When we think about cryptographic keys, we tend to think about closely guarded secrets. Keys are the only thing that keeps the attacker away from your encrypted data. Some keys are usually treated with the appropriate level of respect. Security professionals in the payments industry, or those that have deployed a PKI, know all too well about the importance... 

Richard Moulds

What The HECK Is The Uppernet From Verizon?!

What the HECK is the Uppernet from Verizon?!

Been watching television lately? If so, the odds are more or less strong that you’ve come across yet another of Verizon’s slickly produced commercials, touting the grandeur of a superhero action movie, boldly hailing the company’s latest venture, the “Uppernet,” in all capital letters. Impressive, Grandiose, Important: the three words that immediately entered my head once the storm of a commercial subsided. But another descriptor — one that could potentially harm Verizon’s aims — surfaced as well: Confusing.

“Our cloud is not soft and fluffy,” says an authoritative baritone to open the ad. The camera runs down endless hallways of data servers, and presents angles of infrared cornea scans, showing how Verizon’s cloud is based on “combating the latest security threats.” “Scalable as far as the mind can see,” it is finally revealed that the Uppernet is “the cloud that the other clouds look up to.”

The idea of the “Uppernet” seems one meant to visually and conceptually transcend the idea of the Internet. It allows customers to scale above the World Wide Web and escape its limitations. Unfortunately, the commercial spends far too much time exampling the power of this cloud without relating what specifically it can offer to its presumable target audience: business professionals looking for a leg up over peers.

From my investigation, the “Uppernet” is overall an effective branding strategy for the cloud solution platform offered by Verizon Wireless. Some context on Verizon’s cloud history helps to correctly locate all things “Uppernet” in the IT conversation.

It was recently announced that the telecom juggernaut had partnered with two stalwarts in the cloud, EMC Corp. and Terremark. Verizon actually acquired the latter company back in April for $1.4 billion, attempting to position itself as the top brand name in cloud services and infrastructure management. Quietly yet strategically, Verizon has sought to shift shape into a major force in the cloud landscape, with the Uppernet as the ultimate fuel source in this rebranding push.

Exploring Verizon’s Uppernet webpage reveals a method to the slight madness in the advertising. The company is in truth targeting not only business-minded cloud pros, but also those in the industries of government, healthcare, and education. Verizon attempts to lure newbies into the cloud conversation with CloudSwitch, designed for a “seamless” integration into the computing programming. And right off the bat, visitors encounter an easy-to-follow article on securing data in the cloud.

The brawny, polished Uppernet’s intent is to bait viewers and pique their interest into Verizon’s cunning cloud blueprint. Verizon hasn’t yet saturated the market with this strategy, but I’ll look for this to change incrementally as the summer sizzles forward.

By Jeff Norman

About Jeff Norman

Jeff Norman is a freelance writer currently based in New York City. He's moved into writing about cloud computing from substantial work in culture and the arts. He earned his undergraduate degree in English at Stanford and has studied at Oxford and Cambridge.