Published September 17, 2002
Volume 10, Number 9

Verizon Communications Provides More Than Wireless
Verizon Communications
Carlos Inchausti, a Verizon technical associate, travels throughout the Bay Area serving the company's customers.

By George Walsh
Special to Network

Mention Verizon here in California and most people will assume that you’re talking about a wireless phone service provider. However, in other parts of the country, Verizon provides services that range from DSL internet access to long distance telephone service. In fact, Verizon has a number of different divisions that include cellular phone service provider Verizon Wireless-which has an office at 4440 Willow Road-and Verizon Communications, a provider of wired telecommunication services for medium to large size customers. Verizon Communications’ main office for Northern California is located at 4511 Willow Road here at Hacienda and, while it may not have the public exposure of Verizon’s wireless division, it provides its services to hundreds of businesses here in California and across the U.S.

When Verizon Communications first came to Hacienda, it was under the GTE company moniker. When GTE merged with Bell Atlantic, the customer networks division fell under the company’s Verizon brand name. At Hacienda, Verizon Communications (also known as Verizon Select Services) has around 40 employees in the office itself, with another 40 out in the field. The Pleasanton office is responsible for a service area that stretches from San Francisco all the way down to Monterey and throughout Silicon Valley, the East Bay, and the Tri-Valley area. The facility also serves as a central location for technicians to meet, pick up parts, and go back out into the field.

Verizon Communications provides PBX telephone system installation and support for customers including Selectron, Westin Hotels, Marriot hotels, Williams and Sonoma, and Delta Dental. An entire California division is dedicated to servicing Kaiser Permanente, which is a nationwide contract for Verizon. Verizon Communications is also in the process of adapting to the convergence of voice communications and data. In addition to installing and servicing internal corporate telephone systems, Verizon now also installs and maintains local area networks (LANs) since the two systems are becoming more and more inseparable. Ken Miller, branch manager at Verizon Communications in Pleasanton, sees this as a natural progression and isn’t intimidated by the complexity of LANs and servers. “When you look at a phone system nowadays, you might think it’s basic and easy, but telecom systems are actually more complicated than data systems.”

This convergence of telecommunications and data is also leading to new services that include voice over internet protocol (VoIP), which lets people use data networks to place telephone calls (via the Internet for example), and desktop messaging that sends telephone messages to your email address. Nowadays, even if a company has its own IT department and contracts Verizon solely to service its PBX system, the company usually has some involvement in the data systems. If Verizon isn’t responsible for a company’s LAN, they are still often responsible for getting messages to the data server. Interestingly enough, despite all of the advances in data networking technology, the intertwining of data and voice is still a work in progress. “Data networks still aren’t as stable as good old fashioned phone networks,” Miller says. However, having a single company that understands both types of systems can only help in working out compatibility issues-leading to many interesting communication capabilities for businesses.


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