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Verizon Goes Global With UCaaS

Large enterprises have been slow to adopt hosted UC services, but one notable success story comes from Verizon, which notched a high-profile win when it signed Marriott to a hosted deal earlier this year. (Marriott's Bob Galovic, vice president of IT delivery network services, will be discussing that decision during Tuesday's EC Summit at Enterprise Connect.) Now the U.S. carrier is hoping to build on this progress with an expanded offering targeting U.S. multinationals and global companies.

Verizon announced the new service offering this morning at Enterprise Connect, and, in a pre-briefing before the show, Anthony Recine, chief marketing officer at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, told me that the aim is to provide multinationals with a "globally consistent offering for delivering UC as a service."

Specifically, Verizon is targeting Europe and Asia-Pac with the expanded service, which includes in-country support within countries/regions including Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, the U.K., Taiwan, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Verizon is providing the service out of data centers in the U.S., the U.K., the Netherlands, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

The service is based on Cisco's Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) offering, for which Verizon has been a longtime channel in the U.S. In addition to the HCS capabilities, the new Verizon offering includes and integrates with the Cisco Collaboration Meeting Room Cloud, a hosted service that provides voice, video, and Web conferencing. Verizon is also planning to roll out a contact center component of the service in the second half of this year, and has a mobile integration component as well.

Recine pointed out that Verizon isn't new to providing global capability at the network and data center layers, and he said the new offering simply brings the carrier up to compete at the application layer. "It builds upon the investments we've already made," he said.

The real challenge for Verizon in preparing to roll out the service wasn't on the technology side, but on the business side, Recine said -- and certainly any carrier trying to deliver global hosted services, or any enterprise hoping to procure such services, for that matter, faces such a challenge. The most significant investments the carrier made in bringing the global UCaaS service to market were in backend systems and processes to allow it to do ordering, quotes, and provisioning efficiently, in different currencies and contracting models in the various diverse regions of the world.

"That may sound simple, but there's a tremendous amount of investment in resources," he said.

"Making sure we can deliver an exceptional customer experience," Recine added. "That's what keeps me up at night."

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