Connecting state and local government leaders

Virginia’s New IT Procurement Vehicle Paves the Way for the ‘Internet of Things’

Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

Agency flexibility from the state to local levels is key to adopting new technologies and attracting a younger workforce, says Verizon’s Maggie Hallbach.

As communications and information technologies obsolesce, state procurement vehicles for upgrades can prove costly. That’s why the Virginia Information Technologies Agency awarded Verizon and CenturyLink spots on its five-year, $150 million network services and infrastructure contract.

Called VITAnet, the contract aims to simplify procurement of agile products by executive, county and municipal agencies, as well as school districts and public and private universities.

Verizon was party to the predecessor contract awarded in 2004, COVANET, and the updated procurement vehicle streamlines processes, services and comes with a new website.

“Together we developed a very nimble contracting structure that allows for the ability to modify services, so the contract can maintain currency,” said Maggie Hallbach, Verizon’s government and education markets vice president.

Virginia’s Alcoholic Beverage Control and Department of Motor Vehicles have different technology plans to evolve their infrastructure, so direct sales forces will work with participating agencies to help them meet Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s digital objectives.

For its part, Verizon delivered wide-area networking and voice services to the Commonwealth previously and intends to roll out advanced, high-capacity networking and apps from NoVA’s dense urban areas to the rural southwestern portion of the state. Agencies will have the flexibility to choose between IP- and premise-based voice solutions focused on customer service.

“Having tools at your disposal that make it simpler to deliver your mission is something that not only empowers your workforce but make constituents feel better served,” Hallbach said.

And, like all states, Virginia must remain competitive technologically to attract a workforce and increase residency and, thus, its tax base. Millennials are central to that effort, and they’re used to consuming services differently—with the click of a mouse or swipe of a finger.

Also of critical importance is plumbing Internet of Things network infrastructure in ways that mitigate risk, Hallbach, which means being cognizant of the data riding over the network and maintaining transparency while protecting personal privacy.

Virginia has a reputation to uphold for maintaining good relationships with corporations, low unemployment and quality schools, and budget constraints require deft procurement down to the local level.

“Many municipalities need to do more with less, and leveraging tech to become more efficient is at the top of their to-do list,” Hallbach said.

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty.

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