Change at the top and across the telco industry
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Change at the top and across the telco industry

VPS Jeff Hulse new.JPG
Jeff Hulse

Jeff Hulse at Verizon Partner Solutions talks of his new role leading the company and the path ahead.

Early this year, Jeff Hulse was appointed senior vice president and group president of Verizon Partner Solutions (VPS) to replace Eric Cevis, who retired after 37 years at Verizon. Hulse talks to Capacity about his focuses going forward.

What does it mean to you to be appointed to lead VPS?

It’s exciting. VPS is an incredible organisation with a culture of which we’re all proud, and in this role I get to champion both our team and our work. We play a critical role in delivering network-based infrastructure, products and services to partners, serving global enterprises, small- and medium-sized businesses and the public sector.

I’ve been at Verizon for 25 years, during which I’ve worked in numerous parts of the business. In the past eight years, I’ve had various roles at VPS, including in marketing, operations, strategy and sales. These many roles have given me good knowledge about all aspects of Verizon, preparing me for my current position.

What are your key focuses in your new position, and how will you carry on and build on the previous work of Eric Cevis?

Our key focus is to put our customers at the centre of everything we do. Eric was passionate about this, and I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to work closely with him over the last decade. He positioned VPS as an industry leader through that relentless focus on our customers and team, and I want to continue building on that approach.

As part of that, I’m focused on leading VPS into the next generation of technologies, services and networks. It’s essential that we continue to evolve beyond relying on legacy services in this dynamic and ever-changing market. Our investments in areas such as fixed-wireless access [FWA], IoT and private 5G networks allow us to scale in new areas. We’re also continuing to expand our fibre reach, and addressing the growing need for larger bandwidth and higher speeds by enabling 400G and 800G.

When you took on your new role, you said it was a “pivotal time of transition and transformation” for customers. Can you expand on how you see this?

The rapid pace of technology change requires providers to continually evolve networks, products and processes to deliver what the market demands. We need to be experts not only in our own areas, but also in the needs of our customers and end users. We’ve therefore implemented new training pathways and internal initiatives to ensure that employees are upskilling, reskilling and building expertise to stay abreast of market shifts.

As the world moves to more wireless services, broadband choice in markets like here in the US becomes incredibly important and we need to thoroughly understand our own capabilities. We want to make sure all our reps understand we have a strong spectrum position, with low-band, mid-band and high-band capabilities, and that they share this knowledge with partners. All my team members have been undertaking ‘wireless 201’ training, helping them understand how to take those modular capabilities and translate them into a full nationwide proposition for partners.

The industry also faces some key challenges as technologies like FWA replace traditional wireline connectivity. Like other providers, VPS still has a large base of legacy services, and we’ve been collaborating with customers to migrate from copper-based products and technologies to fibre and wireless services. This requires careful coordination, with our team experienced in creating flexible and scalable options for customers.

What are the next big things for VPS as you take the business forward?

We have three big priorities right now, all geared towards giving our wholesale partners more choice. One involves growing services including FWA, IoT and private 5G networks into fully scaled businesses. The second is to leverage fibre and geographic expansion, taking advantage of the capabilities of our Intelligent Edge Network to expand our serviceable market.

Thirdly, we continue to work on digital transformation to enhance the customer experience – starting with our API- and portal-enabled experience on the Verizon Partner Solutions Exchange platform. Beyond that, we’re leveraging AI and machine learning to maintain our network leadership.

Overall, understanding our products and translating them into tools that offer a frictionless service experience and a reasonable total cost of ownership is how we think about going to market.

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