Verizon is a leading service provider of communication, information and entertainment technologies in the form of data, voice and video products. It makes use of intelligent wireless, global IP and broadband networks to address and meet the growing demands of speed, utility, mobility, and convenience of on-the-go and high-end and low end technology consumers. Because of its pro-active approach in bringing new product and service ideas as well as injection of ingenuity in technological expertise in the industry, the company enjoys the status of being an innovation leader (Verizon, 2011). Verizon’s goal is to be the global leader in the 4G LTE wireless network. It is the first company to have introduced the idea. It is committed to use collaborations, partnerships and strategic alliances to attain market leadership and global market share (Verizon Business, 2011).
It spends heavily annually to expand and enhance its technological expertise to sustain its innovation leadership in the industry that is otherwise bombarded with intense rivalry. Verizon’s main rivals include AT&T, Google, HP, Microsoft, who are continually engaged in bringing new technological innovations to the technology and IT industry (Verizon Business, 2011). In order to stay ahead in the game, Verizon has made use of acquisition, partnership and collaboration strategy that allows it to utilize the technological expertise to introduce innovations regularly in the industry before others and fortify its market share in the industry to reduce the threat of competition (Bigliardi et al., 2011).
Competition is not the only threat from the external environment that Verizon faces, consumers present the company with the biggest challenge. Verizon’s customers include high-end and low-end users. The high-end users comprise of business and industry users, whereas, the low-end users comprise of private consumers who use gadgets and IT equipment and services for personal use (Verizon Business, 2011). Where high-end users seek convenience, speed and efficiency in the IT products and services from Verizon, low-end users seek gadgets that are affordable and compliment their lifestyle above their requirements for speed, convenience and efficiency (Bigliardi et al., 2011). The IT and technological companies have induced a new culture of consumerism that entails complete reliance on gadgets and high-tech equipments for everyday activities. Because of the continuous introduction of new products and services in the markets by rivals and competing firms to stay in the market, a new culture of consumption has emerged where consumers are less brand-loyal and more price-sensitive (Zhu et al, 2011). They seek new products every quarter and regularly switch to new products and new brands to stay “in” and up to date with technological consumption. This becomes challenging when technology changes at a rapid pace. The rapid pace of technological change is another big challenge that has to be coped up with (Bigliardi et al., 2011).
Verizon has invested heavily over the past years to stay ahead in the market. It has launched innovation centers, reshaped and restructured its internal organization, revolutionized corporate and marketing decision making and implementation and information management, all of which allows it to address changing technological, and consumer trends and sustain its position in the market as an innovation leader. Verizon plans to expand across 20 to 30 new markets internationally and cater to new ethnic consumers, such as in India, China, Russia, and other emerging markets. The paper discusses Verizon’s approach to innovation in the form of the innovative products services it has introduced, how technological leadership has been attained and managed and how is the workforce and organization structured and managed to meet the industry and consumer demands of innovation.
Verizon is positioned in the market as a visionary innovation leader. Figure 1 illustrates the positioning of Verizon against rivals, such as AT&T.