Verizon Enterprise chief looks past AT&T, eyes Amazon and Google as rivals

John Stratton discusses prospects of mobile platform to rival iOS and Android, how the cloud is reshaping IT, and more

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We think of this evolution to the cloud and the movement of data, which has really big ramifications across the whole of our discussion here. One of them is the BYOD notion. It's not just the data that's moved. The employee who is accessing the data has moved too. They've left the fortress. How do you feel about that? What do you do about it? It's one of the points of friction for enterprise workloads to move off of those. It's not the only one, of course, but it's one of them. Can I see my way to moving something, an appropriate candidate for movement? But I'm worried about the rings and I'm worried about, as I really go out there, am I going to be able to know and secure and validate? We think there's some convergence in terms of these product sets that will be pretty natural. But I've got to make sure it's fluid, the development follows those requirements pretty carefully.

Do you think it gets away from device management and more toward apps management?

I think it's both, and identity management, and they have to roll together. This is where we think about what is the secret sauce for Verizon. If I don't leverage the whole of my physical assets and competencies in the provisioning and delivery and development of these solutions, what am I doing? I'm going to be chasing the market instead of leading a market, shaping a market. So your observation is astute.

It used to be device and it might be that I want to wipe it remotely. I want to reimage the device. That's a PC-centric mindset. That's someone who has managed laptops for a long time. Maybe they're not in the fortress but they're sort of. There's a little Stockholm syndrome there. They're just not leaving, you know?

But now you talk about users who are moving from device to device to device. Penetration rates in the U.S. wireless market are exceeding 100 percent right now. We said three or four years ago we thought it was going to be 400 percent. My chairman yesterday said he thought it was going to be 800 percent. It's not necessarily that someone's going to walk around with eight different devices strung on their chest, but there will be many different ways that these connected machines will need to generate data and send it or access it. How do you know who it is that's at the other end of that? What are the applications that are critical? What are the degrees of criticality? We're building that actually into our cloud construct, and configurable capabilities in our next-generation cloud that will allow the application developer or the enterprise to turn some dials, from a security perspective, from a QoS perspective, in terms of latency sensitivity, session persistence. How do I provide those dials as opposed to just raw compute, raw storage? We think that's actually a really interesting area. Again, it goes back to that connecting the dots of our different assets here.

John, does that also include helping enterprises with either a Verizon-type app store or helping them build their own app stores or managed app stores?

Yeah. That's part of our enterprise mobility as a service, it's effectively an app store. I call it a partition, and I think of it as just, if I were the CIO, and this is my accountability. I've got to serve these applications, but I can't just let go. That's really risky. So what do I do? By the way, no one's waiting for you to figure it out. You've got to do it yesterday.

We have the core construct of these private app stores for business which we elegantly call PASB. We have to hire some marketers. But this idea is what led to this micro-notion which is this partitioning concept. It's just the ability to scale it. So what do you need and how do you need it? And again, back to identity management. How do you think about different classes, a different community of users? How do you do control access down to an individual level? These are things that are very important. We know what it is or we believe we have a good idea of where the market requirements are going to take us. The services that we have now are a first-phase implementation against that. But I think you'll see directionally what we're about there.

The thing that we're working on right now is with the cybersecurity guys, the folks who are doing the identity and access management work, let's draw a stronger connection here. By the way, to our folks who are working on next-generation cloud, don't forget about this specific business challenge that's associated with BYOD, and build things into your core construct that I think of as dials and levers that can be used by the applications developer to recognize it's not just the app, it's not just the device, it's not just the user. It's the app, the device and the user that creates the magic sort of solution.

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