CEO Corner: It went by quickly, but we achieved so much

By Jean Davis, President and CEO

Where did 2017 go?

Jean Davis, MCNC President & CEOAs I began writing this blog, I realized that November marked my three-year anniversary at MCNC! It has been such a privilege to work at this amazing organization for the past 36 months as we continue to build upon a solid NCREN foundation and create new solutions that benefit our community and citizens of North Carolina.

As the end of a year approaches it is not only a time to give thanks for our family, friends, and colleagues as well as reflect on accomplishments, it is also an opportunity to look forward to a new year in 2018.

Homegrown to Home Run

In June, I wrote about Indigenous Innovation at MCNC. This concept of developing homegrown ideas speaks to the close relationships we have with our constituents as they have control and input as to what’s next for MCNC and the wider NCREN community. This idea reaffirms that we are more than just a technology vendor, and each year we add more partners and endpoints to leverage this robust network to benefit North Carolina.

You might recall that MCNC is upgrading NCREN to an IP/MPLS architecture, which allows us to be ready for our constituents’ future needs – from digital learning to IoT to telemedicine and more. We expect the upgrade to be complete in late spring 2018. We also implemented a DDoS protection service based on your input, and I am thrilled to report the successful mitigation of almost 200 DDoS attacks just in this calendar year and more than 300 attacks total since we started tracking in September 2016. We also introduced new ways to keep you updated on MCNC as well as trending state and national activities with the rollout of our newsletter Digital Connections and our monthly blogs. We hope you find the content engaging and informative.

By providing incredibly reliable network services along with an experienced and professional staff, together we continue to make great strides to improve education, research, public safety, and health care across the state.

Redefining Better in 2018

It’s not just the network that matters but more in how you use it.

As I've said many times, one of the best parts of my job at MCNC is working with our internal teams to develop fresh solutions to the challenges and needs of our customers. We work by the belief that the more we do together in collaboration and innovation, the stronger we are as a network and the better prepared we’ll be for the future.

We've heard from you that security is a top concern. In the coming year, we will expand our security team and launch new security services including vulnerability scanning, security training, and assessments.

There are also significant video services discussions underway. We have assembled a focus group comprised of representatives from community colleges and universities to help brainstorm new solutions to meet the rapidly changing video needs within the NCREN community. Stay tuned for some exciting news in this area.

We also look forward to sharing information about upcoming events planned in 2018.

Finally, MCNC will continue to act as a convener in rural areas to increase broadband connectivity. We’ve enjoyed working with telephone co-ops and electric co-ops, large telecom providers and small WISPs to find solutions to bring better broadband to rural communities in North Carolina. This will include further emphasis on telehealth capabilities and services as well as exploring wireless for last-mile connectivity to leverage NCREN’s backbone to reach underserved areas. It’s going to be an exciting and productive year ahead!

Thank You!

We are immensely grateful for the support of our community, and we thank you for allowing us to serve you. On behalf of the entire MCNC team, we wish you a safe and enjoyable holiday season and we look forward to an exciting new year with you!