Verizon supports businesses around the globe, of all sizes and industries when they want to transform the way they operate, accelerate growth, and reimagine their future using advanced connectivity. With the goal of driving industries forward and changing the way the world lives, works, and plays, Verizon continues to be the global business partner of choice and the network America relies on for fixed and mobile connectivity.

Eric Cevis is the President of Verizon Partner Solutions, which is responsible for domestic and international wholesale strategy, including marketing, sales, customer service operations and wholesale business operations.

Eric is very active in industry organizations and works extensively with the GLF, MEF and others. He recently won the Telecom Review CEO of the Year Award for his contributions to the industry and being an agent of in the industry and beyond. At the award presentation we spoke with him about his point of view on where the Partner Solutions business is going.

Partnership Matters at Verizon! Verizon Partner Solutions (VPS) is a global wholesale service provider for global voice, data and Internet network connectivity via wireline, wireless and above the network solutions with services in 2,700 cities and 150 countries across the globe. VPS is committed to providing a better experience, better performance and better business results as they work with their customers to deliver innovative network solutions.

How has this focus on Partnerships shaped the impressive growth at Verizon? By remaining on the leading edge of products and services offered to Verizon’s partners, Verizon is able to retain their leadership in today’s marketplace.

Standardized APIs are essential building blocks for automating business and operational functions and are critical for enabling parties to interact reliably and efficiently within an interconnected, automated ecosystem. Industry organizations – including MEF, TM Forum, and the Global Leaders’ Forum (GLF) – have cooperated to drive development and adoption of standardized APIs with the goal of unlocking the full potential of this ecosystem.  

One of the hottest areas of industry activity entering 2023 is associated with MEF’s business process APIs that enable service providers to “invest once” and efficiently scale implementations with many partners and services across automated supply chains that will extend to enterprises and cloud providers. These APIs are emerging as the preferred way to do business for buyers and sellers seeking to transition from costly, time-consuming, and unscalable manual processes and proprietary, pairwise APIs.

Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD WAN) and Secure access service edge (SASE) have emerged as effective ways to deliver security and networking.  They have become two of the hottest markets in the industry in terms of activity and potential revenue growth in strong double-digits for the next several years. But, up to now, the widespread availability of managed services and overall growth of the software based network services market have been hamstrung by multiple challenges – principal among them being customer education and the lack of industry standards.

Technology Development is Key

“Our name, Verizon Partner Solutions, makes it clear that our focus is to drive strategic partnerships that benefit both our partners and Verizon. These partnerships take many forms.  Whether it’s continuous ways partners can leverage the various offerings (Ethernet, Wave, Internet) of Verizon to meet their strategic wireline objectives or facilitating partner discussions with our Global Products teams to evaluate ways Verizon can leverage the offerings of our partners. Verizon has made significant investments in wireless spectrum, fiber deployments and applications and platforms to support the network opportunities like BlueJeans video conferencing, security, our ThingSpace Platform for IoT, and LTE Business Internet. The combination of Verizon technology together with our robust partner communities continues to be our focus,” Eric told us.

Eric told us, “We see MEC as an important part of our vectors of growth.  The movement of compute and storage resources closer to the network edge to improve latency in next generation applications presents significant opportunities in our industry.  What is exciting to me is that we’ve begun to work with our partners who support the healthcare vertical, manufacturing businesses, research and development facilities and colleges and universities about ways MEC and private 5G can be transformative for their businesses.  For Verizon, it starts with our customers and where they are in the digital transformation journey, and continues by exploring ways to leverage not only the capabilities within Verizon but also our partners.  We’re excited to be partnering with AWS, Google and Microsoft Azure in the MEC space. All of this gives us the opportunity to lead the industry in MEC.”

Employees and Diversity

Eric is the chairperson of the GLF Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) Working Group. The GLF working group released the first-ever industry Gender Imbalance white paper in June 2020.  Since then, two additional annual white papers have been released, one on Racial Equity and the other on Inclusion. GLF has been advocating for women, people of color, and other marginalized communities through that and various other forums. The focus is how we can leverage our collective ‘voice’ and choose to challenge the status quo to drive improvements in diversity, equity and inclusion both within the organizations of members and more broadly across the industry. Ensuring diversity is incredibly beneficial. Diversity creates a virtuous cycle: diverse talent attracts diverse talent; GLF members acknowledge the impact of having a diverse workforce to attract talent and reflect their customer base. The DIB group is focused on developing shared learnings, hosting panels at various events, creating mentor programs in the industry and benchmarking the status and impact of diversity initiatives in their own organizations. To retain talent, programs covering mentorship, sponsorship, workshops and role modeling are among the most highlighted requirements by interviewed GLF members. They call for sharing best practices and creating connections between their organizations. “Together, we can all do more; realizing that it is not only the right thing to do, it is also an investment to grow your business,” Eric said.

Employees and the “Talent Gap”

The “talent gap” is of concern to leaders across this industry. Within Verizon their Human Resource organization partners with their business units on an initiative they call ‘Talent Works,’ and this partnership allows Verizon to focus on three pillars, 1) attract talent, 2) develop talent and 3) inspire talent. It’s acknowledged in businesses around the world today that improving workforce diversity, and particularly gender diversity, is a business imperative. The importance of diversity in business is not just about the bottom line, or the benefits, or even best business practice. It’s about the culture of the organization employees want to work for. Eric noted that they want their world of work to be one where everyone’s talents are recognized and appreciated.

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