Verizon’s Vickie Lonker on the importance of partnering

At our recent OSS/BSS User Group conference, 61 operators and more than 250 delegates met to share experiences and insights into hot topics and discuss product and service updates. Before delivering her keynote presentation, Vickie Lonker, VP of Enterprise Products at Verizon, spoke to industry analyst Dez Blanchfield about the importance of partnering for success and collaborating with the right people, a big topic at the meeting. Read on for my summary of the video.

Partnerships are key for delivering value to the customer

As soon as the conversation began, it was clear that partnerships would be a main focus. According to Lonker, “If we wait to do it all by ourselves, we won’t deliver solutions as fast as the market demands.”

As customer demands continue to increase, industry partnerships will become critical to get solutions to market swiftly and efficiently. Lonker explains that partnerships can deliver value on top of networks and on top of core competencies. She states that, “It’s all about how partnerships can help deliver value to the end user customer that ultimately, all of us serve in our respective industries.”

Operators can get ahead of the race thanks to their partnerships

Key partnerships bring key differentiation and Lonker pointed out, “Some of our points of differentiation are really because of the work we’ve done with Ericsson.”

Lonker says that, for example, a Verizon SD WAN solution by itself wouldn’t deliver value, calling the approach ‘swimming without a life guard.’ For customers to a get full end-to-end experience that delivers the performance that their applications desire, orchestration is vital. It means connecting to a network and it also means connecting to a deployment model (the cloud or hardware that sits at the customer edge, for example). This cannot happen without good partnerships, and for SD WAN, this means a lot of co-development between Verizon and Ericsson.

5G will unlock the challenges of digital transformation

How does 5G fit here? According to Lonker, “5G helps unlock the potential at the edge for industry, which will accelerate Industry 4.0 and the potential we have in that space.”

How is Verizon juggling the digital disruption driven by competitors and customers, while tackling its own digital transformation challenges? Lonker explains that 5G will enable services and solutions for future enterprises and in particular for IoT. It will also bring wireless solutions to the forefront for business customers versus where most of the attention has been in the past, which has been with consumers.

In addition, the development of mobile edge computing will push the cloud much closer to the user, which is how operators will be able to deliver the low latency and new solution sets that’ll be required to realize 5G use cases. Lonker sums up by claiming that this is why Verizon’s partnership with Ericsson is so important. “Ericsson is not only our partner in the 5G space, but also what we do with SDN around orchestration. This is the critical intersection of those two things that in the past has often been disparate.” 


What do you think?

I am interested in hearing your opinions on the benefits and challenges of partnerships as our industry moves into the future. Please engage with us on Twitter and LinkedIn or contact us.

Related links: Orchestrating Enterprise Virtual Networks.

Related links: Ericsson Dynamic Orchestration.

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