Zayo woes

Does anyone know what’s happening at Zayo? Tickets are taking weeks and months to get resolved, much less get a tech assigned to them.

The folks answering the noc phone are mere order takers and are only reading from a script, manager on duty/escalation lines go to voicemail.

If anyone can help get to a human in the transport group, that would be great. I’ve given up all hope at this point.



The problem we have run into is that there does not appear to be a "Zayo." There are dozens of acquisitions of regional providers with completely different infrastructure and teams and they have done a very poor job at gluing it all together. I have seen service orders that have gone *years* without being complete. There are also currently some breaking-the-entire-regional-network sorts of outages going on currently. I am guessing what clued employees they still have are quite tied up.


I’ve never understood companies that acquire and don’t completely integrate as quickly as they can.

Recently reached out to Zayo and found out we have a new account manager, and also discovered they were acquired by a company called ENA…


The other way around. Zayo acquired ENA.

That acquisition seemed odd. ENA did a lot of value add and non-IP services. Zayo seems to shed those on every acquisition.

Ah, spoken with the voice of someone who’s never been in the position of:
a) acquiring a company not-much-smaller-than-you that
b) runs on completely different hardware and software and
c) your executives have promised there will be cost savings after the merger due to “synergies” between the two companies.

Let’s say you’re an all J shop; your scripts, your tooling, everything expects to be talking to J devices.

Your executives buy a company that has almost the same size network–but it’s all C devices running classic IOS.

You can go to your executives and tell them “hey, to integrate quickly with our network and tooling, we need to swap out all their C gear for J gear; it’s gonna cost an extra $50M”
The executives respond by pointing at c) above, and denying the request for money to convert the acquired network to J.

You can go to your network and say “hey, we need to revamp our tooling and systems to understand how to speak to C and J devices equally, in spite of wildly different syntaxes for route-maps and the like-it’s going to take 4 more developer headcount to rewrite all the systems.”
The executives respond by pointing at c) above, and deny the request for developer headcount to rewrite your software systems.

The general result of acquisitions of similar-sized companies is that the infrastructure runs in parallel, slowly getting converted over and unified as gear needs to be replaced, or sites are phased out–because any other course of action costs more money than the executives had promised the shareholders, the board, or the VCs, depending on what stage your company is at.

Swift integrations cost money, and most acquisitions promise cost savings instead of warning of increased costs due to integration.

That’s why most companies don’t integrate quickly. :frowning:


I blame not the network nerds, but the management that put them in that position.

The problem with C is that unless the networks ARE integrated quickly, the synergies won’t happen.

As someone that has been planning to be in the acquiring seat for a while (but yet to do one), I’ve consistently passed to the money people that there’s the purchase price and then there’s the % on top of that for equipment, contractors, etc. to integrate, improve, optimize future cashflow, etc. those acquisitions with the rest of what we have.

Except they’ve acquired A LOT of companies running C and A LOT of companies running J, you’d think they’d at least have the same process for the similar setups, but they don’t.


Sometimes it does not add any material value to either network. Sometimes it takes too long. If the acquired company is orders of magnitude smaller than the acquiring one, it’s probably best to keep them separate. Of course, I am referring to network integration. Staff and business systems integration should always be the goal. Mark.

Couldn’t have said the exact same words any better myself - “cost savings from synergies” :-). Always interesting when a year later, the projected savings from synergies are nowhere near reality, and all consolidation analysis work has completed :-). Mark.

I blame this on the success of how well we have built the Internet with whatever box and tool we have, as network engineers. The money people assume that all routers are the same, all vendors are the same, all software is the same, and all features are easily deployable. And that all that is possible if you can simply do a better job finding the cheapest box compared to your competition. In general, I don’t fancy nuance when designing for the majority. But with acquisition and integration, nuance is critical, and nuance quickly shows that the acquisition was either underestimated, or not worth doing at all. Mark.

And sometimes the acquisition is really just about acquiring the assets, such as the customer list*, and then they are left with having to run something that they never really wanted until they can figure out what to do with it.

*Yes, even in these industries. Do I sound cynical? Well, cynical != not accurate. :frowning:


Right, buying the revenue to prop up the top and bottom line is also a reason to acquire. Usually, this is based on assessed profitability, but what tends to go unseen during the due diligence process is what is actually contributing to that profitability. I mean, typically, if a company is doing very well, it won’t try to get itself sold. Well, not easily anyway… Mark.

Well sure, and I would like to think (probably mistakenly) that just no one important enough (to the money people) made the money people that these other things are REQUIRED to make the deal work.

Obviously, people lower on the ladder say it all of the time, but the important enough money people probably don’t consider those people important enough to listen to.

Some of it is scale-related. Someone’s operating just fine at the size they are, but the next order of magnitude larger enjoys many benefits from that size, but it takes either A) luck or B) the right skills to be able to move up to get those benefits. In terms of network operators, there’s a big difference between a company of 1 and a company of 2. Again a big difference between a company of 2 and a company of 10. Another big difference between a company of 10 and a company of… I dunno, 100?

1G waves and 100G waves aren’t THAT different in price anymore. However, if 1 is doing you just fine, the much better cost per bit of 100 won’t do you a darn bit of good and will probably hurt. The hurt is not only due to the higher MRC, but now the higher NRC for equipment with 100G interfaces. If you can put enough bits on the line to make it worth it, you’ve got yourself tremendous advantage. The acquisition pays for itself in marginally higher costs for much higher revenue.

The company may have been doing just fine before, but couldn’t afford the move up to 10 or 100 because their present market couldn’t justify it and the larger market wasn’t obtainable until they had it. Catch 22 that can’t really be overcome by most. Enter M&A. Someone just can’t get to the next level they need to compete with those that can.

they are left with having to run something that they never really wanted until they can figure out what to do with it

Buy enough Dark Fiber providers, you’ll eventually acquire an ISP
Buy enough ISPs, you’ll eventually acquire a Colo
Buy enough Colos, you’ll eventually acquire a small Cloud
Buy any small Clouds and you’re guaranteed to acquire managed services for small companies.

Now you’ve gone from being Layer 0 only catering whales, to dabbling in Layer 7 at Dr. Morris’s Family dentistry.

Spin off what you don’t want, and repeat.


Well sure, but what started this tangent is that to me, anyway, it seemed like ENA had just as much ISP as it had ISP, if not more. It would be like buying a farm to get farm-fresh eggs in your kitchen.

Ugh… Just as much NOT ISP as ISP.

You’ve got the blame right, but the fact that the cost savings don’t materialize quickly seems to get forgiven more easily than a sudden (albeit one-time, temporary) increase in costs to accelerate that transition. Result: In general, no additional money, limp along and realize the cost savings over time.

Certainly not idea from a technical perspective. Probably not ideal from a bottom line perspective over the long haul. Almost certainly ends up looking better on the first couple of 10Qs and by the 3rd 10Q, everyone is paying attention to something else.