A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a workforce of more than 235,000 and last year generated more than $97 billion in revenue. Headquartered in New York, the behemoth delivers a variety of wireline and wireless communications services to businesses and consumers. Verizon Wireless has more than 87 million customers nationwide, and Verizon's Wireline operations provide converged communications, information and entertainment services.
Daily, employees in its various business units search for competitive information found in syndicated research reports, equity reports, internal research studies and statistical databases. Ten years ago, the telecommunications giant formed the Verizon Information Research Network (VIRN), an internal team dedicated to helping employees find desired information. As the Internet dramatically expanded the volume of information available, various inefficiencies arose.
Verizon subscribes to more than 20 external data feeds. Having the VIRN team sift through all of the available information and funnel it back to employees was inefficient. Instead, the company wanted to provide employees with the means to sort the information themselves.
In fact, many employees were already doing that and making ad hoc searches. "Too many of our employees were going out to Google to search for information," said Marcia Schemper-Carlock, Manager of Client Research at Verizon. "That was a huge waste of time because they are not going to easily find business information by doing that."