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Case Study: Verizon develops virtual communications solutions in a leap at expansive innovation – but lacks the edge it needs to compete

Vladimir Roznyatovskiy, Ph.D., Senior Analyst
December 7, 2021

Companies achieve inorganic growth by multiple approaches, from mergers & acquisitions to joint ventures. However, emerging technologies present opportunities to reshape future markets (versus what would form from organic growth) and claim revenue streams that would traditionally go to adjacent businesses. In the early days of a new tech paradigm, by expanding product offerings, companies can capture value within the supply chain ecosystem and create opportunities for expansive innovation.

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USE CASE AND BUSINESS IMPACT

Verizon's customers rely on the company's core LTE connectivity and infrastructure to use Zoom, Teams, Slack, WebEx, and other apps for communication. Verizon launched its own BlueJeans application, similar to Zoom et al., and has now added the virtual reality (VR) room functionality called Spaces, with 3D avatars and spatial sound features. The immersive upgrade intends to expand Verizon's connectivity and communication offerings to take market share from other conferencing and meeting apps. Since meeting in VR is early-stage tech without a clear leader, Spaces is Verizon's attempt to grow the business horizontally.

#LUXTAKE

Verizon is striving to create a unified digital workplace experience, and a far-from-mature market may present an opening. But players from Microsoft to Apple to the company formerly known as Facebook are also competing to build such a "metaverse" solution for working collaboration, and they have advantages in sales channels and deep experience with enterprise software, hardware and user experience, or existing network and services that leave them far ahead. Verizon's ownership of the infrastructure doesn't provide it with a meaningful competitive advantage for creating the user experience that will be a key differentiator. While Verizon's ambition points to a potential strategy, its solution should be seen as a distant long shot.

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