Alex(a) Explain Advanced Communications

by Dave Michels

The UCC story at Verizon is pretty big and includes multiple options for UCaaS and CCaaS. Some of them even include 5G, and some of them even disguise the 5G as ordinary desktop phones. Some of them are Verizon branded and some are the biggest names in advanced communications. Yes, I said advanced communications… I learned that term from Alex.

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Evan Kirstel 0:12
and on this episode of talking heads, we have Alex Doyle, Executive Director of Advanced Technology at Verizon. That’s quite a title. But first, Dave, I hear you’ve adopted the traditions of the digital nomad, are you working and while traveling now, sort of this is the hot new thing, you know,

Dave Michels 0:33
that’s the thing of me, you and I can do our thing anywhere we happen to be. So we may as well happen to be in Nice, beautiful places. And so I’m in Portugal this week. It’s been a fantastic time. You’ve you’ve been here to Portugal.

Evan Kirstel 0:45
I was in Lisbon briefly once, but I didn’t partake in the culture like you’re doing. So tell us give us a rotten tomatoes of Portugal?

Dave Michels 0:56
Well, it’s a beautiful place to be. I mean, the beach area scenario podcast guys in an apartment. I mean, let me tell you about getting this apartment here. So we go to the building. And the building has multiple entrances and so no big deal. Turns out we were supposed to be an entrance a that turns out to be a big deal. So we went into insurance. See, that was a big mistake. And then you go into the entrance. And then the stairway is in the middle of these apartment buildings. This is very common Portugues format them the stairways in the middle, and then you’re either on the right side or left side. So every apartment is floor number, you know, one, right or to left. Pretty straightforward. Well, guess what side the right sides on your left? Absolutely. If you’re, if you walk into the building, the right side is on the left, which I just don’t understand. So apparently this instruction is designed for people leaving the building. But anyway, so you come into the building, and then you got to go to your floor. So our apartment happens to be on first floor, right? So guess what floor that is? That is called the ground. Though you’re wrong, though. That would be true in Boston. But in Europe, ground floor is zero. So you have to go up a flight to go to the first floor. So we’re on the first floor right side, which is of course the wrong side. And that’s not it. So we figured we’d better not use the keys we better just not before we open the door. So you’re knocking some people answer and they don’t speak a word of English. So so that was a bit of a problem. You know, they’ve kind of freaking out because how you’re not supposed to even get into the building without

Evan Kirstel 2:25
as Seinfeld says, yada, yada, yada. You were ended up in prison,

Dave Michels 2:30
but I knew we were supposed to be on the first floor. And I knew you had to adjust for the floor. So I went to the second floor, which was a mistake. So we went to the second floor, right side or wrong side. And then yeah, yada, yada, yada. I think we woke up like three or four people knocking on three or four doors. Somebody walked us over to building a walk this up to the right floor, showed us the right side, which was the left side. And yeah, everything’s great. So welcome to Portugal. Well, thank

Evan Kirstel 2:56
you for perpetuating the image of the ugly American mind Remind me never to go on vacation with you.

Dave Michels 3:04
Let’s get to our conversation with advanced communications genius Alex Doyle.

god 3:09
Let’s do it. Talking. It’s a semi monthly podcast with interviews of the top movers and shakers and enterprise communications and collaboration, your host, our Dave Michaels, and Evan Kersal, both of which offer extraordinary services including research, analysis and social media marketing. You can find them on Twitter, LinkedIn, or at talking That’s points with the Z and Devin curse go calm. That’s K IR STL.

Dave Michels 3:39
Today we have with us Alex Doyle. He’s the Executive Director of advanced communications products at for Ryzen. Welcome, Alex.

Alex Doyle 3:48
Thank you, Dave. Thank you, Evan. It’s great to be with you.

Dave Michels 3:50
So let’s Alex, let’s start off here with you started for Iceland back in 2014. In the UC, and then last year, you transitioned into what’s called advanced communication. So are you suggesting that you see is not an advanced communication?

Alex Doyle 4:05
I’ll be non humble and say I’ve been fortunate to work with an amazing team at Verizon. And we’ve had some great success. And because of that, I’ve kind of advanced up the food chain a little bit, if you will. So when I came in, I was responsible for what was basically a traditional unified communications portfolio that was also kind of more enterprise based. And now the portfolio is brought in as have kind of gone up the ranks. So what’s in our patch now is a combination of unified communications, Contact Center as a service, SIP Trunking, some of the AI things with contact center and we’ve bundled all that under a term called advanced communications. So kind of you see plus a few more things that I’ve added in along the way,

Evan Kirstel 4:43
but at a company like Verizon isn’t everything advanced communications, I mean, you are at the tip of the spear.

Alex Doyle 4:49
We really are avid and I think one of the things that I think for reasons kind of evolved its play in over the years is at heart. We’re still a network company, right? I think, you know, we’ve got The world’s best 4g LTE network, we’re building out this amazing 5g network, we’re doing some amazing things with C bands and expanding it. And we’re in, you know, well over 100 countries around the world with this amazing global network. I think what we’ve seen happen over the last few years is that it used to be, we’d sell in with a unified communications and call center side and then use that to pull through network. Now, especially after the pandemic, you’re seeing companies kind of reimagine all kinds of transformation. And a lot of that’s network transformation. So as they’re kind of reimagining their infrastructure, sometimes they’re seeing Verizon, bring in new network technology, and then that pulls together you see in contact center and mobility services with it.

Evan Kirstel 5:39
Well, that’s all very exciting, but I think you should create a new role called the executive director of obsolete communications, and nominate Dave Michaels as its head, not recently.

Dave Michels 5:53
But it’s it’s interesting now that you say, you know, your network company, because it certainly we’re a network company, but maybe it’s all because of you. But since you’ve been there, there’s so many new applications there. Right, you launched one talk, you acquired blue jeans, you recently launched the RingCentral partnership, or was it RingCentral. with Verizon, you’ve got the contact center hub, you’ve been really busy. Have I got everything there? What else is going on there?

Alex Doyle 6:16
We have been very, very busy, David, and thank you for that. I tell you one of the things I love about working with Verizon Verizon business is just the scope of playing fields in which we get to play right. So if I zoom back a second, you know, Verizon business is about a $32 billion

Dave Michels 6:31
within a Freudian slip,

Alex Doyle 6:34
maybe. So we serve this just amazing diversity of customers. So within Verizon business, we basically have four different business units we sell, we have kind of our large enterprise customers global enterprise, we’ve got an SMB and mid market business unit, we’ve got our public sector business unit, and we have our wholesale business unit. And because of that, this is absolutely true. The customers we serve with our portfolio is all the way from my kid you not a 89 year old grandmother in Montana, who started a one person business on Etsy, who uses one TOC all the way up to the federal government, though, you know, the largest multinationals in the world, and I think to serve that variety of customers, but I get the chance to kind of bring all the assets of Verizon to bear. So when I started in 2014, we were more global enterprise focused, which meant a little more wireline a little more multinational, a little more of our partner based things. But right around 2016, you know, we saw the world obviously, it’s clearly going mobile. And I think we were probably one of the first in the world to bring a pure mobile, you see play with one talk. So now what you see us do is everything we do is very strategic about serving one of those four business units specific segments, and ideally bring in our wireless and wireline network things into play.

Dave Michels 7:52
Where you’ve got a lot of business units, there’s you describe a lot of everything for Aizen. Now, I always use the term UCC, for unified communications and collaboration. That’s just two C’s. But of course, Verizon has four C’s. What are the other two communications collaboration?

Alex Doyle 8:08
Yeah, I joke that in our portfolio, we have the four C’s plus one, we have our calling platforms, things like you know, one talk or perhaps a WebEx calling. We’ve got our collaboration, platforms Bluejeans is fantastic. Got our contact center, that’s number three. And then our connectivity, you know, we still do a tremendous amount of VoIP trunking, and VoIP to contact centers around the world. And then fifth, you know, Evan, you made that joke about, you know, obsolete technology, I still have a lot of core TDM in our network. And we do a lot of work with our core TDM customers, believe it or not, there’s still a lot out there as they go through their transformation, perhaps from TDM Centrex, to an IP platform, or from Potts to a new platform. There’s a lot of laggards out there that we still work with to kind of help them on their transition out of core TDM. Those are our five,

Evan Kirstel 8:58
you’re gonna have to pull the fax machine out of David Michaels cold dead hands. So I understand what you’re what you’re saying. But when it comes to UCAS, I mean, what are the other solutions you offer? I mean, like WebEx teams, are there premises based solutions, or,

Alex Doyle 9:15
in general, it’s segment based, and in general, it’s all cloud. Now we really don’t do a lot of premises resell, although we’ll connect our connectivity or SIP Trunking to people who have it. So in general, if you look at the large enterprise, and some of the federal space, typically will partner there, and we’ve got great partners. They’ve mentioned that we launched RingCentral with Verizon this year, we’ve got a great partnership with the Cisco WebEx team. And traditionally For you see, those are two players in the large enterprise space. And really, there’s technology and strategy and go to market and reasons that we work that way. Typically, with our Cisco customers, a lot of them have a Cisco premises base and they might want to migrate from it with RingCentral. They’re usually working with us to take advantage of our 4g and 5g Fixed wireless access more of a greenfield play. So in enterprise, we do a lot of CO marketing and shoulder to shoulder selling with our partners. Once you go into mid market and small, that’s where we really find that the Verizon brand Verizon Wireless, and that Verizon sales channel, really is our competitive advantage. So in mid market and down, you’ll actually see us use Verizon branded offers as our lead offers. So Verizon one talk is just played phenomenally well in mid market and small business. Our blue jeans acquisition has been kind of in mid market and small as well. And last year, we launched contact center hub to kind of round out the offer. So in mid market and small, it’s very much horizon brand mobile first, when you go into enterprise, it’s typically a little more wireline ish and more global and more partner driven. And that’s what we tried to segment our channels and our marketing and our positioning to the customer base.

Evan Kirstel 10:58
So it’s a fellow geek and techie, it must be really fun to be in Verizon, you get to change your phone, like every month. So what are you using?

Alex Doyle 11:07
I tell you, it’s even stranger than that. There have been times where I’ve had multiple phones with me, because we’ve got great partnerships with multiple device vendors, you know, we’ve done some great things with Apple, we’ve done some great things with Samsung. So for a long time, I was the envy of my teenagers when I would come home every week with a new phone and they’re like, Can I get one dad? I’m like, No, you can’t get one. You have to pay like everyone else. I’ll tell you though, it is phenomenal. One of the reasons I love it, like you said, Evan, I get access to all these amazing people, these amazing partners, these amazing assets. And sometimes there’s great innovation that either is in our space, or it’s adjacent to our space. And then we get to kind of ride on this innovation that’s happening. I mean, just literally in the last month, Samsung put out the next generation of the fold. And the fold natively runs blue jeans on it. And I’m curious to see the take rate and how these different foldable devices come out. But that’s just one example you see the fold with blue jeans. Obviously one talk has got amazing native functionality with both iOS and Samsung. Every single UC application we run runs natively over the Verizon 5g and 5g Fixed wireless access network. So it has been fun kind of expanding my purview outside of the traditional UCAS kind of vertical.

Dave Michels 12:21
Wow, did you say you’re folding the blue jeans division? That seems such a shame?

Alex Doyle 12:25
I think there must be static. We’ll take that out in post production.

Dave Michels 12:31
All right. All right. Well, let’s go to one talk that that sounds like a safer topic. So we’ve talked about one talk before Alex. And you know, I’m a big fan of one talk and that I consider it one of the best kept secrets. And you guys and I often get asked why a business should still buy a phone system when smartphones are so good. Now I have my own opinions about how to answer that. But one talk is an option that blurs the smartphones and UCAS probably more so than most services do. And so do most one talk customers have a mix of smartphones and traditional IP phones. Is that right?

Alex Doyle 13:04
Yeah, it’s so interesting that one talk has proven to be a bit of a Swiss army knife, and that the amount and diversity of use cases we see it’s great. I mean, I just see all this innovation come from our partners and from our customer base. So with one talk your smartphone, you’ve got your choice of devices, right? One, your business smartphone can just natively work. There’s no app required, I can just pick up my smartphone, I can dial four digits or dial whatever, I can have boss admin services, right on my native smartphone. But we have other options too, you can have a desk phone that comes with it. You can even have an app and over the top app that runs on your tablet or your smartphone for like the BYOD case. And because of that, we do see a lot of differences in the device base we see pre pandemic. And this surprises me a little, we were still seeing about 60% desk phones and 40% mobile applications. And that kind of makes sense, especially in the mid market. You’ve got office space workers, like the accountants or the front desk workers, you know, you know, stay in the office and you know, your sales teams are executive pure mobile. And we’ve got people like me who have both I have a smartphone and deskphone. Since the pandemic, we’ve definitely seen an increase where I think the pure mobile players are probably about 70%. Now, so you’ve seen almost a total inversion of it. So you know, like they say, sometimes decades of change happens in a few weeks. I think that’s what we’ve seen with one top we’ve definitely seen acceleration of things moving to a more mobile space.

Dave Michels 14:31
So everybody’s taking home makes people want to be more mobile. Is that right?

Alex Doyle 14:34
Well, I mean, take my case for a little bit. It was like luckily, I could take my desk phone home, right? It wasn’t like an old Cisco PBX phone where it was like hardwired to the wall. So I took my desk phone home and I got home and I went well, what why do I actually need this anymore? You know, so it’s more of like, either you can just use your laptop or your smartphone, or people are just in a hybrid mode and going between sites or between their retail stores, things

Evan Kirstel 14:59
like that. I think desk phones are still cool. My favorite TV show is billions. And the main character David Axelrod, actually all the employees still have desk phones. And so you know, it’s keeping it hip and cool. But you actually have a traditional desk phone that connects via LTE as well. So you’re bringing the old and the new together? Do you think that’s going to be the default approach for desk bonds?

Alex Doyle 15:22
I absolutely do as well, I think, you know, we have a little bit of an advantage in patents and first mover advantage share, I guess, I think this is something we’re incredibly excited about Evan. So I tell you, so just to quickly talk about what you mentioned is, Bryson’s announced a one top desk phone, it’s the same form factor, the same Android base, the same applications, you can run on the desk phone, but it runs entirely over the Verizon LTE network, exactly like a smartphone. And what I think this is going to be a game changer for is just the ease of operations in turning up and deploying this, because it now it’s literally like a smartphone, you plug it in to power, you press the button, and it just pulls all its config from the cloud. Every other VoIP phone on the market, including the VoIP phones that Verizon had before this for one talk, you had to plug a cat five into the wall, and then hope that the end to end deployment works. And especially for the small business side, or where you’re going through some third party sometimes just the amount of things that can go wrong in deploying deskphones. It’s kind of shocking, right? Either firewalls are configured right, or your cat five cables are in the right spot in the wall, or someone’s done something wrong. And fat fingered it. And I tell you, the whole concept of deploying deskphones had been one of our biggest challenges with one talk. I mean, if you think about a company like Verizon Wireless, we don’t have any DNA and doing truck rolls. It’s not like we’re used to showing up and deploying desk phones. We’re a wireless company. And the fact that now we’ve got this desk phone with all the power of the desk and all the capabilities, all the integrations, but you just turn it on and it goes in seconds. That’s going to be a game changer. I’m really, really excited about how this has been received by the market.

Dave Michels 17:08
Now you got me a little suspicious of all those trucks I see that say Verizon autumn, I wonder who they are. But anyway, on this mission on one time between smartphones and desk phones, is that typically mixed in the enterprise that you’re talking about? Or is it more of an individual? The typical UCaaS scenario is we talked about personas, or their desktop personas versus mobile personas. Are you seeing that? People have both? Yeah,

Alex Doyle 17:33
I think it’s hard to kind of over generalize here. But I think what you’ll find is that in enterprise, the personas are more fixed, someone is mobile, or fixed, and only the top executives will have the mobile and the desktop, typically, once you get into mid market and down is a little more entrepreneurial, right? Everybody’s the CEO, everybody’s doing a million jobs. And you do see a little bit more of either all mobile, because the whole company has made this leap and said, Yeah, we’re not going to be fixed wireline anymore. So it’s typically all mobile, maybe you’ll have a desk phone for like the front lobby, and that’s about it. You think in general, the smaller companies, and the younger companies, the startups tend to be a little more innovative and entrepreneurial. And one of the things I’m excited about when you look at what Verizon is doing with fixed wireless access with 5g and 4g, we’re really seeing pure mobile companies now, like every employee only has a smartphone, even your WAN and your internet is from Verizon fixed wireless access. And we’re seeing people really kind of cut the cords in a new way. Evans, a pure

Evan Kirstel 18:38
mobile company. Yes, have one. But you know, one talk sounds interesting. I’m a little embarrassed to say I hadn’t heard of one talk. When embarrassed cuz you’re a marketing powerhouse. Maybe you need to get the word out on that maybe maybe tweet some more billboards or social

Alex Doyle 18:53
leaders, you set a good example. For me, I will say that, I think in general, the side effect of Verizon having such a big sales channel, especially on the b2b side, is that a lot of our selling and promotion ends up being face to face, we sell one talk, you know, in like 1300 retail stores around the country, obviously, the retail stores kind of closed during the pandemic and are coming back now. So we’ve got these 1300 retail stores, you know, we’ve got 3000 feet on the street sellers, we’ve got our channel partners to market. So I do think we’ve had the luxury of not having to, like spend massively on on advertising and promotion that some of the pure players have to do, obviously, just because we’ve got this massive channel. So I get your point. The flip side is I think probably we’ve got some more help on the profitability that we don’t have to do that kind of promotional spending.

Dave Michels 19:42
I want to go back to something you’ve mentioned earlier about how you position your products because you’ve got so many products and services, and many of them overlap with each other. For example, on the UK side, we’ve been talking about one talk, you’ve got WebEx you’ve got RingCentral. So how do you position these both directly and through your channels,

Alex Doyle 20:01
yeah, that’s probably an area where I end up spending a lot of my own personal time either just with, you know, training the sellers, or kind of making sure messaging to the market is clear. In general, I’ll start by saying a lot of it’s segment based, right and enterprise, we’re not going to push one talk a lot, we can in some spaces, but the fact that one up because it’s wireless, it’s by definition, it’s a US only service. So right away, I think that kind of excludes it for some large enterprise sites. So in enterprise, it’s more partner driven, as I mentioned, you know, Cisco RingCentral, or UCAS offers, but we’re also doing a tremendous amount with Microsoft now and Microsoft Teams as they’ve grown in scope, too. So a lot of the times in enterprise, the positioning is a little more of a solution, selling engagement with a customer, where we kind of start out with a couple questions like, What do you have? And where do you want to go, and then from there, we’ll kind of work with like, if they have a Cisco premises base, then more likely than not, we’ll move them to like our Cisco UCM Cloud offer. If it’s more of a Greenfield, new opportunity. More often than not, we’ll use our RingCentral with Verizon, because that’s a better acquisition play for us. And if they are moving to Microsoft Teams, then we’ve got a variety of great teams offers with direct routing and operator connect and things like that. So a little bit, it’s more of a consultative sale. And in enterprise, it’s often tied to that network sale, like I mentioned, you know, really, I mean, if you’re a large enterprise now, you’re so dependent on the network, whatever transformation you’re making, whether it’s cloud or digitization, or m&a, or whatever you’re doing, if that network’s not solid, you’re not going to deliver. So we’ll ride off and on that network play. Once you’re in mid market and down and some of the state and local, it’s really all one talk in blue jeans are so happy with the blue jeans, joining the family. And I think one talk and blue jeans are together is that nice model. So we basically do not sell Cisco, or RingCentral or any partner in mid market and down. It’s just it’s a pure Verizon play.

Dave Michels 21:58
I can’t help but note the coincidence that not long after we had the CEO of blue jeans on a Talking Heads episode, that you acquired them. And I, I think that credit do is credit. Do you know,

Evan Kirstel 22:09
that’s all? Yeah, they’d like to take full credit for everything. So why did Verizon add RingCentral? Considering you already had one talk and teams?

Alex Doyle 22:19
I think, first of all, you know, We’re fans of the team at RingCentral. I think they’ve got a great company, obviously, they’ve had a lot of success and all our partners with them. I think, again, I’ll say we only use RingCentral in the global enterprise space. So we’ve really tried to box them in there strategically, because we use one talk and blue jeans and other things that small and large. I think what we found is that it’s a good when we look at the kind of the customers we find with large enterprise, we’ve got a lot of our base who we’ve worked with for years and run their network and run their managed services and professional services. But from a new customer acquisition side, we found RingCentral to be a great partner for getting in and winning new deals quickly and turning them up on our wireless backbone on our fixed wireless access backbone. So bring these more the acquisition play. Cisco is more of the complex and migration play.

Dave Michels 23:07
Well, you touched on this earlier, but let me clarify this a little. You have some products that are branded Verizon, such as one talk and blue jeans and, and hub. And then of course, you have a lot of products that are not branded Verizon, like WebEx teams and nice Genesis. What’s the internal decision making criteria about the naming? Or what does the naming represent to you internally, if it’s a Verizon brand or not pricing branded?

Alex Doyle 23:34
Yep. If it’s the Verizon brand, that typically means that it’s going to be sold in a mobile first way. And it’s going to be really focused on that lucrative mid market and small business segment. I think we feel super passionately. And I think we lead the way in the world with one talk that the world is absolutely going to go mobile first, maybe not in mobile only, but mobile first, that’s on the UC layer, the context layer, the even the network layer. So when we use our brand, it’s really going to be embracing our wireless DNA, right? We’re the first in the market with 4g First the mark with 5g, we’ve won the RootMetrics, many, many, many years in a row. So we really pride ourselves on that amazing wireless network. So the horizon brand is we’re going to focus on our mobile first solutions. And again, that’s why it’s mid market down if that US space, that’s quite a good part for me to comment on. You know, one of the reasons we’re so excited about bringing blue jeans into the family, you know, I think Bluejeans is obviously known for their video communications and their collaboration and their UC side. But when you know, we partnered with them before the acquisition, and one of the things that kind of struck us right away is they are really built for mobile. I mean, their mobile app scores were higher than any of the AP scores for any other competition. They’re able to build great mobile apps and they kind of fit into our mobile first approach to how we think about products. So certainly, they’ve been great. We love them in the UC staff. They’re a great partner. But one of the things that Think you’ve seen so far and you’ll continue to see us do with blue jeans is use them for other stuff, too. We use them in consumer space, we use them for our 5g and our mobile edge compute. We’ve done some amazing things with them and us sports stadiums and the Indianapolis 500. And stuff like that they bring just a lot of great DevOps capability to rise and to so it really is, for us more just a UC play. It’s been a mobile in development asset we could bring to the family.

Evan Kirstel 25:25
Very cool. So do you sometimes mix and match different solutions, say, one talk and nice or one talk in Genesis versus the varizen?

Alex Doyle 25:35
Usually not usually, it’s pretty straightforward, especially the large enterprise customers, sometimes they’ll ask us to do some custom things. But you know, one of my responsibilities is to help a Salesforce that’s literally 1000s of people strong scale. And I think to a certain extent, you just got to keep it simple there. So in general, if it’s, you know, mid market down, it’ll be one talk and Bluejeans and context center hub, it’s all of Horizon branded suite, if you will. And then when we go into enterprise, depending on what’s there, we’ll use our Microsoft play, or Cisco play, or RingCentral play or one of our contact centers, a service plays.

Evan Kirstel 26:08
Very cool. And speaking of contact center, you’ve added a lot of products over the years, I think you have four contact center offerings, you know, hub, now use WebEx, contact center Genesis, is that just the strategy to keep adding solutions? Or do you ever discontinue certain products?

Alex Doyle 26:25
Yeah, I think since I’ve come into this wider role over the last couple of years, we’ve been on a real sprint to kind of add things in to flesh out all these parts of the places where we need to play from that 89 year old grandmother all the way up, I think you’re gonna see us now take a breath and just kind of continue to scale what we have rather than adding more. And I think when you look at Context centers, a service, typically that’s been an enterprise in a public sector play for us, and you needed these very sophisticated solutions. And we’re super pleased with the partnerships we have with nice, and then we had a Genesis in the last year to really to just win in all parts of global enterprise and public sector. So that’s covered. And then in the mid market and down, that’s where we use context center hub, again, the Verizon brand, it’s simple, it’s scales, you can sell that and turn it up in minutes, as opposed to needing you know, sales engineers to design a solution. On the WebEx side, we’ve added the WebEx contact center in love, it’s great product, but I suspect there you’ll see us adding that to the Cisco you see play, when you start with a pure contact center play an enterprise, it’ll be more of our Genesis and nice offers, you’ll see us lead with

Dave Michels 27:32
back in the days when you launched one talk. It was like the industry voice oriented solution. Today, you guys is more about video than voice I think sometimes. And so is one talk still a voice only solution and you bundle it with Bluejeans or did you add a different video? Or were we out with one talk?

Alex Doyle 27:53
Yeah, I think you’re right, the world’s gone beyond voice to have in that suite of voice and meetings and messaging. Although candidly, especially in that kind of sub 20 space, there are a lot of people who literally hundreds of 1000s of lines of people who are kind of just you know, simple business voice that said to your question, what we’ve taken is that you can have Bluejeans asset, we’ve combined it with one talk. So now with one talk, you get calling meetings and messaging, the calling is based on our traditional one top offer. We’ve added Bluejeans video to it. So it just all comes in native UI integrated experience. And all the messaging is actually based on the Verizon Wireless kind of traditional SMS and MMS network, which we found has been kind of really embraced by our customers. The fact that you can just use your mobile number for texting ends up being the most common way of doing business messaging. Now just to be clear, we can integrate with Slack and other things as well for kind of a different kind of workplace messaging. But the core fundamental offer of our Verizon UC suite went dark for calling blue jeans for video and texting. And then as for a messaging,

Evan Kirstel 29:01
5g and video, it’s like peanut butter and jelly, right, you got to bundle those together.

Alex Doyle 29:06
It’s pretty exciting. I think what we’re about to see happen, right. And you know, just to be clear, every product we have, it doesn’t have to run the Verizon 5g network, it doesn’t even have to run on the Verizon network, you can run our service over someone else’s last mile. And that’s fine, too. But I do think that innovation that we’re going to see from 5g rollout, and not just on the mobile handset as well, I just think when you think about what it means to get your last mile internet, it’s gonna be a game changer. I mean, the cost and complexity of delivering a bet over a traditional wired network, I mean, it’s just order of magnitudes different once you put that over a wireless network, and now Verizon has been pretty proud of this massive investment we’ve made into what’s called C band spectrum. You know, we spent literally 10s of billions of dollars on the spectrum and because of that going into You know, the end of this year in the first quarter of next year, you’re going to see us literally being able to reach up to 100 million more people through last mile fixed wireless access. And if you can reach 100 million extra people, you’re reaching a lot of new businesses that they’re not going to have to wait for, you know, a wireline rollout or a connectivity, it’s going to be a game changer. So just like I was talking about that one talk LTE base deskphone, kind of changing the dynamics of your last mile deployment. I’m pretty excited about our 5g and 4g business, internet products or last mile products. I’m very excited about what they’re going to do for all these new businesses that are starting. I mean, this pandemics been awful in so many ways. But one of the things that it is bringing now is this whole new generation of startups and entrepreneurs are thinking and I think they’re going to rethink traditional models, they’re going to be like, Why do I want you know, DSL coming in my building? Why can’t I do it a new way? We’re happy to be on the front lines of that.

Evan Kirstel 30:59
Wow. Excellent. So I imagine all the old stuff that we used to talk about incessantly, UCAS and seek as and meetings as standalone services will be just features on this new advanced network, is that how you see things unfolding?

Alex Doyle 31:13
Pretty much, pretty much I do think some customers are going to want someone trusted, like a Verizon, to wrap it all up and deliver it and put it all together, we’ve made an amazing billion dollar businesses out of doing exactly that with unified communications. When you get into other customers, especially the larger complex enterprise, you are going to see them and you do see them today, wanting to build their own or integrate their own. When I talk to people about sea pass, for example, you know, the stack I always love to tell people is Goldman Sachs has more developers than Facebook, right? So I do think in there in those enterprise markets over the next few years, you’re going to see more of that composable enterprise where people kind of almost build their own for through different API’s and integrations and whatnot. And you know, that’s a little bit daunting. But I think it’s a little bit exciting, too, because all that digitization and move to the cloud that’s going to require these amazing networks. Do you think about what Verizon can do with, say, our edge compute platforms, it almost gives us new ways to play in the market.

Dave Michels 32:16
Well, speaking of wrapping it up, we’re going to wrap up this podcast, but I gotta ask you first before we go hear about Verizon. I mean, you’ve been there about eight years. And I have to say, that really surprises me, Alex, I associate you or at least I did associate you with the startup guy, right? I bet you had been till, which is what I think six people before you spend a lot of time at broadsoft back in its early days. So why have you stayed at Verizon for so long?

Alex Doyle 32:42
Yeah. And I gotta say, I’m going to take a moment here put on my Verizon hat. When you think about what you want to do in your career as a product manager, I think part of it is just look taking this amazing toys and amazing technologies and build things. And the opportunity I’ve had with Verizon to play in every one of those business segments, and every part of the market has been personally fulfilling check. So it’s just it’s been great. And it’s a great team to work with. I tell you the other thing, I’ll say that I’m incredibly proud of me, maybe I’m maturing a little as I get older, right. I think the commitment that Verizon has made to basically you know what sometimes people call the ESG stuff, the environmental, societal governance stuff, like Bryson is just such an empowering, impressive place when you think of what they do to make the world a better place. So they have a program called Citizen varizen, or invest in digital inclusion and climate protection and human prosperity. And the fact that I’ve been able to play a very small part in some of the good deeds of rice does has been personally very fulfilling, right? I’ll tell you one quick story. Norman was at a time when I was 20 years old in my first job at Nortel Networks, a test tool that I written for their mobile network, it was used to find a skier who’d like gone off a trail somewhere in Canada, and they were able to use you know, the location technology to find the person. This was years before you know, any GPS stuff was out there. And it struck me at a very young age that sometimes when you do technology, product management, you have a responsibility more than just you know, your margin, your p&l and the bottom line. And being at Verizon just what they do for veterans for the community at large school first

Evan Kirstel 34:16
responders. It’s pretty amazing what they’re doing with firefighters and policing and amazing stuff.

Alex Doyle 34:22
It really is. It truly is inspiring, and it’s just a privilege to be a part of it.

Dave Michels 34:26
Well, we got to wrap this up, but I guess we’ll be running into Evan a little bit because you’re gonna be heading out to Boston soon.

Alex Doyle 34:32
I look forward to catching up with you. The first time I met Evan face to face was actually in Boston NRL Waltham Innovation Center and hopefully get a chance to do it again soon.

Evan Kirstel 34:39
Let’s do it. Thank you so much, Alex.

Dave Michels 34:42
All right. Thanks, Alex. Thank you both.

Evan Kirstel 34:46
Well, that was a great discussion with Alex a real tour de force of the enterprise and 5g space.

Dave Michels 34:53
He’s got a lot going on there that Verizon you know,

Evan Kirstel 34:56
he’s building quite a fiefdom or kingdom with him Horizon so good for him but also when a cool spot to be and I’m really holding out for six g though I think this 5g thing is just tight maybe I’ll wait for seven G What do you think?

Dave Michels 35:11
Yeah was my reaction when he said 60 I don’t know why you want that crap and that’s already obsolete. He is really the way to go. She’s really gonna nail it. It’s gonna be fast and it’s gonna go through walls and it’s gonna have decent internet.

Evan Kirstel 35:25
Okay, tangy it is until next time we have a great guest coming up. Talk to you then gotta get on the phone Don’t Know Me Man knows me.

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