Diana Gowen, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Qwest Government Services (NYSE: Q) has been working in the public sector for three decades, but she says that what continues to get her up every morning is how she and her team can help agencies reach their respective service functions.
"The fun part is once you get past the mundane transition process and then you can start to look at how we work with the agency to make them more efficient to accomplish the mission," Gowen said. "That's why I like to work for the government."
Since coming to Qwest Government Services in 2005 after overseeing government serviced arms for the former Broadwing/Corvis and MCI Government Solutions (now Verizon Federal), Gowen helped Qwest secure a seat on the multi-billion dollar GSA Networx Enterprise and Networx Universal telecom contracts.
Similar to the other Networx contract holders, Qwest is seeing agency customers that have made their service provider decisions have had to get over the hump of helping them get their inventories in place can now move to the next stage.
Given the diversity of agencies--a factor that often plays into how fast or slow they are making their Networx transition--Gowen said that the awards and transition have come in what she characterizes as going slow but going fast.
"You're seeing a mini swell of orders from those agencies that made decisions last year and the year before," Gowen said. "In the beginning of this year we had a mini tsunami of new task orders and statements of work, but that's really rapidly fallen off of late. Because of that slowness and there being so many small and large agencies that have just made decisions or have yet to make them for the order tsunami that everyone wanted to be prepared for hasn't really materialized."
Since getting a seat on Networx Universal 2007, Qwest has won awards from large agencies, including Government Accountability Office (GAO), NASA, and Veterans Affairs (VA). Gowen said that NASA not only made most of their awards and they were quick to implement those awards, while VA made their awards early on they were slower to get orders done, but a lot of progress has been made over the last year.
Not far behind NASA and the VA are the smaller data networks at the FBI, where the transition has started to pick up pace after the agency sized up its service inventory.
Inside Networx, Qwest is also offering Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Managed Trusted Internet Protocol Service (MTIPS) service to help federal agencies meet the Trusted Internet Connection (TIC) mandate.
Of course, agencies remain divided on how to implement MTIPS. Many of the larger agencies will likely want to be their own TIC providers, while the smaller agencies will turn to a partner such as Qwest, which recently got OMB approval to offer MTIPS services to agencies.
"If you look at the larger cabinet-level agencies, they want to be their own TIC providers, but the smaller agencies like National Archives don't want to have to worry about replicating all of that for themselves are just as happy to have it sit in the cloud and buy it from us," Gowen said. "But if you were to talk to the Justice department they have been down that path a long time and built their own MTIPS and are going to stay that way."
Whether it's helping agencies OMB's security mandate or helping them meet their Networx transition, Gowen says the next step for Qwest and other Networx holders is that "we're all waiting for the next tsunami of small and large agencies to figure out who their carriers are going to be and we'll see a wave of orders and activities again."
Given Gowen's 25-plus years of experience in serving the federal government it's she'll be able to be creative with technology to meet those agencies' transition needs.