View Source: Peter Fretty

“Innovation is no longer a luxury,” says Tami Erwin, executive vice president and CEO of Verizon Business Group.

Responding quickly to the pandemic was as crucial to manufacturers as the pandemic hit as their inherent ability to continuously evolve will be as businesses jockey for position within the new norm. Simply put, now is the time for manufacturers to leverage nimbleness  and find new ways to continue adding value. Understandably, doing so is not an easy task as many manufacturers try to operate with limited teams, but it is definitely the persistent mandate guiding today’s manufacturers.

“Innovation is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. Manufacturing companies can accelerate digital transformation and move to agile and flexible network platforms by adopting new technologies like 5G and edge computing to drive innovation and operational efficiency,” says Tami Erwin, executive vice president and CEO of Verizon Business Group. “Agility and flexibility are increasingly important for survival and differentiation – just think of how some manufacturers switched to making masks or sanitizer or ventilators during the pandemic.”

Not only are connectivity and digital readiness key drivers in a data-rich environment, they are an intensified reality when adding remote and skeleton crews to the mix.

Read on for more of Erwin’s insights into how the new normal is challenging and prompting businesses to behave differently.

Erwin: COVID has impacted almost every industry in terms of safety and security; manufacturing is no different. We’ve also seen operational losses arising from a reduction in production operations, supply chain shortages (specifically raw materials) and corresponding financial losses that delay or eliminate capital investments. These challenges illustrate the need for faster digital transformation to eliminate technology debt and to provide the foundation for agile, flexible innovation that can meet known and unknown macro trends. Our clients are looking to Verizon to provide software-defined infrastructure, network virtualization as well as a higher degree of orchestration and visibility secured from end-to-end.

These technology components are essential to the business outcomes we are being asked to deliver, such as near real-time data analysis, more automation on the manufacturing floor, connected transportation and distribution, and drone delivery. In addition, the pandemic has accelerated the need of those in manufacturing and other industries for more fiber-based service, and opened their eyes to how mobile edge compute and 5G to help solve some of these problems. To meet that need we have increased our CAPEX estimate for 2020 from $17-18B to $17.5-$18.5B in order to accelerate our investments across the board, including in fiber and 5G. We continue to build our 5G Ultra Wideband network to support meaningful 5G innovations in manufacturing.