Verizon Business and Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) announced a multi-year strategic partnership where Verizon will deploy their Network as a Service (NaaS), an all-encompassing solution that will deliver an enhanced customer experience to more than 9,000 Walgreens and Duane Reade retail locations across the US. The foundation of the partnership is underpinned by the full breadth of Verizon's assets including LTE, 5G, and Verizon Media, which will enable Verizon to continuously offer the latest in technological and business process innovation.

Telecom Review spoke with Sampath Sowmyanarayan, President of Global Enterprise at Verizon Business, about this agreement and how it will benefit Walgreens.

"This is the largest, fully customized, Network as a Service solution for a partner on this scale," said Tami Erwin, Chief Executive Officer, Verizon Business. "Working closely with Walgreens to understand their focus areas, we've tailored an offering that will meet their technology needs of today, and quickly scale to offer a rolling deployment of 5G in Walgreens locations, next-gen in-store experiences for customers and employees, and future-proofed backend operations to enhance efficiencies."

"WBA's digital transformation is focused on modernizing and digitizing our company to provide customers with seamless and personalized shopping experiences, whether in-store, online or in the palm of their hand," said Mike Maresca, Global Chief Technology Officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance. "We continue to enhance our business systems and processes both internally and with industry-leading partners to meet the changing needs of Walgreens customers and boost productivity across our workforce. Verizon's 20 years of experience in this space will help transform our network in the US and also serve as a foundation for our future digital innovations."

What Network as a Service is, and why it matters?

Verizon Business' network as a service (NaaS) is an on-demand solution utilizing the latest connectivity, network and security technologies. The on-demand offering takes multiple technologies, and delivers a single solution to the customer to enable their digital transformation. As technology evolves, customers like Walgreens will have the newest technology almost instantly and can focus on what matters to them most.

The 5G future and co-innovation possibilities

Verizon's 5G network is the foundational technology for 21-century innovation. Businesses that make the decision to invest in 5G now will be ahead of the curve and in a position to lead their industry as 5G adoption increases. Things like augmented and virtual reality experiences built on Verizon's 5G network will be key in delivering lifestyle management solutions in areas such as nutrition and wellness via customers' delivery method of choice, either remotely with digital devices and digital applications or with an in-store expert enhanced with smart wearables in the future.

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