Making a Connection

Making a Connection

Anthony A. Lewis

Title: Vice President of Open Development Initiatives

Location: Basking Ridge, N.J.

Age: 46

Power Play: Lewis is responsible for executing Verizon’s open development initiative, which gives customers the option to use wireless devices, software, and applications not provided by Verizon on its nationwide wireless network. He is responsible for directing the pricing, activation, billing, distribution, device specification, testing, communications planning, and financial matters, as well as managing staff of nearly 100.

What’s your strategy for being innovative in an already established industry?
We recognized that the marketplace was saturated so we opened the network to unleash a new tidal wave of opportunity. When you have a market that’s penetrated, you have to step outside of the box to not only think radically, but react radically. By July 2008, the first device under the Open Development program was certified. We’ve certified more than 100 devices through this new commercial model, with many more in the pipeline.

How do you use innovation to stay ahead of your competitors?
If you don’t innovate, you don’t grow. I mandate uncompromised focus on the customer needs, wants, and desires. We search for ideas that will affect the lives of our customers. We focus on sustainable growth. We seek out the best partners in every part of the wireless ecosystem. We understand there is a solution to every problem. We understand that we must set the tone for the dialogue–open, flexible, innovative devices and applications will have the best opportunity for success.

If you don’t think broadly enough, if you don’t look at every aspect and if you don’t partner, you can never take advantage of the full capabilities that innovative thought and work practices can give you.