Entrepreneur magazine recently featured a story about EarthLink that some people outside our enterprise, small business, residential and carrier network business units might have found a bit puzzling. EarthLink Helped Bring the Web to the Public. Now It Wants to Be Known for Something New, is the article written by Stephen J. Bonner. What is it then that EarthLink wants to be known for now?
While EarthLink has always been about leveraging the power of the network to bring people together, some outside the network services space may still associate us with our early roots as a consumer ISP, going back nearly to the Internet’s earliest days.
The beginnings were humble vs. what we all know today. In 1972 a pioneering programmer named Ray Tomlinson figured out a way to send messages to people using the ARPANET, the precursor to the modern Internet. It took until 1989 for the first commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP) to begin business. We arrived soon after, initially in the form of two unique, entrepreneurial companies, EarthLink on the west coast, and Mindspring on the east. The two joined together as one in 2000 to become the country’s second largest Internet provider.
Since the days we first began connecting people, EarthLink has been synonymous with the Internet. We were one of the very first companies to enable mainstream consumers to connect to the web. Since then, we’ve quietly blazed a steady trail of innovative network solutions. Today, while we still serve a substantial number of residential users, our focus is on the enterprise space, with our most recent launch being in software-defined wide area networks for multi-location businesses, or what is known as more commonly called SD-WAN.
The Transformation of EarthLink
Entrepreneur’s Bonner spoke to our President and CEO, Joe Eazor about EarthLink’s new focus, but discovered it still has a lot in common with what EarthLink has done all along.
Take our new SD-WAN service, which uses real time network analytics and data science to prioritize applications ensuring that maximum bandwidth and priority is applied to business critical applications.
That doesn’t sound a lot like what we did as an ISP. But read between the lines and you will see a company that has always looked for novel ways to leverage transformational network connectivity to provide an important service that can make a major difference in our customers’ lives.
As Joe said to Entrepreneur about what intrigued him of taking on the leadership role at EarthLink, while EarthLink had great technology assets and a great brand, to succeed “…one thing became clear – EarthLink was a company in need of transformation.”
Bonner shared more about how EarthLink still had a solid network infrastructure, a proven footprint, and a massive number of brand advocates who appreciate what the company has always meant to them. However, it was time to broaden the horizon and create that same brand loyalty with our next generation network solutions. And making that happen has been Eazor’s focus since he began.
That transformation has suddenly picked-up more speed with the emergence of SD-WAN, which greatly improves the way multi-location businesses connect in a cloud-driven world, empowering them to improve their end-user and customer experience in the process.
As Bonner notes, EarthLink made it through the Internet bubble by staying true to its original roots of bringing the power of the Internet to the individual and making it easy and safe for everyone. Today, while the technology’s come a long way since then, and the markets we serve have changed, too, everything we do is still ultimately all about the customer.
That’s the paramount reason why, while EarthLink is in a steady phase of transformation, everything EarthLink has ever done – which is reflected in the core of our brand – has been consistent. Because it starts and finishes with you, our customers. Whether we serve you and your employees and customers in offices across the country, or at home, our mission remains true. To leverage the transformational power of the network to bring people and businesses together in a rapidly changing cloud connected world.