A Q&A on Accelerating Digital Transformation with Verizon Business CEO Sowmyanarayan Sampath

With over twenty years of experience in critical network infrastructure and digital transformation, Executive Vice President and CEO Sampath uses his extensive knowledge of products and enterprise services to lead his team in helping businesses, governments, and communities reimagine how their employees, users, and supply chains operate. Prior to his current role, he also served as Chief Revenue Officer, President of Global Enterprise, and Chief Product Officer.

Before joining Verizon Business, he also spent nearly a decade working as a Partner and Global Sector Leader for the Telecom practice at Boston Consulting Group.

Can you share your top priorities in taking over the office of the CEO of Verizon Business?

We have three priorities looking ahead to the rest of the year. First, we are building on our momentum coming out of the first half of the year with 5G mobility, nationwide broadband, mobile edge computing, and business solutions. Next, we are laser-focused on being the market leader and market maker in those spaces. Third, we are continuing to nurture our culture, which is founded on kindness and integrity.

Verizon Business has a proven track record in driving innovation through technology, and we’re set to execute against our plan to capitalize on our investments. There is no shortage of opportunity—from wireless mobility and private 5G networks to fixed wireless access and our work in the public sector and beyond. We’re taking it on as a team.

With the rapidly accelerated Digital Transformation (DT) happening across various industries, how has Verizon Business adjusted its approach in providing DT-enabling services to enterprises?

Businesses, no matter the industry, need to invest in their digital transformation, and we’ve been working in close partnership with our customers to show them how our network and technology can drive transformative outcomes for them. The ability to innovate and stay ahead of demand is essential for success, as it can bring game-changing customer outcomes, including revenue growth, new customer experiences, and cost savings.

Take supply chain and logistics as just one example: Our private 5G network deal with Associated British Ports started off as a solution for poor WiFi on-site. They had more than 200 Wi-Fi access points, and Verizon Business replaced those with seven network nodes. That swap is indicative of the kinds of reductions in costs that can come with a private network. What’s more, they’ve since recognized the potential to use real-time analytics, IoT, and machine learning on their premises with this connectivity, which goes beyond what they even could have imagined our network and technology could provide.

We’re seeing more enterprises in this space tune into the potential of private 5G networks, as illustrated by our recent deal with Virginia International Terminals, one of the most technologically advanced container terminal operators in the world. They will be exploring the use of autonomous vehicles to drive efficiencies on-site and the ability to replace WiFi with secure, private 5G connectivity across a 275-acre marine terminal.

As we look ahead in the post-pandemic world, what do you see as the key challenges and opportunities for the telecommunications industry?

The demand for digital experiences has altered the business landscape, and the telecommunications industry is helping to power big changes across the board. We helped businesses respond to the immense challenges brought on by the pandemic and adjust to an increasingly digital world. Now, with the volatility of the economy, we see reliability, resilience, and future-readiness as must-haves for ongoing success. The reality is that mobility, broadband, and cloud have never been important, so Verizon Business, and the broader industry, is well positioned to weather this economic environment and help our customers do the same.

As the CEO of one of the largest wireline/wireless operators, what message do you have for the industry?

As our customers enter their next phase of growth, technology that addresses security, provides reliable connectivity, and enables mobility will be integral to their success. We’ve proven to our customers that we’re their partner of choice, and now we’re building on that momentum to show how we’re truly ensuring they are ready to tackle the future.