How the 'Verizon 2.0' vision continues to shape its public sector arm

At No. 20 on the 2021 Washington Technology Top 100, Verizon is in the third year of its "2.0" vision and a customer-centric structure across the telecom giant including in the public sector shop responsible for bringing 5G and other technologies to agencies.

As most would in this circumstance, Jennifer Chronis had one main reservation about accepting Verizon’s offer last summer to take up a new job as head of the telecommunications giant’s federal business:

How does one start a new job at a new employer, particularly when meeting and getting to know everyone on the new team is much harder during a pandemic?

I asked Chronis that question and she put it this way: The destination and what Verizon's focus is greatly helped her decide to join. As of April, she now leads all public sector business including federal.

“The network is critical to everything that our customers are doing now,” Chronis told me. “It’s critical to cloud, it’s critical to innovation, it’s critical to remote working and 5G is a huge enabler.”

Chronis started the federal-focused job on August 3, 2020 after four years in what she called a “fascinating experience” as head of Amazon Web Services’ Defense Department business that gave her insight into how customers use and think about connectivity.

Verizon holds steady at No. 20 on the 2021 Washington Technology Top 100 with $2.1 billion in prime contracts, both marks roughly unchanged from last year's list.

In her current role, Chronis is tasked with continuing to ensure the public sector business is aligned with the broader “Verizon 2.0” vision and transformation that CEO Hans Vestberg has articulated for close to three years.

Verizon 2.0 is designed to organize the company around more of a customer-facing model versus one centered on products. Public sector specifically is part of the Verizon Business group that focuses on all enterprise customers, whether they be government or commercial.

“We are really, really focused on continuing to drive growth for (the) Verizon Business group to continue to implement Hans’ vision of ensuring our customers are adopting 5G, adopting network as-a-service, broadening our partner channels and our go-to-market, and leveraging new B2B (business-to-business) applications like mobile edge compute” Chronis said.

A second Verizon leader’s vision that Chronis emphasized in our conversation as one the public sector shop contributes to is that of Tami Erwin, CEO of the Verizon Business group.

Erwin’s vision sounds similar as Chronis described it: “Driving growth for our customers and becoming their indispensable partner, and going deeper into their digital transformation journeys.”

In May, Verizon secured a potential $495 million contract to help DOD operate a high-speed and high-performance computing network used by the department’s science and research community to collaborate and share their work.

This fourth iteration of the Defense Research Engineering Network contract will go for up to 10 years, beginning with a four-year base period followed by a trio of two-year options.

DREN is managed by the department’s High Performance Computing Modernization Program office with this mission as described by Chronis:

“Working some of the most challenging problems, not only for the DOD but across the federal government like climate change, pandemic response and next-generation autonomous defense systems.”

For DREN 4, Chronis said Verizon will work with DOD to better secure the network and move it away from a hardware-centric construct to one more defined by software. That shift is intended to be in keeping with how the broader technology world is moving in a more software-defined direction.

Added capability and reach is also key for this new version of DREN. Chronis said Verizon and DOD are aiming to “provide higher bandwidth and lower latency connectivity between and among” the 200 different HPC locations and labs focused on research, development, testing and engineering efforts.

Then of course there is the massive Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle for all federal agencies to acquire next-generation telecommunications products and services from Verizon and the other nine prime carriers.

Deltek data indicates Verizon has received the largest amount of unclassified prime obligations to date via EIS to the tune of around $182.6 million.

Four of the largest wins Verizon has recorded against that vehicle have come out of the Health and Human Services and Labor departments, Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration.

Chronis said EIS also gives agencies some added leverage to acquire cloud services, though conceded it is in the “very early stages” of seeing customers trying to do that.

The ongoing 5G revolution and transition is a third pillar in Verizon’s public sector and broader corporate strategy.

One project Chronis highlighted included one at Marine Corps’ Miramar Air Station in Greater San Diego, which was the first U.S. military installation to implement Verizon’s 5G ultra wideband network. Miramar also will house a 5G living lab to see how the Marine Corps can leverage that new network architecture.

Verizon is taking a similar approach with the Energy Department at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where the parties are working on new ideas and solutions to apply 5G in research efforts. Chronis said other agencies such as the Homeland Security Department could benefit from that collaboration.

The 5G realm is also an area where Chronis sees Verizon’s public sector and broader corporate strategy as being one and the same in certain respects, especially when considering what Verizon 2.0 is intended to be.

“We do our best to try to cross-pollinate… the teams that we have that build our 5G test labs and innovation centers are the same teams that we use across public sector, enterprise, small and medium business and business markets,” Chronis said.

“We’re sharing the resources, we are leveraging the same lessons learned, and I think we are really helping to kind of push the envelope a bit and show our customers what we’re seeing in commercial that can potentially be leveraged in the public sector.”

(A future episode of Project 38 will feature my full conversation with Chronis that includes more on the federal government’s progress in adopting 5G, how Verizon is shaping its post-pandemic future of work and additional insights into how public sector feeds into the broader corporate strategy)

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.