IoT Strategies

For Verizon, IoT Is All About Evolution

Despite the incessant marketing buzz connected to it, the Internet of Things (IoT) is still very much an early-stage phenomenon, and Verizon is treating it as such.

"When you really step back, there is a tremendous amount of confusion about what are the best investment opportunities, complex and costly business models, big integration challenges, and ROI that isn't clear," Mark Bartolomeo, VP of IoT Connected Solutions for Verizon, tells Light Reading. "We still see it as a very nascent marketplace," he adds, noting that less than 12% of large corporations have deployed any IoT solutions.

In an effort to gain more insight into how the IoT might evolve, Verizon Enterprise Solutions recently sponsored a report by Harvard Business Report, titled "Internet of Things: Science Fiction or Business Fact?," that surveyed business leaders across a wide range of industries and global regions about their IoT intentions. More than half of the survey's 269 respondents (in North America, Asia-Pacific, EMEA and Latin America) said they are using IoT solutions to improve customer service, and 62% said IoT solutions are improving their customer responsiveness.

In these early days, Verizon is placing its IoT bets on large sectors that are proving to be early adopters -- like smart cities, energy and intelligent transportation. Those are the areas where innovation will begin, first at high levels and ultimately throughout organizations and industries, Bartolomeo predicts.

"The way we're looking at it is that it's an evolutionary process," he says. "We're not going to see these big huge transitions occur. We'll see leaders continue to adopt IoT deeper into their organizations. Automotive will move from telematics to infotainment, for example. And as the standards begin to evolve and as service providers begin to deliver complete solutions, you'll see the mid-market adopt. It's a transitional thing."

For all the insight into where service providers fit in the IoT, register to attend Light Reading's Carrier IoT: Making Money From Machines event in Atlanta on February 10, 2015.

Developing and delivering those complete solutions is, of course, exactly what Verizon aims to do. Like other carriers that want to play a major role in the IoT, Verizon believes it can transcend connectivity and provide both enterprises and consumers with integrated solutions.

"What we're doing today is taking our assets -- our network connectivity, our network management, our device connectivity and management, our security services and our cloud -- and building them into a common, integrated IoT platform," Bartolomeo says.

And as that platform develops, he says, one of the most integral -- and most frequently overlooked -- parts of the offering is security.

"One of the areas people tend to talk about after the fact is how to secure the IoT," Bartolomeo says. "Verizon is the largest provider of cybersecurity in the world, and we're bringing the same security focus to the IoT. It absolutely has to be end to end -- at the device level, at the network connection level and at the monitoring and reporting level."

— Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, Light Reading

DHagar 12/15/2014 | 1:14:07 PM
Re: Connections SachinEE, maybe they will take it seriously and rise to the occasion?
SachinEE 12/13/2014 | 9:38:04 AM
Re: Connections @DHagar: I agree to what you say. Verizon in this IOT race is much like a bomb waiting to explode: it could explode for the good or for the bad. IOT consumerism will multiply by ten times in the next 5 years and Verizon could be digging its own grave if it does not provide with good quality IOT network management.
Joe Stanganelli 12/6/2014 | 7:12:26 AM
Re: connections Reminds me of some time ago when there was a cable outage in the building I was living in.  The cable guy (not Verizon) came by to fix it -- but couldn't get access to where he needed to get to in the building (long story short: the property management company is a bunch of clueless jerks).  I had to find a guy from the condo board to give the cable guy access -- but then we had to spend an hour looking in and around the building to find the cable guy and see where he had disappeared to.

An easy IoT geolocation solution would have been VERY helpful.
DHagar 12/5/2014 | 4:12:13 PM
Re: Connections Ariella, I couln't agree more.  Verizon has "technical" connectivity but their customer service is very disconnected and you use it at your own risk.  I think they can be a functional player in the IoT, but I don't see them as being the service/user support needed to make IoT take off for consumers.

I see IoT as being another link and data source.  When put into the right systems, it will be another important piece in bringing in new small/individual components.
Ariella 12/5/2014 | 11:31:16 AM
connections Funny that Verizon was the one looking into it. In day to day customer experience, it sufferes from a great deal of disconnectedness. We were told one thing by customer service reps and then another by the company months later. It took a public complaint on social media plus a letter to the Attorney General to get the issue addressed as was promised. 
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