Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is pursuing new opportunities to extend its growing set of cloud and hosting services to the state and local government market through a partnership with systems integrator Unisys.
Under the terms of the agreement, Unisys will offer Verizon's services through the public cloud hosting contract it holds with the Western States Contracting Alliance-National Association of State Procurement Officers (WSCA-NASPO) cooperative purchasing organization.
A key point of this partnership for Verizon is being able to reach a broad set of potential customers. WSCA-NASPO provides cooperative purchasing contracts for use by all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories.
In addition, counties, cities and towns, K-12 public schools, colleges and universities, public safety agencies and authorized nonprofit groups in member states can leverage WSCA-NASPO purchasing contracts.
This partnership appears to be well-timed with the technology transitions taking place at the state and local government level.
According to a recent Center for Digital Government report, nearly half of state and local governments have either started or plan to start cloud computing projects. What's more, the survey revealed that 83 percent of respondents would consider using or have already used the WSCA-NASPO contract vehicle to procure those projects.
Although security remains a concern for local government agencies and larger enterprises moving into the cloud, they could find comfort in two well-established technology providers that have built solutions for large-scale enterprise customers.
For Verizon, this partnership could also potentially reinvigorate its business unit with new opportunities. The service provider reported in the fourth quarter of 2013 that business revenues declined 5.2 percent to $3.6 billion as a result of slower public sector sales.
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