Scott Baer, vice president of special programs at Comcast Business, recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz to continue the conversation from a previous Spotlight interview with Ken Folderauer about the launch and rapid growth of Comcast Business’ federal government services team, Comcast Government Services.
Baer also discussed the work that federal agencies are doing to modernize and invest in their new network capabilities as well as how Comcast Business is driving in the best areas of opportunity in the federal technology services sector during the latest Executive Spotlight interview.
You can read the full Executive Spotlight interview with Scott Baer below:
ExecutiveBiz: Will you please describe your role and some of your background?
Scott Baer: “I am a 29-year veteran having served in intelligence, special operations, and communications before retiring from the military. I started my civilian career working for a large computer technology company and for the past three years, I’ve worked to establish the Special Programs business unit supporting the intelligence community for Comcast Government Services, LLC.”
ExecutiveBiz: As you know, federal agencies at large are looking to modernize and invest in their networks, and the pandemic has only seemed to accelerate this; how is Comcast investing in its network to ensure it can support this increased demand?
Scott Baer: “At Comcast, continuous network innovation has been essential not just to managing the pandemic traffic surge, but also in future-proofing the network as demand continues to grow. In addition to smart software and virtualization technologies that increase performance and reliability, we took major steps in 2021 toward the next phase of our network evolution: 10G.
In the past five years (2017 to 2021), Comcast has built 50,000 new route miles of fiber into our network and invested nearly $20 Billion to evolve and grow it. In 2021 alone, Comcast invested more than $4.2 Billion to strengthen, expand and evolve the network – more than any previous year.
Investing billions to strengthen and grow our network is important, but it’s only the beginning of building a smart network that’s ready for anything. Comcast’s network architects and software engineers continuously innovate and evolve our network technologies to increase speeds, strengthen reliability and improve overall performance.
We are evolving our network to 10G, a technology that will allow Comcast to deliver multigigabit upload and download speeds to tens of millions of Americans over the cable connections already installed in their homes and businesses. In 2021, our work on 10G technologies kicked into high gear.
In 2022, Comcast is accelerating our 10G roadmap, even as we expand our network to serve more people in more places, and deploy new technology innovations that deliver more speed, security, and reliability to our customers.
Whatever the future holds, Comcast’s network will be ready to support whatever our customers can imagine including federal and intelligence agencies.”
ExecutiveBiz: Late last year, Comcast Business completed the acquisition of global SD-WAN pioneer, Masergy. Can you provide an update on the acquisition and its potential impact for the Comcast Government Services team?
Scott Baer: “The addition of Masergy accelerates Comcast Business’s increasing growth serving large and midsize companies, particularly U.S.-based organizations with multi-site global operations. The addition of Masergy allows us to further strengthen our footprint in the U.S. and expand our reach globally.
Masergy provides a perfect complement to Comcast Business’s portfolio of services and solutions and allows us to amplify our growth instantly and dramatically in the global enterprise market.
With over 20 years of experience and innovation in managed network, cloud, and security services, Masergy has become a leading provider to companies worldwide – serving more than 1,400 customers in nearly 100 countries.
Comcast Business and Masergy have complimentary service portfolios; the blend of which enhances the value brought to market. This, combined with Comcast Business’s leading advanced fiber network, enables Comcast Business customers to manage their international operations and networks more efficiently.
We are excited as we embark upon this journey together, charting the future of transformative technology solutions for businesses of all sizes. The combination of Comcast Business and Masergy will accelerate digital transformation, create superior customer-first experiences, and unlock more value for clients, partners, and the industry at large.
We look forward to the opportunities this powerful combination presents and the larger impact and value this can bring to our federal government customers.”
ExecutiveBiz: What do you see as the biggest areas of opportunity in the federal government technology services sector for 2022?
Scott Baer: “I believe 2022 will see federal and intelligence agencies continue to prioritize investments in several critical technology areas including cloud migration, cybersecurity, the classification of information and remote work – but perhaps the biggest area of opportunity for these agencies continues to be network modernization.
When the pandemic began, current networking infrastructure were put to the test when so many agency employees began working remotely, putting a major strain on network infrastructure demand. Technology leaders must now make modernization a continuous activity and not look at it as a one-time investment.
Without legacy network modernization, the desired ‘return-to-normal’ will be further delayed. The pandemic forced agencies to accelerate IT modernization efforts across the board.
Building a strategy and selecting the right technologies takes time and presents a wide variety of challenges. Agencies can consider a best-of-breed approach – modernizing individual components of the network based on their specific priorities.
This gradual approach also makes sense for other reasons. By replacing part of the network initially, an agency can see how it performs, and identify any compatibility issues that may arise with its legacy network systems.
Modern networks will open a wealth of possibilities to federal and intelligence agencies. They can help foster productivity by providing employees with reliable connectivity to data, applications and platforms from wherever they work.
At the same time, modern networks can better handle rapid innovation, help improve security for both inbound and outbound connections, and position agencies to embrace future trends, technologies, and processes.”