Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Verizon VP Anthony DiMaso on the Transforming Telecommunications Industry

Anthony DiMaso, Verizon’s Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development stopped by at MIT Sloan today to give a talk about his perspectives on what is going on with the rapidly transforming telecommunications industry.  The talk was sponsored by the MoMIT club.

Three primary forces impacting the global telecommunications industry are globalization, demographics and technology.  This means accelerated development, increased complexity, increasing fragmentation to go along with intensifying fragmentation.  

Convergence is a challenge with a national group (Verizon Wireless), Verizon Telecom (regional in 28 states and DC) and a global business.  Global innovation, scale and distribution are good, but it means frequent business model disruptions, competition from global players and increasingly complex logistics.   

DiMaso laughed about how when they broke up Bell, AT&T took long distance, then considered the best business and left the local lines.  Within a space of 20 years, long distance has become a lousy business.  These types of paradigm shifts are accelerating.  

Telecoms are in a challenging position keep building network to meet increased bandwidth for devices that are now always on and connected.  Said DiMaso, “You can’t think of yourself as connectivity provider, but an ecosystem enabler and creators of seamless platforms – smart homes, compelling user experience, and content delivery.”  This is where Verizon’s innovation is focused.  Four specific areas Verizon is focused on are FiOS broadband and video, mobile broadband and content, enterprise managed solution and unified platforms and services. 
DiMaso argues that there is no more “mass market”.  Each user wants a customized user experience to fit their needs.  He continued on to say that in the frame of the rapid paradigm shifts, Verizon must continue to create value for its customers by investing in areas that new business models and technologies are enabling.  

Furthermore, growth in certain demographics means change.  For instance, growth in mobile usage by the elderly means that telecommunications and health care will be more integrated in the future because of customer demands.  DiMaso sees change like this as an opportunity.  He hinted that Verizon had product offerings like an ADT security offering and a emergency alert system for the elderly (it sounded similar to the "I've fallen and I can't get up" product with integrated continous monitoring).

Overall, Verizon’s markets are growing – broadband and global wireless markets are expected to increase substantially.  Global broadband will increase from $138 billion to $250 billion and wireless revenues $784 billion to nearly $1.3 trillion.   However, with rapid innovation occurring in this space and big players like Apple now in the game, how the pie will be sliced up is key.  DiMaso seems to have a good handle on the types of innovations that are necessary to keep telcos from becoming dumb pipes.  

I posted a slide deck I created outlining potential strategies for mobile network operators which I thought would go along nicely with this post.  

Speaker Bio

Anthony J. (Tony) DiMaso is Vice President – Corporate Strategy & Development for Verizon Communications. In this capacity he has responsibility for corporate business strategy, the development of major business partnerships, the negotiation of agreements that support key corporate objectives, and the identification and assessment of industry and technology trends, issues and opportunities.

Mr. DiMaso was previously Vice President, Global Sales for Verizon’s Enterprise Solutions Group. In this capacity he had responsibility for sales and customer support for Verizon’s largest business and Federal Government customers.

Mr. DiMaso began his career in New York Telephone Company in 1981 and moved to AT&T Information Systems in 1983. He joined NEC America in 1985 as an Account Manager and was Director of National Distribution and Director of the Major Systems organization prior to taking the position of Director, Strategic Marketing for the Private Switching Group in 1989. Mr. DiMaso joined TeleSciences Inc., a developer and integrator of telecommunications support systems, as Director of Marketing in 1990. In 1994 Mr. DiMaso was recruited as Branch Manager for the Upstate New York region of NYNEX and in 1996 was named to head the firm’s largest branch in New York City. Following the NYNEX/ Bell Atlantic merger he was named Vice President-Market Management for Bell Atlantic’s Enterprise Business Group with responsibility for development and management of the organization’s go-to-market strategy.

Mr. DiMaso has an MBA degree from C.W Post as well as a Bachelor’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University. He and his family live in Northport, NY.

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