Verizon’s engine makes the government run

2013_04_Susan-Zeleniak Susan Zeleniak

In the emerging world of federal mobility, some of the most head-turning developments are on the application side as federal agencies find new ways for employees to work remotely.

But those applications and the devices they run on could not exist without a robust, secure wireless network like the one Verizon provides to its portfolio of federal customers. The Verizon 4G LTE network now reaches 491 cities nationwide and is available to 287 million people.


“Our focus is on providing intelligent networks that deliver the capabilities and the speeds the federal government needs,” said Susan Zeleniak, senior vice president for Verizon Public Sector Markets, in an interview with FedScoop.

But Verizon’s capabilities extend far beyond mobility.

Zeleniak said Verizon provides an end-to-end solution that merges wireless, wireline, cloud and security into a single portfolio of capabilities to help government clients solve their most challenging IT objectives.

Verizon is able to do that because of a combination of its own innovation and a number of best-of-breed acquisitions.

Two years ago, the company acquired data center leader Terremark and now features more than 50 cloud-computing data centers around the globe. That allows the company to help government agencies manage and store massive amounts of data.


“We’re able to help the government to remotely store mountains of data that it can then use to improve its own operations,” Zeleniak said.

Verizon also acquired CyberTrust, a leading cybersecurity solutions company, in 2007. With that purchase, Zeleniak said Verizon as an organization helps manage the most secure customers in the world.

“We’ve been doing security for so long that’s its ingrained in everything we do,” she said.

In the federal space, the company also borrows from its other verticals within the Verizon Enterprise Solutions family. For instance, the company has solutions for healthcare, retail and financial services, which translate to what the government is doing in a number of spaces.

It’s allowed Verizon to work on a number of key government projects. One effort entails working with the military agencies to provide a VPN solution for mobile phones and helping healthcare agencies expand citizen outreach (a key initiative with the coming Affordable Care Act kicking in).


Zeleniak also said she’s having some good conversations with the government about connected machines. For example, devices that monitor prisoners or parolees or devices that measure air and water quality.

“Our uniqueness is as a combination of services, but with individual expertise that builds a full model that federal customers can take advantage of,” Zeleniak said. “By having this enormous infrastructure, we can provide the federal government with the IT capabilities it needs to deliver to customers the service they expect.”

As for things she’s watching, Zeleniak said one of her main areas of focus is data center consolidation and expansion of cloud use. She said agencies are moving away from a capital expense model to an operating expense model as they no longer want to make large investments in infrastructure.

The needs of each agency vary as they have different peak service times, Zeleniak said, so the ability to ramp up and down is paramount.

Zeleniak said she is also following the different mobile strategies agencies put out to see which are going to have employees who work remotely.


“We’re seeing agency employees be able to do more work these days on smartphones and tablets than they could five years ago on a wired desktop,” Zeleniak said. “We want to make sure that the mobile worker has the ability to access all of that information on whatever device they are using.”

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