Unified Communications Featured Article

CenturyLink to Provide UCaaS for Senate

January 04, 2017

CenturyLink has won a contract from the government that could be worth $26.6 million and run for seven years. It was awarded by the U.S. Senate’s sergeant-at-arms office.

Through this deal, the tier 1 telephone company will install, maintain, manage, and operate a unified communications-as-a-service platform for more than 450 Senate state offices around the country. The telco will also provide hardware, software, help desk support, and training as part of the deal.

While the deal ultimately could be valued at $26.6 million, the initial three-year period of the contract is worth $11.4 million. After the three years, the government has four one-year renewal options.

The 2017 Federal IT Trends white paper published by Nextgov in partnership with Forrester Research says that artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and virtual reality will be among the hot trends in government technology this year, while customer service will have less momentum in the federal government space. Despite the likely lessened focus by the federal government on customer service, the paper indicates that federal agencies will spend about $26 billion in 2017 on technologies for engaging with customers.

The General Services Administration, the paper says, has already launched Digital Communities efforts, including Yelp for Public Services and the U.S. Public Participation Playbook. The GSA also has been considering the use of AI-based chatbots to better engage citizens. The paper also notes the broad potential of AI, which it says can be used to enable everything from personalized medical treatment to more accurate weather forecasts to predictive analysis of existing government data.

As for cybersecurity, the paper indicates it will be a clear priority for soon-to-be President Trump.

“In this environment, every new federal leader will work hard to avoid being the first whose agency gets hacked under the new administration,” according to the paper. “As a result, some federal leaders will quickly implement new security measures for existing digital services without taking the time for input from digital experience designers.”

Edited by Alicia Young