John Sutton, General Manager, Global Crossing's Federal Sector unit

John Sutton, Global CrossingJohn Sutton may have just became the General Manager of Global Crossing's (Nasdaq: GLBC) federal sector this past August, but his experience in the sector dates back to the mid-1980s when he spent five years as a merchant marine.  

What prompted Sutton come to Global Crossing were its assets--not only its worldwide physical network assets-but also its growing set of services he could sell to agencies.

"What attracted me to Global Crossing's story is they have this credible fiber optic network spanning the globe working for a good chunk of the fortune 500 companies, carrying a phenomenal amount of Internet traffic every day," said Sutton. "They have also recently have been investing into more things that just running a network, but they have also built data centers, got collaboration services, cloud and provisioning  IT services from the network side.

Sutton added that "given where the government was and given the right push and right angle of attack, we could deliver some great things to the government."

And while the majority of the attention in the public sector telecom opportunity is on GSA's Networx Enterprise and Universal contract--one that Global Crossing serves as a subcontractor to AT&T Government--Sutton points out there's a number of opportunities with agencies that aren't using Networx.

While he could not name any specific agencies, the intelligence agencies for one haven't and won't buy off the Networx contract, meaning there's plenty of opportunity for Global Crossing to be a prime contractor and partner with other primes to sell into agency opportunities within the DoD and intelligence community.

"We look to sell the network assets first to leverage our core asset in the company and we'll add the expertise on top of that for the managed services," Sutton said. "In many cases we'll partner with AT&T on Networx Universal or it goes out on a large-scale managed security contract like WIN-T or if it's enterprise management we'll work with Northrop Grumman and bid on contracts as a prime contractor."

Not surprisingly, two areas of managed services Sutton and his team are going to drive at Global Crossing are collaboration and managed security services.

Currently, Global Crossing is in the process of launching a new set of managed security offering to complement what it has in its Latin America operations, including traditional security services such as managed firewall, content filtering and intrusion detection.

For the government, Global Crossing is rolling out additional services that improve situational awareness through the deployment of a managed network sensor with Bivio Networks. This new network sensor will allows government agencies to see what their total network looks like and identify if anomalies that pop up are malicious traffic or just network anomalies.

In addition to managed security and collaboration, Global Crossing Government solutions continues to see a desire from agencies to go to fully meshed MPLS networks--something it has run in an IPv4 or IPv6 perspective for about 10 years--to get better efficiency, performance and bandwidth capabilities.

Sutton's understanding of the public sector combined with Global Crossing's service and network depth should enable him to make good on his new career ambition to advance the service provider's play in the public sector space.

John Sutton, General Manager, Global Crossing's Federal Sector unit