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Verizon Devising Uber Strategy for Home ServicesVerizon Devising Uber Strategy for Home Services

The telecom, business and wireless units are jointly developing services that could create new markets for FiOS

April 29, 2011

2 Min Read
Verizon Devising Uber Strategy for Home Services

Different pieces of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) are joining forces to develop in-home services that they believe can take products like FiOS into new markets.

Executives from Verizon's telecom arm, Verizon Enterprise Solutions and Verizon Wireless are included in the new Verizon Strategic Initiatives Council that is initially focusing on opportunities in wellness; home control and monitoring; security; and remote energy management.

You can see the results in this week's announcement of a home health service for senior communities, done in partnership with Healthsense. It came out of the Verizon Enhanced Communities unit, which is the part of Verizon that sells FiOS to multi-dwelling units and planned communities. But among those on hand for that announcement, made in Dallas at the Broadband Properties Summit, was Nancy Green, managing principal for health care at Verizon Business. (See Verizon Brings Telemedicine to FiOS MDUs.)

"We made sure Nancy could be here, because now we are looking at how we converge what Verizon is going to do in the health-care space with what we are doing with FiOS," says Eric Cevis, vice president of Verizon Enhanced Communities.

By developing new connected-home services, Verizon can accomplish two key goals: increasing revenue and improving the reach of FiOS. In the case of this week's announcement, Verizon is providing its network, while Healthsense is providing Wi-Fi, in-home sensors and other technology, enabling remote monitoring of seniors' activities such as movement, medication and use of appliances.

Verizon will get a cut of the revenue from the service, but it also now has a way to sell FiOS into more MDUs and planned communities that cater to seniors, Cevis says.

"What we are helping educate and make the community more aware about is broadband technology as an amenity and how technology can help you improve your property, which will mean fewer vacancies," Cevis says.

Another health-care initiative has Verizon paired up with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). Verizon is working with multiple assisted-living facilities to allow remote doctor consultations via Cisco telepresence units in lobbies or club rooms, Cevis says. (See Verizon Ready for ūmi Mania.)

With any of these services, the key point Verizon is selling is that FiOS represents a better connection for remote services, he says. But by enlisting partners such as Healthsense and offering an integrated package, Verizon also hopes to make the applications themselves easier to deliver.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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