Nortel-led group to overhaul Social Security phones

A team led by Nortel Government Solutions has won a 10-year contract from the Social Security Administration to replace the agency's outdated telephone system.

The contract has a potential value of $300 million for Nortel GS and its partners: General Dynamics, Black Box Network Services, Shared Technologies, AT&T, York Telecom, High Wire Networks, NetIQ and Pal-Tech.

The award calls for replacing SSA's worldwide telephone systems with IP technology that will create a converged voice and data network, provide high-quality citizen service and accommodate an anticipated influx of new users, including Internet-savvy baby boomers, Nortel said.

The Nortel Government Solutions team will provide voice over IP hardware, software, integration and deployment services for SSA regional offices, program service centers and field offices. Network operation services, user support and training are also included.

Said to be among the world's largest enterprise VoIP implementations, the network will replace existing telephone systems in nearly 1,600 Social Security field offices and include a 55,000-agent contact center with carrier-class unified messaging and comprehensive interactive voice response capabilities.

It will also include extensive security measures to protect citizen information and support for disabled users in compliance with the Rehabilitation Act.

Nortel Government Solutions of Fairfax, Va., is a unit of Nortel Networks Corp. of Toronto. Nortel GS ranks No. 90 on Washington Technology's 2007 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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