Verizon enterprise head: We need a third viable mobile platform

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The leader of Verizon's enterprise business says would love to see a third mobile platform take off.

John Stratton is the President of Verizon Enterprise. It's a $30 billion division of the wireless giant, focused on rolling up Verizon's many different products -- including cloud infrastructure, networking, and mobile management -- into solutions for Verizon's biggest customers.

In the latest installation of the IDG Enterprise CEO Interview Series, Stratton explains that Verizon is pushing hard to help Microsoft and BlackBerry become a viable third player after iOS and Android:

We'd certainly like to see at least a third player....We are aggressively supporting Microsoft and [BlackBerry], because those are the next two obvious guys. There are some other clouds on the horizon that may or may not come about, some different things that some of the OEMs are trying to do, but timing is tough. 

He thinks that both platforms have a real chance in the enterprise, where IT still views Android with some skepticism:

Android is tough. The guys at Google would say it's not really fragmented, but if you look at it from an enterprise perspective, it is challenging. And it's a proposition that is sort of tough for IT professionals to get comfortable with. iOS is much more monolithic, but they bring their own problems. Neither Google nor Apple is incredibly focused on the enterprise market. That leaves the door open. I think [BlackBerry] is certainly able to exploit that if they can, and will.

He also explains how he's done a "complete 180" on the subject of BYOD. Verizon has higher market share in enterprise accounts than it does in the full market, so a wholesale shift to BYOD would probably hurt the company. But now, Stratton has come around to the inevitable, and sees huge opportunity in helping customers manage all those mobile devices:

Look, the fact of the matter is the IT estate that's been established and built with all of its controls and all of its security and all of its capital constraints has been massively eclipsed by what consumers are using in their daily lives. Of course, this is what's powering and driving this whole phenomenon. Our job and one of our opportunities now is to help the enterprise manage that phenomenon. So we have a series of capabilities that we deliver, something called enterprise mobility as a service. Think of it as a secure container in which a business can place its mission-critical applications and in a secure way deliver them and then control them.

Check out the full interview over at Network World.

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