Careers at Verizon
Verizon’s mission is to enable people and businesses to communicate with each other.
Verizon Communications is a provider of communications and technology products and services. The company operates two reportable business segments:
- Wireless – Better known as Verizon Wireless, it provides voice and data services and related wireless equipment. Offerings include basic phones, smartphones, tablets, and other Internet access devices.
- Wireline – Provides communications products and services. Specific offerings include broadband data and video, cloud and data center services, corporate networking solutions, managed network and security services, and long distance/local voice services.
In 1984, following an antitrust lawsuit, AT&T Corporation was ordered by the U.S. Justice Department to give up control of the Bell Operating Companies that offered local telephone service throughout the U.S. They were spun off into seven Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs, also known as “Baby Bells”), one of which was Bell Atlantic. The new RBOC presided over a handful of states: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
In its first year Bell Atlantic acquired many firms as part of an effort to become a full-service provider. In a matter of time it offered a wide variety of solutions, from data processing and information services equipment to computer maintenance. By 1990 it became the largest independent computer maintenance service in the world, capable of handling 500 brands. That year the company spent $2 billion on upgrades, including ISDN and SS7 capabilities. By year-end it had revenues of $12.3 billion.
The 1990s saw several major milestones that helped build the company’s status. In 1995 federal courts ruled that Bell Atlantic and the other Baby Bells could offer long distance service, a major breakthrough. In 1997 the company merged with NYNEX to form the country’s second biggest phone company, with 63 million lines in 40 states. Not long afterwards, Bell Atlantic Internet Solutions was formed to provide Internet access to customers. At this point the firm served 25% of the U.S. market.
In 2000 Bell Atlantic acquired electronics equipment manufacturer GRE, completing one of the largest mergers in U.S. history. Following the action the company changed its name to Verizon Communications. The name came from a combination of “veritas”, a Latin word meaning truth, and “horizon”, a nod to the new entity’s unlimited potential. The same year Bell Atlantic combined its wireless assets with those of Vodafone AirTouch to form Verizon Wireless, with 23 million customers.
Over the next few years Verizon became even more dominant. Its first year, it introduced Mobile Web, which allowed customers to access the Internet through their phones. It also unveiled the “New Every Two” initiative that granted a free phone with each two-year contract. In 2002 it began providing all phone and Internet service in a bundle. In 2004 it was added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average stock market index, replacing AT&T. In 2005 it launched the Internet service FiOS, which transmits data over fiber optic cables. In 2005 it acquired long distance carrier MCI, growing its global presence. In 2010 it acquired Alltel, making it the largest wireless services provider in the U.S.
Business model of Verizon
Verizon has a segmented market business model, with customers who have slightly different needs. Its customer segments are consumers, businesses, carriers, and the government.
Verizon offers three primary value propositions: performance, innovation, and brand/status.
The company frequently touts the high reliability of its coverage. Its main network technology platforms are 3G Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and 4G LTE. 4G LTE operates in the 700 MHz spectrum, which offers better propagation than the high-frequency wireless deployments of other carriers, resulting in a high-quality experience. Moreover, it supports faster download/upload rates and lower latency than competitors‘ 3G technology. Other benefits of 4G LTE include stronger security, better multipath mobility, and superior simultaneous use support.
The company has made a priority of introducing innovations on a regular basis, with notable offerings including 4G wireless and FiOS. It maintains “Innovation Labs” where it develops new wireless technology advances. It also operates “Innovation Centers”, facilities that showcase cutting-edge products and visionary ideas still in progress to guests such as investors and the media.
The company’s brand has been burnished by its massive success. It is the largest wireless service provider in the United States in terms of revenues ($91.7 billion in 2015) and retail connections (112.1 million in 2015). Its 4G LTE network is accessible to more than 98% of the country’s population, covering over 500 markets. Lastly, it has won numerous prestigious honors, including recognition as the “Fastest Mobile Network” (PC Magazine) and as the #1 U.S. Telecommunications Network in terms of speed, reliability, data, and call network performance (Rootmetrics).
Verizon’s main channel is its network of retail stores, called “Verizon Destination Stores”, through which it acquires consumers and business customers. The company also relies heavily on sales through its website and through phone calls handled by its telemarketing sales staff. Beyond these direct channels, Verizon maintains exclusive selling arrangements with agents who sell its products and services through the Internet and at various retail locations. Further, Verizon distributes its offerings in major chains such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, and Dollar General. Verizon promotes its solutions using the print, TV, radio, Internet, outdoor signage, and point-of-sale channels.
Verizon’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize the firm’s products and service while having limited interaction with employees. Its website has a “Support” section with detailed answers for common questions. It also offers chat support from an automated “Virtual Assistant.” That said, there is a community component in the form of a forum where advice can be sought from peers. In addition, there is a personal assistance element in the form of phone support and in-store workshops where customers can receive hands-on training from an expert.
Verizon’s business model entails designing and developing its services and their associated plans for customers. The products it offers (devices and accessories) are manufactured by third parties, which include Apple, Blackberry, LG Electronics, HTC, Motorola Mobility, and Samsung.
Verizon’s key partners are the resellers who purchase products from the company wholesale and then sell them through their own outlets. Other key partners are companies that join the Verizon Innovation Program. The initiative enables members to collaborate with industry experts to produce innovative wireless devices, services, and applications. Specific partners include Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Qualcomm, and Samsung, all of whom helped found the program.
Verizon’s main resource is its Innovation Centers, where it comes up with ideas for its products and services. The company also relies heavily on human resources in the form of its industry experts, sales/marketing employees, and customer service staff.
Verizon has a value-driven structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through the constant introduction of new and innovative services. Its biggest cost driver is selling/administrative expenses, a fixed cost. Other major drivers are cost of services and wireless cost of equipment (both variable expenses).
Verizon has three revenue streams:
Product Sales – Revenues generated from the sales of devices and accessories such as phones, tablets, and headsets.
Subscription Sales – Revenues generated from the sales of service subscription plans.
Advertising Sales – Revenues generated from the sale of display and search advertising options to third parties. Advertising occurs on the company’s website and its devices.
info: Lowell earned a Bachelor's degree in Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from the University of San Diego. He previously served as President and COO of Verizon, as well as President and CEO of PrimeCo Personal Communications.
info: Roy earned a B.S. in Business Administration from San Jose State University and an MBA from the University of San Francisco. He previously served as SVP of Corporate Strategy at Verizon and Corporate VP of the Americas at Motorola Networks.
info: Diego earned a B.A. in Advertising and Marketing Communications from the University of Management and Social Sciences in Buenos Aires. He previously served as the CMO of J.Crew and the Head of Global Advertising at American Express.
info: Fran earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Philadelphia University and an MBA from La Salle University. He previously served as President and CEO of Verizon Telecom and Business and President of Verizon Business.
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