Verizon Business to Help Companies Modernize Networks Serving Retail Locations, Branch Offices

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. -- Companies with retail stores, branch offices or other remote locations will be able to easily and cost-effectively upgrade the company networks serving those locations, using a variety of new mix-and-match service options from Verizon Business.

The newly expanded managed service offerings - which include local area networking, and security and content management - operate on the Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR).  This solution minimizes the space required for network equipment, reduces the need for costly on-site support staff, and enables the efficient delivery of advanced services often lacking in branch offices.

The Cisco ISR is located at the customer premises and is ideal for the retail, restaurant, hospitality and insurance industries.  Verizon Business has deployed more than 55,000 Cisco ISRs since the platform's introduction nearly two years ago and now manages more than 13,000 of the devices. 

[NOTE: An audio podcast discussing the launch of these new managed service options and the value they offer to large-business and government customers is available at http://www.verizonbusiness.com/us/about/events/archive/view.xml?item=165.]

"Many of us have encountered increasingly outmoded technology, such as use of dial-up connections in the retail environment, which can detract from the customer experience," said Nancy Gofus, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Verizon Business.  "The newly expanded managed service capabilities build on our WAN management expertise and enable organizations with widespread locations to leverage the power of modern and secure IP networking and in so doing, improve their own customer service."

The Cisco ISR provides customers with a clear roadmap for modernizing far-flung locations.  For example, in a retail setting, the service enables retailers to replace their dial-up access with a secure, high-speed data connection, accelerating transaction times and enhancing security for credit-card transactions.

In addition, stores can replace batch processing with real-time data sharing, providing the home office with current inventory levels and financial information.    Security features, such as firewalls and intrusion prevention services, can also help retailers meet information security requirements.  The service permits future applications such as in-store kiosks that enable self-service capabilities.

As globalization continues to accelerate, the importance of branch locations is reaching new heights.  According to Internet Research Group, a research and consulting firm, branches consume up to 70 percent of enterprise IT resources.  The firm also notes that large enterprises in the top five branch office industry segments employ more than 12 million workers.  (Internet Research Group, The 2007 Branch Office IT Market Landscape Report.)

Verizon Business offers customers the following five service options via the Cisco ISR's modular design:

  • Content (URL) Filtering - A software-based service that enables customers to set policies governing user access to approved internal and external Web sites.

  • Zone-Based Firewall - A software-based feature that offers customers the ability to create security zones within the branch network to enable controlled access to sensitive information assets and protect the branch network from outside threats.

  • Intrusion Prevention Service - A software-based option that uses pre-defined signature files to scan Web traffic for worms, viruses and other Internet-borne threats, and implement corrective actions to protect the branch network.

  • Content Delivery - A hardware-based caching service that stores frequently requested Web content locally, freeing branch bandwidth for business-critical applications.

  • Ethernet Local Area Networking (LAN) - A scalable, hardware-based service that offers the ability to extend the reach of the branch LAN without the need to deploy separate switches for devices such as voice-over-Internet-protocol phones and wireless LAN devices.

"The branch locations of enterprises frequently lack the advanced IP networking capabilities available in larger corporate locations, often due to the expense of providing on-site support for multiple devices," said Melanie Posey, research director at IDC, an analyst firm based in Framingham, Mass.  "Verizon Business, by providing managed services and support for Cisco's multi-function ISR, offers enterprise customers a cost-effective way to extend advanced networking functionality throughout their organizations."

Customers choosing to deploy any of the new features must also purchase one of three Verizon Business managed services - Managed Wide Area Networking, IP VPN Dedicated or Internet Dedicated-Managed.  Management of the Cisco ISR is backed by Verizon Business' industry-leading service level agreements, with specific guarantees determined by the type of managed service selected by the customer.  Verizon Business will begin taking orders for the new services next month.

"Verizon and Cisco share a vision for enabling all businesses to take maximum advantage of the advanced IP services available today and for easing their deployment and use of those services through comprehensive management," said Jeff Spagnola, vice president of service provider marketing for Cisco. "Today's announcement builds on Cisco and Verizon Business' long history of teamwork and innovation to meet the ever-changing and increasingly critical service needs of businesses around the world."

To ensure the solution is up and running quickly and easily, Verizon Business also offers a full range of professional network and security services, including network assessment and design, project management, and network and application vulnerability assessments.

Today, Verizon Business, a long-standing member of the Cisco Powered Program, manages 250,000-plus devices on 3,700 customer networks in 142 countries, overseeing non-Verizon connections from more than 60 network providers around the world.  Verizon Business' industry-leading service-level commitments and award-winning IMPACT management platform underscore its legacy of service and innovation.  The company is the recipient of the 2006 Frost & Sullivan Customer Service Leadership Award for Managed Services and the 2006 Cisco Systems Global Managed Services Partner of the Year Award.

About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a leading provider of advanced communications and information technology (IT) solutions to large business and government customers worldwide.  Combining unsurpassed global network reach with advanced communications, security and other professional service capabilities, Verizon Business delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  For more information, visit www.verizonbusiness.com.