What’s up with… Verizon, Cisco & AT&T, Orange

  • Verizon appoints Consumer Group Deputy CEO
  • Cisco and AT&T combine on enterprise needs
  • Orange outage outrage

A major new appointment at Verizon, an enterprise-focused collaboration and outage fallout in France lead the way in today’s news roundup.

Verizon has appointed Manon Brouillette to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO at the Verizon Consumer Group (VCG). She will “drive Verizon’s market leadership in connected 5G experiences, while continuing to transform VCG into a fully integrated technology company,” noted the operator. Brouillette, who will also “champion greater employee engagement and spearhead transformation initiatives across VCG’s brands,” will report to Verizon Executive Vice President and VCG CEO Ronan Dunne. Brouillette was most recently President and CEO of Canadian operator Vidéotron.

Cisco and AT&T Business are collaborating to bring the ‘Webex Calling with AT&T – Enterprise’ to Cisco’s trusted Unified Communications Manager – Cloud (UCMC), with the aim of “helping businesses optimize operations and accelerate digital transformation in nearly any environment.” Javed Khan, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Collaboration noted: “The shift to hybrid work changed how companies operate and accelerated adoption of integrated cloud collaboration solutions. Our Webex solutions transformed the cloud calling experience and combine enterprise-calling features with market-leading virtual meetings and collaboration technology – all within the Webex App. And we’re proud to work with AT&T to provide its customers and employees with the tools and technologies they require to thrive in the new hybrid workplace.” For further details, see this announcement.

A major kerfuffle has broken out in France in the wake of a network outage at dominant service provider Orange that somehow disrupted 20% of the entire country’s emergency calls for several hours. Orange boss Stephane Richard says the exact cause of the disruption is currently unknown but was most likely due to simultaneous software failures at six redundant sites responsible for routing emergency calls. Richard has ruled out cyberattack as a cause. It’s not yet known if the incident had resulted in any of the 4 deaths recorded at the time, but there’s understandably been a full round of hand-wringing and pearl-clutching from the likes of French President Emmanuel Macron (“very concerned”) and Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin (“serious and unacceptable"). Richard has been on TV to assure the nation that the situation was “under control,” with all traffic on the emergency numbers now operating normally.

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