New CEO Michael Glickman boosts innovation at Casa Systems

Technology innovation leader Casa Systems supports mobile, cable, and wireline communications services providers (CSPs) with market-leading solutions

Michael Glickman is the new President and Chief Executive Officer at Casa Systems. He brings over 35 years of experience in the telecom, technology, and networking sectors, to his role as President and Chief Executive Officer at Casa Systems. 

Previously serving as the President of PacketFabric and holding key executive roles at Cisco, including Senior Vice President for the Global Service Provider unit, Glickman has a proven track record of scaling operations, fostering innovation, and achieving sustainable growth in multi-billion-dollar businesses. Glickman’s tenure at Cisco also included leadership roles in its Cloud & Managed Services and Channels businesses worldwide. In addition, he has held executive positions at Fujitsu Americas and Amdahl Corporation. 

Glickman currently serves on the Board of Directors of several private companies and charitable organisations and holds a Master of Business Administration in finance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Can you give a brief career history and how that has led you to your new position?

I have worked in the telecom, technology, and networking sectors for over 35 years. Immediately before taking on my role at Casa Systems, I was President of telecommunications service provider PacketFabric. Prior to that, I held key executive roles at Cisco, including Senior Vice President for the Global Service Provider unit and leadership roles in its Cloud & Managed Services and Channels businesses worldwide. In addition, I held executive positions at Fujitsu Americas and Amdahl Corporation. I also currently serve on the Board of Directors of several private companies and charitable organisations. 

Being so close to the virtualisation evolution that has been unfurling over the past two decades, I’ve been able to see first-hand how powerful a competitive advantage the cloud-native movement is, and how difficult it has been for hardware-bound products from the legacy providers to compete against true, born-in-the-cloud companies and solutions. Casa has been a leader in cloud native network functions virtualisation (NFV) and boasts an impressive portfolio of NFV software, so when the opportunity arose to join Casa, the choice was easy for me. Another major draw was the company’s engineering excellence. Casa has an extremely strong and innovative engineering team that sets it apart from other players in the space. 

What is Casa Systems and how do you see the brand diversifying now you’re at the helm?

Casa is a technology innovation leader that supports mobile, cable, and wireline communications services providers (CSPs) with market-leading solutions. Our software solutions, complemented by a strategic set of supporting hardware devices, expand the range of services CSPs can offer their consumer and commercial customers, accelerate CSPs’ time to revenue, and reduce the total cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and operations. 

We are currently both diversifying and consolidating our product offerings to better meet the needs of our customer base. This may sound like a contradiction, but it actually makes sense. We were originally founded to serve the cable industry, but with our shift to true cloud-native architecture more than a decade ago, the company has been able to expand its field of vision to include all access technologies. 

The consolidation piece comes in when you look at how we are taking our solution set to market. We have aggregated our access technologies – we build our market-specific subscriber access on our common cloud native infrastructure, Casa Axyom. This brings great consistency of deployment, proven control and user plane separation (CUPS), maximum throughput on off-the-shelf hardware, and lowest TCO for these born-in-the-cloud solutions. The Casa Axyom platform simplifies deployment for our CSP customers and gives them far greater agility in responding to their customers’ requirements than they could have working with legacy providers still relying on hardware-bound products.

How is Casa helping realise the potential of MPNs?

Over the last 15 years, the mobile private network has garnered significant attention as a pivotal element in enhancing the efficiency of overall enterprise operations. Over the past five years, mobile private networks (MPNs) have been identified as the linchpin for 5G monetisation. Even so, to date there has been slow adoption in a growing Enterprise market. OT use cases are beginning to take off, where a mobile network’s attributes fit the requirements. Integrating MPN’s into the IT space has been more complicated.

The combination of our Axyom architecture, which allows carriers to push to the edge of their network efficiently, provides the performance enterprises require. In addition, Casa is in development of software solutions that allow CIOs to more seamlessly integrate mobile network solutions with the rest of their existing mobility access methodologies.

As we continue to implement our software in more carriers, we believe the demand for mobile private networks will continue to rise. While MPNs have not yet fully taken off, the combination of our cloud-native Axyom software and using it as an application platform will help Carriers to monetise.

When it comes to serving cable operators, how do you set yourself apart from your competitors? What is your USP?

Our true cloud-native architecture sets us apart from competitors across our entire software portfolio – cable, mobile and wireline. In the cable realm, we have developed a virtualised converged cable access platform (vCCAP) that is the only available fully functioning virtual core solution in the market. We have also set a new industry standard for performance. Our vCCAP, coupled with our RPD200 (Remote PHY Device) solution, has enabled cable modems to achieve full utilisation of the extended spectrum available via the DOCSIS 4.0 specification, verified at the recent CableLabs® Kyrio™ Interop·Labs DOCSIS 4.0 Technology event. This breakthrough marks significant technological innovation, providing operators with unparalleled flexibility to deploy multi-gigabit broadband services, paving the way for the 10G era. 

What do you see the future of your job, Casa and the wider industry looking like?

They all go hand-in-hand. As technology continues to advance, the telecom industry is poised for further groundbreaking developments. In my role, I anticipate a continued emphasis on innovation and adaptation which allow Carriers to monetise their investments. Our unique cloud-native Axyom software will be the platform for innovative applications our customers will utilise to differentiate and gain adoption of their services.

The ongoing evolution of networks will likely demand a skillset that is agile and responsive to the changing landscape. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will undoubtedly continue to play increasingly vital roles in optimising network performance, enhancing cybersecurity measures, and enabling predictive maintenance.

The industry's focus on sustainability and environmentally friendly practices may also become more pronounced. As telecommunications continue to be integral to global connectivity, the emphasis on creating eco-friendly solutions and reducing the industry's carbon footprint is likely to grow.

The future holds exciting prospects for both Casa and the telecom industry as a whole. I foresee a continuous learning curve, with a need for adaptability and a proactive approach to harness the opportunities presented by evolving technologies and industry trends.

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