Sunday, April 11, 2010

2010 Verizon Executive Summit Wrap-Up

This is a guest post by Tom Stender -- VP & CTO of InfiniSys Electronic Architects -- that was originally posted on the InfiniSys site.

As in previous years, InfiniSys was invited to attend the Verizon Executive Summit, held this year at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. It was a three-day event filled with speakers from Verizon’s sales, marketing, and engineering teams, as well as a host of their partners.

As always, Verizon took very good care of their guests -– the events included a golf outing and a trip to the National Geographic Museum to go along with the daily sessions. The event staff did an excellent job.

Vendor Updates and Bulk Pricing
During the Summit, guests were invited to the FiOS product demonstration area, where a live FiOS video setup was in place as well as displays by Suttle, Motorola, Alcatel-Lucent, 3M, and others.

Suttle was showing their new mounting plates for both Motorola and Alcatel small form-factor SFU ONT (the in-unit ONT) and the battery backup unit (BBU) for installation in their enclosure can -– this is great news, as it’s a huge space saver that will eliminate the need for the second S-One cabinet that was previously required in the unit in some installations.

3M was on hand with a demo of their “One Pass Fiber Pathway,” which is a low profile cable pathway designed for brownfield use -– it adheres directly to the wall and comes preloaded with 6 or 12 fibers. It’s a very interesting product, indeed.

Verizon execs spent a good deal of time touting their new MDU bulk pricing model (which has been on many folks’ wish list for a long time). However, it’s obvious that they still have a few hurdles to overcome and kinks to work out to fit all of the bulk scenarios that are required. As it sits, the product may be a good fit for some apartment companies, but it’s not ready for prime time for the student housing market. Verizon still has some work to do if they want to compete with the cable operators and satellite resellers in that vertical.

Verizon Concierge
One item that particularly interested me was Verizon Concierge. This free property management software service is developed and supported by Simplikate and is being offered to properties that currently have, or will soon have, FiOS services. This offering organizes all of a property’s common amenities under one interface to handle deliveries, visitor management, scheduling of property resources, etc. It also allows the building’s residents to contact each other as well as the staff. The service is being marketed as a property management system that can become, replace or work in tandem with existing backend systems -– however, it’s unclear how the system will work with common property management software platforms such as RealPage and Yardi.

Currently, the service is accessible using a web browser or as a mobile app for smart phones, but access through FiOS TV is in the works. It will also be available for use by non-Verizon customers at properties that elect to use the service. Verizon Concierge can track items for management as well, like maintenance work orders, plus it has the ability to place simultaneous voice calls to residents in the event of an emergency. All in all, it looks like there will be some real value in this free service for both management and residents and bears a closer look.

As more details about all of these items become available from Verizon, we'll be sure to keep you posted.

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