Government communications leaders: Susan Zeleniak, Group President, Verizon Federal

Susan Zeleniak, Verizon FederalEven before Susan Zeleniak took over the reins of Verizon Federal (NYSE: VZ), when her former MCI colleague Jerry Edgerton retired in from the company in 2007, not long after Verizon bought out MCI to form Verizon Business, she was already well established in the public sector.

Prior to coming to Verizon Federal, Zeleniak served as the VP of Verizon Federal Civilian Networks and various other roles at MCI and the former C&P Telephone building networks for a number of U.S. federal civilian and defense agencies.

This experience has come in handy as Zeleniak helped navigate Verizon's winning of GSA's Networx Universal/Enterprise, Alliant and Washington Interagency Telecommunications System-3 (WITS-3) contracts.
Currently, Verizon has won $1.7 billion in prime contracts thanks to Networx, the General Services Administration's telecommunications acquisition to replace FTS 2001. Among the highlights of Verizon Networx awards was the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) contact center business and Social Security Administration (SSA).

Susan Zeleniak vital statsNow that it has gone through much of the proposal work bidding on agency business, Zeleniak is happy to report that Verizon Federal is helping agencies make the FTS-2001 to Networx transition. Among the many agencies that Verizon Federal has won under Networx are a $187 million contract from Health and Human Services (HHS) and NASA.

"Networx is keeping us busy," Zeleniak said. "We're now starting to have more transition work than we have proposal work. It's a good thing that the government is transitioning and the pace is starting to pick up."

Zeleniak added that what's more exciting is that now that "as agencies have picked their carrier, they now are starting to look at how to use Networx for other services such as collaboration, managing security, VoIP and moving everything onto an IP network."  

But Networx is not the only game in town for Verizon Federal. Other key contracts include the $2.5 billion award through the Defense Information Systems Network Transmission Services-Pacific II (DTS-P II) for managed transmission services for the Pacific-region Defense Information Network System.

Along with Networx, Verizon is one of the two prime contractors on the GSA's Washington Interagency Telecommunications System-3 (WITS-3) contract, the successor to the former WITS2001 contract that it also held a post on ended this January.

Gaining a seat on WITS-3 has paid off. In March 2009, Verizon Federal won a $245 million contract to provide both telecom (voice, video, data and collaboration) and professional services to Health and Human Services for Medicare and Medicaid.

"This is one contract where we are working with the agency to find better ways to serve the public, which is the best part of job," Zeleniak said. "Helping agencies better serve citizens is what makes it fun every day."

Within each of the contracts, two of the major technology applications are security and cloud computing. Zeleniak see three major areas within security to track: security, managed network services and data center virtualization and cloud computing.

An obvious key element in gaining a line in the agency's security portfolio, Verizon Federal also achieved the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Managed Trusted Internet Protocol Service (MTIPS) compliance, which enables it to start taking orders for MTIPS.

Going forward, Zeleniak will be able to expand her experience further as Verizon Federal will continue to focus its attention on winning more Networx business in addition to WITS-3, Connections, and Alliant contract vehicles.

Government communications leaders: Susan Zeleniak, Group President, Verizon Federal
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