Verizon Hails Europe, Talks M&A
Europe is a hot market for enterprise communications services opportunities, according to John Stratton, the president of Verizon Enterprise Solutions, who says that of all the regions under his global control, he's spent more time in Europe recently than any in other place.
"We sell a richer set of services here than anywhere else," he told a media briefing in London, though he declined to reveal what slice of the circa US$30 billion revenues generated by Verizon Enterprise Solutions in 2012 came from Europe. "We have a fairly unique set of services," he claimed, citing wireless, connectivity, machine-to-machine (M2M), managed security and cloud services.
That claim might have the likes of NTT Communications Corp. and AT&T Inc. rushing for their dictionaries to check up on the meaning of "unique".
Stratton was particularly vocal about the role Verizon Enterprise Solutions is playing in terms of providing managed security services to large corporate and central government users, including extensive contracts with the U.S. federal government.
"DDOS [distributed denial of service] attacks are a growing threat. Not long ago these attacks were 1 Gbit/s [in terms of the capacity utilization of an attack] and they grew to 40 or 50 times within the space of nine months. It's our job to evolve our security defenses ahead of attacks. Fortunately, because of the reach of our network, we are able to spot DDOS attacks early, as we can see them amassing," noted Stratton.
So with this big focus on security, and the prevailing view among U.S. politicians and pressure groups that Chinese technology should not be used to build networks that carry or access sensitive data, does Verizon include Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in its RFP and procurement processes?
"No. There are certain companies that are outside of our consideration and Huawei is one of them," said Stratton in response to Light Reading's question.
Companies? So there are a number of excluded vendors? Who else is on it? "No comment on the others," said Stratton.
He was keener to talk about the way Verizon Enterprise Solutions, formed in late 2011, has built its core pillars from a number of strategic acquisitions in recent years, most notably Terremark (for cloud services assets), Hughes Telematics (for M2M) and Cybertrust (for security). (See Verizon Taps Terremark for $1.4B, Verizon Creates Global Enterprise Unit, Verizon Closes Hughes M2M Buy, Verizon Grabs Cybertrust and Verizon to Buy CloudSwitch.)
As a result of those acquisitions "we now find we are competing with IBM, Accenture" as well as with the other international telcos.
So is Stratton done with M&A? Or is there more in the pipeline?
He said Verizon is always on the look-out for deals that make sense, but that he expects future acquisitions to be smaller and more focused on "intellectual property," rather than any more "blockbuster deals," such as the one for Terremark.
— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading