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Verizon charts a different cloud services path

Andy Patrizio | Feb. 26, 2016
The telecom giant is unloading its data centers to focus on its services business.

Data center blues 

Verizon has had its ups and downs in the data center business. In mid-January, it suffered an outage that brought down JetBlue’s electronic systems, causing flight delays, shut down its online booking and check-in systems as well as its Website, causing a little public embarrassment. 

On the plus side, Verizon was in charge of the real-time feeds for Super Bowl 50. It also offered what it called Super Bowl City, free high-speed connectivity to attendees of the big game. It also free provided streaming of the big game via the NFL Mobile and Go90 apps to Verizon Wireless customers. All went off without any major hiccups. 

Darrell Riekena, CIO of National DCP, a supply chain management firm that primarily serves Dunkin Donuts franchises, is a Verizon customer and said the company helped him turn off the lights in his data center as well as provide connections to 8,900 franchise locations. 

"They understand our business and franchise model and a have good proactive record around responsiveness and active monitoring. That was a core competency [required] in any provider I went to," he says. 

When National DCP relocated from Boston to Atlanta, it chose not to build a new data center at the Atlanta office, so it needed a partner to help migrate its legacy apps to a co-location facility and help migrate or build new apps in the cloud, and the company wanted one provider to do both tasks. "Verizon came to us to transfer out of the data center and brought a partner to help with cloud implementation," he says. Verizon used Protera, which specializes in SAP migrations to the cloud. 

Riekena also liked Verizon's attention to his business. "We're a small IT shop. I needed a partner that could help us with the design and implementation and have a confidence level that they could help us with the monitoring and support as well. The experience we have had with Verizon is they are an extension of our team, it doesn’t feel like a third-party outsourced arrangement," he says. 

National DCP and Dunkin Donuts have a very ambitious growth plan as the doughnut chain moves westward across the U.S. Dunkin expects to double in size in the next 10 years. As its primary supply chain partner, National DCP expects its business to grow right along with them. It will grow from seven distribution centers to 13 in the next five to 10 years. 

"The cloud allows me to pay for what I use versus sizing things for the future. I can pay for what I need today. We can crank that up as our business grows as well as leveraging Verizon from an infrastructure perspective," said Riekena.


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