|Issue:||North America 2009|
|Topic:||The global enterprise ecosystem|
|Title:||President of Verizon Business|
Fran Shammo is President of Verizon Business; he came to this role after serving as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Verizon Business. Mr Shammo has more than 24 years of combined financial and operational experience. He has served as President – West Area for Verizon Wireless, responsible for the company’s operations in the 13 states west of Colorado. Mr Shammo also served as Vice President and Controller for Verizon Wireless, after holding the same position at Bell Atlantic for five years. Mr Shammo joined Bell Atlantic Mobile as General Manager for Accounting Operations, and later held a series of positions of increasing responsibility in finance, mergers and acquisitions, logistics, facilities, regional operations and planning. In addition, Mr Shammo acquired public accounting, retail experience and tax experience before entering the wireless industry. Mr Shammo also sits on the Board of Micrus Endovascular Corporation and is Chairman of its Audit Committee. Fran Shammo holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Philadelphia University, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from La Salle University, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Today’s global enterprise is an ecosystem that needs to coordinate with a wide variety of internal sub-ecosystems, with customers, suppliers and other sector players. A global enterprise cannot survive without IT and communications systems that effectively interconnect these related ecosystems to work as one. Secure and expertly tailored solutions on global unified communications and collaboration platforms will enhance enterprises’ productivity and – together with the solutions – facilitate telework, reduce travel and energy use, and help customers do more with less.
Global IT management software company CA was looking for a way to enable its call-centre agents to telework and to improve the productivity and responsiveness of its 12,000 employees in 65 locations in 35 countries. To accomplish all this, it needed a solution that encompassed more than its own mobile and remote employees. It needed a solution that addressed a wider extended enterprise that includes global customers, suppliers and partners. The answer for CA and a growing number of business customers was a global unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) platform. UC&C is one of those buzzwords that can mean many things. What’s important to understand is that it enables any member of an extended enterprise to use whichever form of communication – including voice, e-mail, instant messaging, and audio and Web conferencing – is appropriate and effective for any given external or internal interaction. Of particular relevance to the theme of this month’s magazine, UC&C exhibits an important characteristic of any successful technological approach. An innovation with true staying power does not view the customer in isolation. In the case of a multinational customer, the prerequisite for success is addressing the full set of relationships in which the organization operates. The terminology used for that set of relationships is ‘ecosystem’. The globally extended enterprise, as a whole, is an ecosystem, and there are sub-ecosystems within it as well. Every successful communications technology today and going forward will be measured on its ability to address the challenges of operating in those varied ecosystems. It is not just multinational corporations that operate in many ecosystems. Think for a moment about healthcare. From a consumer perspective, the healthcare ecosystem encompasses patients, doctors, hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, pharmacies, rehabilitation centres, nursing homes and visiting nurses, and so on. Education is yet another distinct ecosystem, while the financial sector forms yet another. These ecosystems present opportunities for individuals, companies and governments to turn challenges into opportunities. Innovative solutions enable comprehensive integration and management of wireless and wireline technologies, encompassing both communications and computing (IT) applications. Healthcare, energy, retail, finance, education and government all have distinctive ecosystems. Smart grids, smart buildings, smart campuses, smart homes are moving from the drawing boards to becoming permanent fixtures in our lives. Global enterprise needs In the case of the extended enterprise, customers tell us that a successful communications and IT solution must meet six key requirements. First, the entire extended enterprise must be connected. This may seem rather obvious and even simple, but when you factor in globalization, the economic downturn and the complexity of the enterprises, the challenges can appear daunting especially since the necessary communications infrastructure can vary from country to country. Companies want a consistent communications experience no matter where their offices are located – and their employees expect no less. Global sourcing, emerging markets, industry consolidation, telecommuting and competition are all manifestations of globalization, and as we are all aware, the planetary economy indeed is more interconnected than ever. While the slump has added to total cost of ownership pressures, other longer-term trends related to enterprise complexity continue unabated. These trends include convergence of IT and network infrastructure and services, the growing challenges of security, the increased need to meet governmental compliance, mobility, the adoption of Internet protocol (IP) which allows for replacement of separate networks for voice and data, and the increased number of applications running on these converged networks. About 75 per cent of enterprise customers have moved to IP because of its efficiencies and additional capabilities. Even more interestingly, an increasing percentage of IP customers are asking carriers to manage their networks and applications for them. Second, IT and networks must work as one. Because of convergence, the distinction between IT and network has blurred. Mere connectivity is no longer enough. Customers today view the ability to communicate globally as integral to their business operations, and rightfully demand that both their applications and networks run more efficiently. They also require that their applications work reliably no matter if their offices are located around the block or around the globe. Enterprises want solutions that move the needle on their business. They define value in terms of enabling them to be more competitive and more nimble in the marketplace. Third, security must be built in. Because the enterprise extends beyond employees and across time zones, security becomes more challenging. Customers require that their data and their identities are secure. All this means that security solutions must now encompass safeguarding all end points, servers, applications, users and of course, their networks. Security needs to be an integral part of any communication solution. Enterprises should ensure a comprehensive security strategy is in place — complete with the appropriate processes and controls to succeed in ensuring the safety of data, networks and users. Fourth, solutions must enable productivity and eco-responsibility. As our CA example shows, business customers increasingly want help improving employee productivity. Improved efficiency also helps them go green, a matter of particular importance in countries that have adopted carbon-footprint regulatory requirements. It’s no surprise that telework is becoming increasingly popular as issues ranging from last year’s rising fuel prices to the current economic crisis are causing more and more businesses to look for ways to operate more efficiently at a lower cost. In its Telework Trendlines™ 2009 report, the HR association WorldatWork found that the total number of U.S. teleworkers – employees, contractors and business owners – has risen 17 per cent, from 28.7 million in 2006 to 33.7 million in 2008. Chuck Wilsker, president of the Telework Coalition, said that the volume of employer inquiries his organization receives has tripled in the past two years and that “mainstreaming telework will enable employers to control costs and provide the foundation for employment stability and future growth”. Fifth, solutions must help customers do more with less. As the complexity of services increases and, particularly in this economy, IT staffs are hard pressed. Users need help to enable their IT departments to optimize their time and control their overall costs. Managed services continue to grow in popularity as IT departments can choose what and when to out-task to a third-party provider, enabling them to focus on more critical tasks. Last, solutions must be expertly tailored. The focus on providing solutions for customers operating in complex ecosystems puts a premium on professional IT consulting. The days of selling ala carte point services off the shelf are over. The days of one-shoe fits are long gone. The technologies that last are those tailored to the individual customer’s ecosystems. That requires the expertise to provide comprehensive professional IT consulting services. In the case of multinational corporations, those professional services must run the gamut from designing networks to improving application performance to safeguarding critical company assets. Communications companies that truly take the time to learn and understand not only the customer’s business, but also the ecosystems in which they operate, will create enormous opportunities for their customers and for themselves. The innovative technologies that enable customers to more effectively and efficiently operate in these various ecosystems will lead the market. Some will fill small but important niches. No matter the customer’s size, all the marketing ‘marathoners’ will go the distance by using technology as a means to the real ends: developing tailored solutions that meet the complex set of needs that arise from ecosystems.