Optical/IP Networks

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

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:06:17 PM
re: Verizon Devising Uber Strategy for Home Services

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but : This actually sounds like a decent usage case for Cisco's Umi.  You've got a population that can't travel much and craves contact with the rest of the family.

Two problems: 1) Doing umi calls would fall to the attendant staff, who already have a lot to deal with, and 2) the price.

Oh, and... on the ugly side, 3) stuff gets stolen. You might have to replace that umi remote quite a few times.

cnwedit 12/5/2012 | 5:06:16 PM
re: Verizon Devising Uber Strategy for Home Services

Actually, the usage case Verizon's talking about is telemedicine-related but what you are saying would also make sense.

But Grandma might not steal the remote, just forget where she left it.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:06:15 PM
re: Verizon Devising Uber Strategy for Home Services

Funny thing about telcos is that after reading this piece you can almost hear them patting one another on the back, not for the new service created, but that a bunch of fiefdoms actually started talking to one another and working together.  

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