Verizon announced at Mobile World Congress 2017 what it calls its new technology and business venture, Exponent, which is set up in a new, independent business unit within Verizon. Exponent's target customers are global carriers that do not have the resources or capabilities to develop or build their own digital service platforms.
Exponent appears to be a set of platforms – some new, some not so new
Exponent consists of many existing Verizon platforms, including the Internet of Things, internet services, and media services. It also includes cloud computing, storage, and big data services that are not well known outside of Verizon. While Verizon assures us that the various platforms are interoperable and integrated, we still have some questions about the go-to-market plans for this new venture and how those plans would differ from wholesale, partnership, and resale agreements that Verizon has today. Exponent will have its own sales force, and it is not part of Verizon's wholesale division, so we also have some concerns about customer onboarding and support. However, Ovum does see some good potential for Exponent, as long as Verizon develops compelling differentiators with respect to SIs and over-the-top providers, which are also pushing similar integrated platform offers to enterprise customers and carriers.
The key test for Verizon's Exponent will be how rapidly it can sign up early-adopter carriers and scale up its platforms. Verizon will have to work hard to convince early customers of the scalability of these platforms versus some of the competition and of its commitment to support them. Alignment with product development and marketing will also be of critical importance in order to sustain a compelling roadmap for Exponent's platforms.
Mike Sapien, Principal Analyst, Large Enterprise Services