Slipping Verizon Business eyes Accenture pairing

Verizon Communications yesterday delivered what you might call a somewhat re-assuring fourth-quarter earnings report. While TV, broadband Internet and wireless data all showed great strength, some analysts were concerned that overall revenue missed expectations. With somewhat better-than-expected numbers in some areas and no-lousier-than-expected lousy numbers in others, it could have been worse. But, the least re-assuring portion of the report had to do with Verizon Business, which was slapped by poor enterprise spending and may possibly have worse results yet to come. The unit saw revenue drop by $124 million in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to the same quarter in 2007.

Verizon CFO Doreen Toben on yesterday's earnings call referred to "delayed decision making on the part of CIOs and lower volumes tied to rising unemployment." Still, seemingly in an effort to throw company watchers a bone, Verizon President and COO Denny Strigl said later during the earnings call Q&A session that Verizon was about to launch a global partnership with Accenture designed to goose enterprise sales. He said Verizon Business will look into other partnerships that might boost its enterprise efforts as well.

The enterprise unit has been one of the most aggressive players in a highly-competitive international market, both in terms of its strategic initiatives and its interest in pursuing the cutting edge of technology innovation and bandwidth. Can it find the hidden pockets of revenue in a poor spending environment?

For more:
- Telephony has this report

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