In today’s data-driven, digital business landscape, businesses have little choice but to jump on the transformation bandwagon. That, of course, is often easier said than done. 

The following examination of readiness will help business leaders through the process of transforming from how to get started to what actions are needed to elevate, innovate, and disrupt.

Ready to Start

The first step of digital transformation is to start--but where? 

For some small businesses, this might begin with overhauling and managing voice communications via a voice over IP (VoIP) solution, which helps to control costs and streamlines mobility, video conferencing, and online meetings. For others, the first step might involve upgrading their WAN (Wide Area Network). A WAN is a collection of computers and network resources connected through a network over a geographic area, which can bring together distant and disparate assets more efficiently.

As businesses race to deliver experiences to more people in more places on more devices, the need for bandwidth is skyrocketing. Traditional WANs--typically built on aging protocols, rigid routes, and racks of hardware-intensive appliances--are simply not flexible enough to keep up.

An SD-WAN is an upgrade over traditional WAN architecture that allows enterprises to leverage any combination of transport services to securely connect users to applications. An SD-WAN solution helps businesses quickly connect their people to the data they need, when and where they need it--while being mindful of budgets.

Ready to Adapt

The second state of digital transformation involves being ready to adapt. This is the kind of behind-the-scenes work that may never be noticed by customers--and that is precisely the point. The changes at this stage help businesses make their IT more agile and efficient, driving value at every level of the business. 

With an SD-WAN in place, teams are no longer burdened with ongoing network maintenance. A suite of Managed Network Services can help your network adapt on the fly to changing service levels and bandwidth demands using software-defined policies. Layering on top of a smart suite of WAN optimization services can help improve the performance of the most demanding apps, whether in-house, externally hosted, or in the cloud.

Ready to Elevate

The third state of digital transformation is being ready to elevate. Technology can radically enhance business interactions both internally and with end-users and customers. For organizations that must consider supply chains and shipping logistics, a next-generation fleet telematics solution can drive better efficiency, increased productivity, and improved safety for vehicles and drivers. Sophisticated telematics can help produce significant efficiencies at the pump and on the road. 

No matter at what volume you may be shipping, remaining hands-on during the fulfillment process is vital. For retailers, manufacturers, and suppliers, establishing a secure chain of custody is crucial to combatting wastage, limiting costly write-downs and delivering products to customers on time and in good condition. 

A truly intelligent supply chain is one that reduces blind spots and accounts for every set of hands the inventory passes through along the way. Insight from Internet of Things (IoT) sensors can capture crucial data, powering decisions that drive more on-time deliveries and more efficient shipping schedules. And with 5G-powered computer vision, these processes should become even more precise and scalable.

Ready to Innovate

The fourth state of digital transformation is about being ready to innovate. This goes beyond improving operations. To safeguard a business, this step is about deploying value-added, innovative solutions that will drive operations forward.

Increasingly, being noticed in a crowded market is determined not by how well an organization reacts to its customers’ needs, but how well it can anticipate those needs before they form. As customers move along their journey, owners will be better equipped to determine what their customer values most, and orient their digital transformation around that North Star. 

Verizon collaborates closely with its business customers to help them prepare to innovate. Verizon’s Contact Center Managed Services (CCMS), available around the globe, is a fully outsourced operational support model specifically designed to monitor and manage critical contact center applications.

CCMS helps businesses manage incidents and deliver a better customer service experience. An intelligent chatbot such as Verizon’s Virtual Agent uses natural language processing to better address inquiries and enable consistent, personalized conversations between business and client.

Tools like Verizon’s Knowledge Assist further use artificial intelligence (AI) to supply administrative staff with accurate, relevant information in real time while Social Engagement allows teams to analyze social traffic, participate in conversations, and generate targeted content that drives quality interactions with valued audiences. 

Ultimately, these and other Verizon customer experience solutions help businesses deliver an improved digital experience without sacrificing a critical human touch. 

Ready to Disrupt

The fifth and final state of digital transformation is being ready to disrupt. Businesses at this stage will begin to adopt the latest technologies to design truly revolutionary experiences. Feeling ready is a false summit. The goal is to both defend and disrupt. 

As 5G paves the way for an all-new era of business, tools like augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) can become more accessible to businesses of all sizes, changing the way they approach everything from forecasting to inventory management. 

In retail settings, an employee could scan the stockroom without leaving the sales floor, or a customer could call up product information on the fly. Immersive experiences could help blur the lines of physical and digital retail by creating lifelike interactions for home shoppers, whether it’s a personal stylist surveying a closet to make recommendations, or a skilled expert assisting with the set-up of a smart appliance.

The innovations supercharged by 5G--from computer vision analytics to product forecasting--could help to level the playing field, putting small and medium-size businesses on the same operational footing as larger enterprises.

5G is anticipated to make AR and VR more affordable and accessible. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize employee training, modernize record-keeping, and supercharge robotics applications from the manufacturing stage to shipping. Viewing your operations through an AR headset could fundamentally change the way you do business.

Customer service can reach new levels, from uniquely tailored promotions and recommendations to virtual assistants that can react to emotions and infer intent. And in a 5G-powered business environment, customer experience should provide unique client insight, free up employees to engage in higher-touch tasks and empower the organization to evolve and keep pace with the shifting needs of its customers. 


Remember, these five steps begin with being ready to start. Verizon works with businesses of all sizes and levels of experience to get them on the road to readiness. Verizon has the experience, know-how, and technologies to take your business on the path to disruption.