There is an ongoing pandemic. There are skills shortages. There is a war in Europe, and complex and over-lapping geopolitical tensions. There are supply-chain concerns, particularly around semiconductors. And global work practices are undergoing a radical and perhaps permanent work-from-home revolution.
And yet for Verizon Business’ global chief revenue officer Sowmayanarayan Sampath – known universally simply as Sampath – the business outlook for the company has never been more positive.
You can add inflation to that list of concerns and challenges that Sampath acknowledges, but he rounds off our interview by saying “we have never been more bullish about our business.”
“Between 2021, 2022 and 2023 we will invest US$120 billion in our business [globally]. We have never invested at this level of investment, ever. And we are very comfortable about making that investment,” he said.
In this episode of the Commercial Disco, talks candidly through each of the global trends and challenges listed above, but frames them against the opportunities for network services providers broadly, particularly in 5G – and especially in the industrial applications of private 5G in this part of the world.
Verizon operates one of the Australian Government’s secure internet gateways, and has a large cyber operations centre in Canberra that runs Verizon’s global network for eight hours as part of the company’s follow-the-sun infrastructure.
Access to skills, particularly in cyber, is huge challenge in all markets. But that’s also the opportunity, Sampath says, in providing trusted-partner network-as-a-service products to customers, leveraging Verizon AI and machine learning to secure networks and traffic.
“There are a couple of big trends globally that impact us. One is the supply chain concerns, especially around the semiconductor space. This can get in the way of critical projects [and is] and area that impacts global trade,” Sampath said.
“A second issue is that interest rates are rising around the world. And third, there are some regional tensions, coupled with labour shortages – some of it created by the pandemic and some of it created by [stalled]labour movement between countries,” he said.
“That’s the overall context we are in. But we have never been more bullish about our business.”
“For us in Asia, there are three vectors of growth that we get excited about. The first one is Network-as-a-Service. If you are a large Asian company with global aspirations, you should worry about everything except the network, which can be done by a specialist provider like us – we will offer it to you as a service,” Sampath said.
“The second area is cyber. We are one of the largest cybersecurity providers in the world today, and it is a growing market for us, especially in Asia where we have the best technical people.
“The third area is 5G, and private 5G specifically. This is the backbone of the fourth industrial revolution,” Sampath said.
“As people onshore manufacturing – as they bring back some of the manufacturing – they are going to have to drive productivity and use productivity a lot more. 5G become the unifying theme, and the connector in that [process].”
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