Verizon chosen again for $525M Social Security phone system contract

Verizon has won a potential 10-year, $525 million contract to help the Social Security Administration operate its telephone systems and call service center.

But time will tell whether this is for keeps or not. Verizon was originally awarded the Next Generation Telephony Project in July 2019, then incumbent Tyto Athene and prospective newcomer General Dynamics IT quickly protested SSA’s decision.

SSA apparently pulled back the award to take a second look at bids and those protests were dismissed two months after they were filed. The Government Accountability Office docket lists CSRA as technically the protestor after the original award and that company was acquired by GDIT in April 2018.

Deltek data indicates this new program is a consolidation of three prior contracts held by Avaya’s federal solutions division, AT&T and NextiraOne -- a predecessor company of Tyto Athene.

Tyto Athene is the former federal business of Black Box Corp., which formed that unit upon its 2006 acquisition of NextiraOne’s U.S. and Canada operations. Black Box divested the federal shop in 2018 to private equity firm Arlington Capital Partners, which subsequently rebranded the business to Tyto Athene.

For the new NGTP contract, SSA sought an industry partner that could operate the agency’s field office telephone system that is used by at least 1,500 field offices and 15 large site locations. The system is intended to have its four service delivery points geographically located by region, plus configured in a manner that allows for redundancy and fail-over operation in the event of outage.

The contractor also must run a call service center that is based in a private hosted cloud and support an SSA-owned voice system that utilizes Voice over Internet Protocol connections.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.

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