Travel guide giant Lonely Planet joins a string of newcomers to Verizon Business as the telecommunications provider seeks to bolster its operations locally.
Lonely Planet purchased an Internet Protocol-based virtual private network (VPN) spanning locations in the United States, UK and Australia.
Verizon handles all the connections between branch offices, and has installed a managed 100Mb connection to Lonely Planet's Web server, the telecommunications provider said.
Darren Day, Verizon Asia-Pacific marketing director, said apart from Lonely Planet, conferencing company Inertwise and outdoor manufacturer Gale Pacific also made it to the customer roster. The value of the deals were not disclosed.
Inertwise and Gale Pacific will subscribe to Verizon's co-location hosting services. The manufacturer will also use its managed and IP networking services.
In addition, Dutch investment bank ABN AMRO has renewed its relationship with the telco, Day said. Verizon has also begun implementation work for recent contracts, including the Research and Education Advanced Network of New Zealand and MYOB.
In September, the New South Wales state government kept Verizon (along with a number of other major players) in the running for its future telecommunications spend when it culled the list of potential suppliers.
Changes at the top
The formal entry of Verizon into the Australian market came last January, when the telco closed its US$8.44 billion acquisition of rival MCI. The buy gave Verizon an extensive international network, in addition to a number of large corporate customers.
Much of the company's future locally and in the wider Asia-Pacific region will be steered by its new regional vice president of Sales and Services Andrew Dobbins, who defected to Verizon in January from his post as Asia-Pacific vice president of Sales for Orange Business Services -- the international business arm of France Telecom.
Singapore-based Dobbins has also worked for Australia's largest telco Telstra.
Speaking with ZDNet Australia recently, Dobbins described Verizon's Asia-Pacific operations as "a very robust network organisation", but said he will be looking to wrap a layer of professional and sales skills around that technical strength.
"I'll be doing a fair bit of investment in people, in skills, in all the key markets," Dobbins said.
"Also, [I'll be] creating an organisation that knows how to organise itself around large, complex deals," he added. "At the moment I see an organisation that's very effective at its day to day business, but just needs to have a more structured approach to larger, more complex opportunities."