Top 100: Verizon offers olive branch as it builds partnering network
- By Matthew Weigelt
- Jun 22, 2016
The government’s demands for an increasingly complex IT infrastructure and accompanying support has forced companies to bring a wide spectrum of expertise to the table. These days, one company cannot be all things to their customer agencies.
Understanding that, Verizon Communications Inc. has continued its partnership program as a means to add more in-depth knowledge to proposals when competing for a project with intricate requirements.
“We have become more and more dependent, and confident, in partners whether they be large [service integrators] or small businesses,” said Michael Maiorana, senior vice president of public sector markets at Verizon Enterprise Solutions.
The telecom company uses its Verizon Partnership Program to find businesses with capabilities that will accompany its own services.
“I, and my team, are extending the olive branch, welcoming companies to come into our contracts, as a subcontractor, when we have identified white space where they can fill gaps that we can’t do directly,” he said.
Not only that, but Verizon is also looking to fill in gaps by providing its expertise as a subcontractor on other contracts.
“There is more partnering being done than ever before here at Verizon,” he said. “In my week, I meet with as many partners as I do with customers.”
Verizon ranks at No. 12 on the 2016 Washington Technology Top 100 with $2 billion in prime contracts.
In December, Verizon, along with seven other companies, were awarded a $4.3 billion, 10-year indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contract from the Defense Information services Agency. The companies will provide telecommunications network solutions and services.
The Defense Department will use DISA’s Global Network Services IDIQ to deploy a highly secure global network by 2020. The new unified network will integrate fiber, wireless and satellite technologies. The network will transmit mission-critical voice, video and data communications at speeds up to 100 gigabits per second. The network will meet operational and warfighting requirements for the transmission of classified and non-classified information. Task orders from the IDIQ will support more than 40 military services, combatant commands, and intelligence, functional and support organizations outside the continental U.S.
Maiorana said Verizon is well positioned for this year with the DISA contract, as well as the General Services Administration’s ongoing Networx telecom contract and the Washington Interagency Telecommunications System (WITS) 3. The company is also expanding its business by winning contracts with the Army Reserves and the departments of Interior and Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
These awards show departments that Verizon is a trustworthy and capable services provider.
“Trusted relationships, past performance and service delivery ultimately expand your options to win more of their business,” he said.
Cyber security and cloud computing remain as important areas, Maiorana said, a continuation from years past.
Verizon has its Rapid Response Retainer program as part of its managed security services. The program provides agencies with a before-and-after approach to securing sensitive data. If something does go awry, an agency has quick “boots on the ground assistance” to deal with threats that could become damaging security incidents. Another key is the Managed Trusted Internet Protocol Services (MTIPS) program, which offers Trusted Internet Connections-compliant managed security services through Networx.
The push in recent years to cloud computing has helped Verizon with its business too, Maiorana said. It led Verizon to create the Secure Cloud Interconnect. The software-defined networking service simplifies how agencies can manage their connections between multiple cloud environments through a secure, private Internet connection. SCI has a consumption-based bandwidth and on-demand resources, including usage-based billing models.
The government has started to automate and monitor many of their operations and services, from heating and air conditioning in their smart buildings to traffic. The Internet of Things (IoT) remains as a trend that will continue as agencies seek to further “automate, protect and economize” how they do everyday business, Maiorana said.
In addition, software-defined networks (SDN), which have been slow out of the gate, will continue as an important trend in government. Agency officials are optimistic about it, but there are still questions about the benefits and risks, the return on investment, and security.
“But I think the overall SDN transformation is starting to take some root,” Maiorana said, “And we’ll see some real proof of concepts and customer adoption in the near, near future.”
Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.