Bill White, a Washington, D.C. area transplant who transitioned into his role as VP of Sprint Federal (NYSE: S) after Sprint veteran Tony D'Agata retired in 2008, lives by a simple mantra: "Do what you say you are going to do."
White has applied that mantra to his work with the federal government.
After spending 15 years in various management roles overseeing national accounts, a run that began in 1983 at the former SP Communications--which was eventually purchased by the former US Telecom to become the Sprint we know of today--White transitioned into Sprint Federal in 1998 to run the company's civilian business.
Over the course of the next 10 years--a time when Sprint beat out incumbent AT&T to win the General Service Administration's (GSA) FTS-2001 telecom contract--White helped Sprint's civilian business into the largest book of revenue measured by Washington Technology's Top 100 Prime Contractors.
As VP of Sprint Federal, White takes off where D'Agata left off in helping federal agencies transition from the former FTS-2001 to Networx, where Sprint is a holder of the Networx Enterprise portion of the contract.
Sprint may have been beaten out by AT&T (NYSE: T), Qwest (NYSE: Q) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) for the Networx Universal contract portion, but it's making progress with transitioning various agencies' voice and data networks off of FTS-2001 to Networx Enterprise all with relative swiftness for those agencies that have completed their respective fair opportunity evaluations and have selected Sprint as their carrier.
Thus far, they have moved over 400,000 voice lines off of the former FTS-2001 contract to Networx Enterprise, including GSA consolidated switches and the Department of Justice's (DoJ) Washington Area Switch Program (WASP). On the data side for dedicated Internet services of MPLS services, Sprint has been able to complete transitions within a single billing cycle.
Like his other Networx compatriots, White realizes the slowdowns with the Networx transition, but that the complexity is created by the fact that there are so many similarities between Networx Universal and Networx Enterprise.
"The concept that we can't get this done quickly I think is somewhat unfounded," White said. "Part of the complexity of the contract has really bollixed up the gears because you have two different versions of the contract, which are a repeat of services and capabilities."
Since five vendors have been awarded the Networx Enterprise and many of the services are the same, White thinks that one solution to the problem could be to consolidate Networx Enterprise and Universal onto one common contract. "The two contracts overlap each other and all five vendors have been awarded the Networx Enterprise contract so our recommendation is to collapse the contract to simplify the environment, simplify the complexity and to accelerate transition," he said.
White added that since the industry is now four years into the 10-year Networx program, the process could become even more complex as GSA prepares for successor to Networx.
"Pretty soon the GSA will have to prepare for the follow-on contract," he said. "If you think things are complex now where we are trying to move agencies off one contract onto these options, imagine what it will be like when we have to go through this again where we will be moving agencies off of multiple contracts."