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On the surface, Verizon’s Dec. 14 announcement that it plans to align its enterprise, government and wholesale operations into a single group makes a lot of sense, especially given that it will encompass both wired and Verizon Wireless solutions. Scratch the surface though, key questions emerge.
One of the biggest questions: Will the new organization somehow reconcile the existing silos that technically separate wired and wireless products at Verizon? If so, how?
The company has been cross-selling wired and wireless solutions and bundles to enterprises and other large customers for some time. However, Verizon Wireless functions essentially as an island in the Verizon Communications corporate structure. It’s only 55% owned by Verizon (with Vodafone holding the other 45%), with distinct product lines, networks and back office systems. Take a look at Verizon’s current Enterprise Center website: It requires completely different sets of links for the legal disclosures and background information on the company’s wired and wireless offerings.
It’s one thing to create a unified sales operation that can sell both wired and wireless products and act as a common point of availability for both; but it’s another to unify the back office technology and functions necessary to provide the sophisticated, multi-platform solutions that the larger corporations and government clientele demand and do so in a way that maximizes Verizon’s leverage in being able to offer comprehensive solutions.
Unless it’s doing the latter, the new Enterprise Solutions group could be just a new name for the same old thing.
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