Verizon Business Receives Cisco 2005 Global Service Provider Partner of the Year Award

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - Verizon Business, a premier provider of advanced global communications and information technology (IT) solutions, has been named the Cisco 2005 Global Service Provider Partner of the Year.

"This recognition highlights the important role our relationship with Cisco plays in delivering the next-generation products and services our customers require," said Nancy Gofus, vice president of product management, Verizon Business. "Working closely with Cisco, we are able to provide our customers with a single source for their secure networking and IT requirements, including the necessary hardware and ongoing service and support."

Chosen from a roster of more than 2,800 Cisco Certified Channel Partners worldwide, the selection of Verizon Business underscores the company's outstanding performance and commitment to customer satisfaction. Winners were identified though a formal nomination and selection process and were chosen by a committee of Cisco worldwide channel program executives. Service providers were judged using a variety of criteria, including managed service practice strength and growth, the number of trained engineering staff, innovation in developing unique product offerings and addressing vertical markets, as well as joint planning, go-to-market and sales activities.

"As customer needs evolve, the market transitions and the network becomes the platform for communications, there has never been a better time to be a Cisco partner," said Keith Goodwin, senior vice president of worldwide channels at Cisco Systems. "In 2005, Verizon Business continued to deliver superior voice and IP-based managed services to our mutual customers, and this award highlights their success as a Cisco channel partner."

Verizon Business, a Cisco Gold Partner, has a worldwide service and support team of more than 6,500 personnel, as well as nearly 1,000 employees with Cisco certifications and advanced specializations in routing, switching, wireless, security and unified communications.

The Cisco 2005 Global Service Provider Partner of the Year award recognizes the strength and accomplishments of the former MCI's channel program. MCI is now part of 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 an unsurpassed global network reach with advanced technology and professional service capabilities, Verizon Business delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world. For more information, visit www.verizonbusiness.com.