Verizon Leaders Talk About Automation

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Verizon is the third most profitable company in the world, second only to Apple and Berkshire Hathaway. It’s the planet’s sixteenth largest company, bigger than GE, IBM, and Microsoft. And Verizon, which is at Perspectives18 this week in Los Angeles, is Ribbon Communications’ largest customer by far.

Craig Bowman of Verizon was at Ribbon Communications’ Perspectives18 event Tuesday talking about the company’s heft. He noted the many applications and technologies the networking giant is enabling and delivering. And he noted the trend toward automation.

Bowman’s address was preceded by a Verizon video talking about how the company is enabling sensors in logistics and cold chain, connected car, smart city, and other applications. It also noted Verizon’s work in delivering entertainment, related to its evolving FiOS network, and with 4G LTE and its upcoming 5G cellular networks. And the video noted all of the above are powered by Verizon’s fiber network.

Verizon’s vision is to create the most secure collaboration company in the world, said Bowman. To do that, it has established collaboration centers where the company shows how it can make the world and its applications better and safer.

“Think what’s coming down the pike for us – total automation,” said Bowman, vice president and managing director of public sector-advanced solutions at Verizon.

Ribbon customers are interested in speed, reliability, security, and personalization, Bowman added. “That’s at the heart of what Ribbon is,” he said.

Verizon’s Director of Technology George Karatzis was also among the speakers at Perspectives18. He was on Tuesday’s Network Transformation Panel along with Adam Macgill of BT, Geoff Moore of Bell Canada, and Robin Gareiss of Nemertes Research.

Karatzis said culture is the biggest challenge of network transformation. Traditionally telcos had people who were experts in specific hardware solutions, he noted, and they still need such individuals. But now it requires such people with those skills and other talents as well, so they can help enable and support things like orchestration and virtualization, he added.

We hear a lot about virtualization, and that’s a big focus for Verizon and is generally where things are headed, said Karatzis. Nonetheless, it’s very hard to convince people to pull TDM switches out of the network, in part because they are so rock-solid, Karatzis said.

He added that it’s often tough to quantify total cost of ownership for new investments. But even if you can’t put a number to it, he said, things like automation have obvious benefits.




Edited by Maurice Nagle
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Executive Editor, TMC

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