SAP Labs in Palo Alto, CA has been outfitted with Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband service, in a move that will allow the two companies to jointly develop and test 5G and edge computing solutions. Initially, the pair will focus on how these two technologies can transform digital supply chains on factory floors, at fulfillment centers and distribution warehouses and within retail stores.
“Verizon’s 5G network is the foundational technology for 21st Century innovation,” said Debika Bhattacharya, vice president of 5G and enterprise solutions at Verizon. “The transformative nature of services and solutions being built on Verizon’s 5G network are changing industries and we are excited to partner with SAP to continue to expand new verticals ranging from retail to manufacturing.”
As cellular continues to muscle its way into the enterprise space, primarily in the form of private networks, there has been some concern about whether service providers can remain relevant. Verizon said that the deployment with SAP Labs supports its strategy of “taking approaches and technologies developed at Verizon’s own labs to partners for increased scale and impact.”
Verizon also has a long track record of engagement in the enterprise space, which has played into its 5G strategy.
“Not all operators, domestically, have that same type of focus,” Adam Koeppe, Verizon’s senior vice president of network planning, acknowledged in a previous conversation with RCR Wireless News. “You know, it’s a choice. It’s a massive revenue stream for Verizon. Not all operators are in that same boat, and if you haven’t really gone through the evolution of the enterprise when it comes to telecommunications, it’s tough to crack into that environment because so many of these relationships are built on long-term technology roadmaps.”
Beyond developing partnerships with other technology vendors, Verizon’s larger 5G strategy has been to work with enterprises, startups, universities and government/military to better explore how cellular technology can transform businesses.
Verizon operates six 5G Labs in the U.S. and one in London that specialize in developing use cases in various industries, as well as four 5G Innovation Hubs on-premise for customers as part of an ongoing initiative to partner on 5G-related use cases to help customers transform their industries, including one at the University of Illinois Research Park.
At the SAP Labs in Palo Alto, Verizon will help support rapid prototyping and testing of innovative concepts, as well as the opportunity to showcase demos to customers so they can trial solutions before deploying them in their own business environments.
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