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How Verizon finds IoT innovation outside its four walls

Bob Brown | April 13, 2016
Verizon Ventures digs into enterprise Internet of Things to fill gaps, build for the future.

Among the hotter enterprise IoT startup focus areas are data analytics and security, Ruth says.

“Security is a known issue today and will only be a bigger issue tomorrow,” he says, noting that while Verizon hasn’t invested in security IoT, it has met with numerous startups in this area. “As enterprises see this proliferation of connected things and potentially having connectivity back to their core network, these all become ingress points for bad actors and for security breaches. So really there needs to be a multitude of solutions for security.”

Ruth anticipates that the majority of IoT startups, before they get too big, will get gobbled up by the likes of Cisco or Ericsson, though service providers could be buyers too once the IoT startups transition from product sellers to solutions providers.

In essence, it is startups like these that amount to little R&D labs for service providers that once relied much more heavily on their own innovation centers such as Bell Labs.

“We’ve become very aware over the last 5 to 7 years that the cost of entry and barrier to building something very innovative and even destructive in the market has gone way, way down, so you now see a lot of innovation and R&D happen outside the four walls of big corporations,” Ruth says. “This is very much a big part of our innovation program.”


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