breath, we’re starting to see the next wave of planning and strategic thought behind how they move forward in a different manner for the long term. I think we’re going to see a new norm as we go forward. It’s opened companies’ eyes to the fact that they don’t have to have these large expensive office space and buildouts, and that they can effectively communicate and manage workforces remotely. I think that will be the new norm past the COVID era. Once we’ve got that behind us, I don’t think you’ll see things go back exactly the way they were.
“The biggest challenge we faced, as we go through this ‘new normal,’ are other companies learning how to work remotely and communicate effectively. Because we grew up in the networking business, the remote communications aspect for us is second nature; we’ve really done it pretty effectively from day one. But other companies are just learning how to do it. So, there’s an educational factor involved in helping companies to understand how they can improve their efficiency in a remote fashion. In fact, it’s as much an educational process as it is a strategic and implementation process.”
Going forward, VanOrden says that there are two areas of technology that are going to be key as Worldwide Services continues to serve its clients who are transitioning to new levels of remote communication. “What you’re going to see is many of these companies accelerating more towards the cloud, versus having their internal IT infrastructure inside of their facilities,” he says. “That’s one of the things that plays very nicely for us. I think the other is the 5G movement, as we’re seeing the wireless carriers start to deploy 5G on a much larger scale. What that does is open companies to be able to transmit larger amounts of voice, data, and video at higher speeds than they’ve ever been able to do in the past, which again, really supports that remote workforce environment. So, things really haven’t changed for us; if anything, it has accelerated our path in terms of our growth initiatives.”
Worldwide Services, as its name implies, is also expanding its reach across the planet. “As we went through the transformation of the managed IT global services initiative, we have built a significant global presence,” VanOrden relates. “And what we have experienced, over this last year, is several very large global projects from a service perspective. One of the areas we’ve seen a significant uptick in business is what we call our professional services offering, also known in our industry as ‘smart hands,’ where we really have become the technical arms and legs for many large companies in the Fortune 100 arena. We’re going onsite; we’re doing site surveys; we’re doing deployments for them; we’re managing the projects; we’re doing de-installations. And where that used to be primarily more of a domestic approach, we’re seeing it across the globe. We’re managing thousands of locations throughout Europe, Asia, Latin, and South America in addition to the U.S. And that has been our biggest growth area, this year.
“The other thing we’re experiencing is the migration of hardware to becoming more of a software platform; we’re seeing products, today, that are now, truly, software-based. They allow a business to do a much more effective job of managing their network, being not so much hardware-centric. A new relationship that we’re excited about is a manufacturer named Harmonics. They were always known as hardware company, but they’ve developed a product that is very much software-based that is replacing the standard cable modem termination systems, known as CMTS, that cable operators utilize to provide your internet – voice, data, and video – to the home. That’s a product that has been well-received by our customer base. It’s a new product, and something that we’re seeing tremendous growth with.
“The other product that we’re seeing tremendous acceptance for is a technology called MoCA 2.5. It allows service providers to utilize their existing co-axial cables; it gives them a throughput that they would get as if they deployed fiber. As you know, in the technology market today, everything has become fiber-based because of its much higher transmission speeds. It’s a product that we contract manufacture and have work closely with the ODM to customize the product to support some of the largest carriers in the world. So, we’re very excited about it; it’s a game-changer from a revenue standpoint. The opportunity, year-to-year, is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. So, it’s a significant growth initiative for us as we move forward.”
As Worldwide Supply continues to evolve its Worldwide Services entity, servicing the “new normal” is promising to be a long-term, and potentially lucrative, enterprise.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: A global supplier of network and telecommunications equipment and services
WHERE: Hardyston Township, New Jersey