Talk to Me

By Alison Diana  |  Posted 2008-09-29 Print this article Print

Verizon Communications’ centralized, collaborative approach to business boosts productivity, profitability and customer satisfaction.

Talk to Me

A technology-intensive communications firm like Verizon is obviously eager to get feedback and ideas from its IT professionals. So top management frequently teams up IT and business-unit professionals to address challenges and opportunities, and to discuss how a particular technology tool may be of use.

“Ideas come from multiple places, and with ideas comes innovation,” says Fremont. “We have a normal business prioritization process that takes place on an annual basis, but it can take place any time during the year if there’s a good idea. Other times, projects and initiatives are launched from the top, with a focus on a given area. In those cases, subject-matter experts in various organizations form a working group.”

The IT department is integral to ensuring that operations are running efficiently and accurately, and it plays a major operational part in executing some high-priority corporatewide initiatives, according to Fremont. “In addition, in terms of the overall strategy, we play a fairly key role in defining the three- to five-year strategy from an overall IT perspective, and in working with the individual business units,” he says.

Working closely with top business management, IT executives have access to Verizon’s projects, plans and goals, and they are tapped to integrate existing or pending technologies, where applicable. Verizon also encourages its employees and executives to participate in relevant blogs, newsletters and threads that are submitted by personnel from around the world.

“A lot of sharing takes place,” says Fremont. “There’s a tremendous amount of intellectual capital in this company. In today’s economy, intellectual property has become even more strategic, and a good idea can be a game-changer.”

The IT group also offers its opinion on available or emerging technologies Verizon could tap for its customers. “Technology is radically changing our business,” says Fremont. “The competitors of yesteryear—many of which are gone—and the competitors of today are drastically different, and the battle continues for the digital customer.

“The fact that we at Verizon grew up with technology makes us more adaptive and, in many ways—particularly in IT—more accepting of change and, in some cases, more welcoming of change. From a technology enablement perspective, we tend to be bleeding edge because we have to be. That positions us to be more responsive to change.”

Verizon expects its communications-friendly business model to generate more synergies and positive results for the company and its customers. “I think you’ll see some new products that will wow you and start to demonstrate some of the capabilities—which senior management has already seen—that unleash the value of Verizon as a whole,” Fremont predicts.

When that happens, Verizon hopes the phones—along with broadband Internet and TV services—generate a buzz that will be heard around the world.

READ Convergence: The Wave of the Future

Alison Diana is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

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