ISE EXPO 2019 Keynote Highlights


Some of you may have missed ISE EXPO 2019’s keynote presenter, Tony Thomas, President and CEO, Windstream. That’s a shame, ’cuz he was on point about the challenges facing our segment of the ICT Industry. Being the generous and giving editor that I am, I’m going to share the highlights of his keynote and a few of the big themes he suggests are shaping the future of the network:

• All roads lead to the Cloud due to the rapid growth in data, apps and connected “Things”.

• Growing consumer broadband lays the foundation of SD-WAN.

• Moving forward, 5G may change the world; applications will be the real winners.

• Open source is a big source of disruption, and transforms software development or the network.

• If you’re not using Big Data, AI, and ML by now, you’re falling behind.

• Think end-to-end automation, and use SDN as a tool to achieve it.

• We are seeing the rise of infrastructure funds that are offering lofty valuations for fiber companies. Does this point to strong future fiber demand or a bubble?

• A dysfunctional wholesale market favors national carriers. There are not basic safeguards against wholesale prices. This signals the death of the resale-only model.

And my personal favorite:
• The pace of change has never been this fast — nor will it ever be this slow again. This is as much about a culture and a mind-set as it is about a set of skills.

Let that last one sink in.

The “So what?” behind that statement? If you think the answers to your network challenges are tough right now, think again. They will keep coming at you and your teams at a velocity that will make you feel like you’re trying to drink water from a fire hose. (An overused saying, but, dang, it paints a good picture.)

That’s why the ISE brand is committed to sharing network-related education, deployment best practices, insights from industry leaders, and the latest solutions and technologies, that help you do your job better while you advance your career.

We invite you to hear the full presentations from Tony Thomas and our Tech Talk Presenters from Verizon, Windstream, and Telia Carrier. Simply go to and learn why education is the not-so-secret-sauce to staying relevant in this faster-than-ever industry. Here’s to drinking it all in!



About Author

Sharon Vollman is Senior Vice President, Editorial Director of ISE magazine. She oversees all editorial processes and staff for ISE magazine, the ISE e-newsletter,, and leads the educational content development for ISE EXPO and several events. Vollman has created educational partnerships with the major communications and entertainment providers including AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, Frontier Communications and Cincinnati Bell. She has covered the telecom industry since 1996, when she joined OSP magazine as editor. Prior to that she worked in advertising with Ogilvy & Mather and CME. Vollman has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/advertising from the University of Iowa.

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