In the summer of 2012, CenturyLink announced that it had won a contract from the U.S. Government’s General Services Administration (GSA) to provide telecommunications service to the Social Security Administration.
Through the GSA Networx program, CenturyLink found itself with $233 million in federal funding. It also recently announced that it has claimed an extension in that contract (through 2020) to assist other government departments and that it will bring the GENBAND EXPERiUS Application Server software along for the ride. CenturyLink’s cloud-based networking and communications services can now take advantage of the EXPERiUS method of handling networked multimedia applications and extend that capability to all the public employees it serves.
CenturyLink Senior Vice President Tim Meehan remarked that his company is excited to add GENBAND to the communications services it offers:
“CenturyLink is excited to add GENBAND’s Application Server solutions to our Networx contracts so that, together, we can help government agencies manage and upgrade their communications networks,” Meehan said.
He also confirmed the importance of the role that the Defense Department’s Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) plays in this situation. JITS acts as the official certification center for Defense and therefore makes sure that applications it and other departments use are able to meet military-grade standards. GENBAND’s server has met the standards set by JITC and can make its way to various official Defense Department uses.
This also means that CenturyLink could become a major player in the Defense Department. With EXPERiUS in tow, it can provide a central location for the use and management of multimedia applications that allow public officers to communicate through voice and video. Multiple offices within the Defense Department can also take advantage of the software’s ability to handle multi-user conferences and file sharing.
The extension of CenturyLink’s contract here has the potential to replace the function that Nortel communications equipment provided in its equipment that has been in use within the government for some time. CenturyLink noted that the Nortel equipment is reaching the end of its usefulness but that GENBAND, which acquired Nortel Carrier in 2010, could pick up where the previous pieces left off. A direct replacement could save costs and allow for a smoother transition than would other products from non-associated companies.
Meehan further noted that the “JITC certification means that CenturyLink’s government customers know they can trust this solution.” The high praise may be enough to convince some outsiders, but its backing from the JITC reinforces the idea that the combination of CenturyLink and GENBAND can handle anything that comes their way. Use cases within the Defense Department will be strenuous and will push this communications software to the limit. Preliminary tests show that the software can handle the demand in Defense – a vote of confidence that could relay through CenturyLink’s work in any other departments it assists through the end of the decade.