Premier Member Q&A: Walker and Associates
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Premier Member Q&A: Walker and Associates

February 13, 2020

Tell us about your organization: What should people know about you?

Walker and Associates is the premier source of telecommunications products for network operators, simplifying network deployments with expert installation, systems integration, and managed services.

Celebrating 50 years of business in 2020, Walker has remained a recognized industry leader, offering products that support leading-edge technologies such as Switching, Routing, Wi-Fi, Microwave, NFV, Carrier Ethernet, VoIP, WDM, ROADM, Packet Optical Networking, SDN, Access Technologies such as GPON, Active Ethernet, Fixed Wireless, DSL, and more.

Walker's certified specialists help reduce costs associated with installing and maintaining equipment at the customer location. The company assists its customers in solving today’s business challenges and increasing their ability to meet customer expectations from telecommunications service providers.

Since 1970, Walker has successfully serviced a dedicated customer base of over 1200 domestic service providers. Walker and Associates is headquartered in NC, near Winston-Salem, and is an ISO 9001:2015 quality certified, women-owned corporation.

What are you currently bringing to the market?

As part of Walker’s passion for innovation and full-lifecycle network support, Walker recently added a robust and highly advanced technical assistance center (TAC) to its professional services offerings. A TAC that is endorsed, vetted and assisted by Juniper. Now, our customers can turn to the same company that helped design and implement their network for post-installation support. Our new TAC team comes with a proven track record of providing support to regional and global telecommunications companies and enterprises, including AT&T, T-Mobile, BT, EE, Verizon, Orange and many others. The team is also vetted and championed by Juniper as a participant in this program and is the only provider permitted by Juniper to participate in this model with PSS partners. The best part about this new addition is that it comes without any additional costs for Walker clients and provides drastically improved support, response times, and SLA’s.

What do you think is going to be an important trend/issue in the next five years?

The same generation that saw the end of the landline is now driving the TV cable-cutting wave that is disrupting the video value proposition most of our customers built with triple-play services. Walker offers experience and guidance to rural service providers about how to evolve their video or triple-play services.  Newer business models are emerging, allowing telcos to continue to offer a streaming service without the cost of their originating head-ends. Consumer demand for increased broadband speeds is now driven largely by homes with 20 or more connected devices.  What was a premium 1Gig service increased to 10Gig and is now on its way to becoming 100Gig.  We can expect to see sophisticated network management systems supporting automation rise to handle needed increases in capacity, to provision and coordinate services and enhance security from core to edge.  

Operators are looking not only at offering high speed but high value.  This includes apps that support subscription-based content/video on demand, VoIP, personalized security, Wi-Fi and management of network experiences for residential and business customers.

What do you think are going to be the biggest challenges?

Along with emerging technologies and applications of those technologies, the industry continues expressing concern about talent acquisition in coming years. As baby boomers exit the workforce, replacing that talent is an ongoing challenge. All IP networks require skills equipped to manage challenges presented by cyber security, automation, advanced critical thinking, cloud computing, IoT, big data and more. One component of filling that talent gap is being addressed through association focused programs, such as FBA’s Women In Fiber initiative. Women In Cyber is another initiative aimed at filling vital gaps in the emerging workforce.

What are you most looking forward to as a member of the Fiber Broadband Association?

Walker is excited about its new status as a Premier Member of the Fiber Broadband Association. New opportunities to network, lead and advocate make the association even more important in our strategy to engage the industry. Being involved with the annual meeting, volunteering on committees, and taking advantage of the full suite of Premier Member benefits give us greater access to all members. As the association takes the lead in advocating for all fiber networks, Walker is in a greater position now to respond to industry changes in ways that matter to its carrier customer base. Leveraging the data from research, using association provided tools from the online marketing toolkit, engaging through social media and more, Walker looks forward to being a stronger partner with Fiber Broadband Association.