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Verizon Business Expands Consulting Services

With an eye towards addressing the needs of large corporations struggling to integrate their growing IT and telecom applications, Verizon Business says it has trained a large force of worldwide consultants to help corporations standardize their high tech operations.

In an announcement Tuesday, Verizon said it has trained 2,700 consultants in five key practice areas: security services, IT services, network integration and engineering, IP communications, and contact center services.

"Business strategy, communications and IT require a holistic approach in today's complex, always-on global marketplace," said John Killian, president of Verizon Business, in a statement. "Through our new standardized pro-services capabilities, we are recognizing this fundamental shift in business."

Verizon said it has created a standardized set of more than 50 professional service capabilities in 30 countries.

The Verizon Communications unit noted that its strategic services offerings grew by 23.5% in the first quarter year-over-year. The unit's strategic services offerings also include IP, Ethernet, and optical ring services.

In an e-mail, Tony Recine, vice president of specialized services, said network installation and engineering is the largest of the five areas of new and major concentration. "This area underscores the growing demand among multinationals for outsourced high-tech services and speaks to the complexity and criticality of communications and business together," he said.

The NIE operation focuses on building, managing, and maintaining wired and wireless local-to-wide area networks. In its NIE practice, Verizon concentrates expertise in evaluating new technologies, network operations center design, and network integration. Also important in the practice are software and hardware integration and the augmentation of network engineering staffs.

The new Verizon drive is accompanied by a group of key partners including Microsoft, M3, Cisco, Nortel, Juniper, Shrohl, and Geotechs. Verizon also noted that its capabilities in the new professional services areas have been bolstered by its acquisitions of Digex, Totality, NetSee and Cybertrust.

Recine said all five of the new practice areas of concentration are experiencing strong growth, much of it driven by data center consolidation as well as migrations and relocations by their customers. He added: "In security, there's a great demand among enterprises to secure their networks from the inside and the outside, especially as more companies open up their borders to third-party vendors, customers and partners to conduct business."

The IP Communications practice is also busy helping enterprises transition from legacy voice systems to VoIP. The Contact Center operation is growing as enterprises increasingly demand an increased level of technology.

"Because our delivery model is flexible, we believe this enables companies to outsource the specific needs of their businesses," said Recine.