March 24, 2011, 10:04 PM — Verizon Wireless CIO Ajay Waghray ORLANDO -- IT innovations at Verizon Wireless have been put to work behind recent online customer account management systems and upgrades to Verizon store kiosks, said Ajay Waghray, CIO at Verizon Wireless.
In an interview at the International CTIA Wireless conference here, Waghray said his 3,000-person IT team also helped streamline pre-orders for the iPhone 4 , which Verizon first put on sale in February, when a record number of orders were taken in the first two hours. That operation and in-store sales later required creating open interfaces for phone orders (and eventual activation) across thousands of Apple , Best Buy and Verizon stores, he noted.
"The iPhone launch was a big deal for us, and we wanted to make sure customers had a great experience, "Waghray said. "We were extremely pleased with what we did there, and it makes you feel good for all the preparation involved."
Verizon IT also recently developed a patent-pending data usage widget for customers who register on My Verizon Mobile. The widget, which gives users a count of their monthly data usage, works only on BlackBerry and Android smartphones, with other mobile operating systems coming later.
Verizon has held off setting an upper cap on data plans for smartphones such as the new HTC ThunderBolt , which has an unlimited monthly data plan of $29.99, but the monitoring tool still can be valuable for a lower-cost smartphone data tier or for tablets which have four different data service tiers.
In a brief demonstration of usage tools on an iPad , Waghray showed a chart depicting in green when usage is less than 75% of a monthly allotment, yellow when it reaches 75% to 90% and red above 90%.
Federal regulators and industry groups have urged wireless carriers to offer customers easy ways to monitor their data usage, which can increase dramatically with online video and media files.