TAMPA, Fla. -
The State of Florida has awarded Verizon a two-year contract valued at $19 million to provide voice communications services in the six-county West Central Florida region, including the cities of Clearwater, Lakeland, Sarasota, St. Petersburg and Tampa.
State offices, agencies and departments in the area will be linked using Verizon's Advanced Intelligent Network (AIN) platform that builds information-handling intelligence directly into the network architecture. As a result, Floridians can anticipate faster, more accurate services from a number of state agencies.
''The elected officials of Florida are telling us they want a single network that is capable of providing consistent and uniform service options - a network that offers state residents improved access to information and more efficient service,'' said Betty Reynolds, general manager - branch operations, Florida, Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group.
''An enterprise business model using the AIN platform provides a standard infrastructure that can be leveraged and expanded as voice and data networks converge into a single, powerful network. Verizon has the expertise that both governments and large businesses will need as they evolve toward the future of convergence.''
Recognized within North America as the industry-wide standard network architecture, the AIN platform is designed so that software providing key service features is loaded into central computer nodes located throughout the Verizon network. The software then distributes the service feature capabilities across the entire state network, avoiding the costly application of software patches at every switch.
Among the features provided through the AIN platform are enhanced call screening and forwarding capabilities, advanced billing functions and the proper routing of calls placed through toll-free numbers.
The contract will enable the State of Florida to consolidate multiple networks currently in use and adopt an enterprise network model with a common network infrastructure used by all state agencies.
A standardized state communications network will simplify network administration functions, reduce maintenance costs and facilitate the sharing of common functions. By adopting an enterprise model for the procurement and deployment of information technology, members of the State Technology Office have said that the flow of information through and among various state agencies will be quicker. Ultimately, state officials believe this will improve the delivery of services to constituents, such as renewing a driver's license, filing tax returns or communicating with key elected officials.
''The AIN platform offers the flexibility needed to quickly add features when they are required by the state, thereby lower operating costs,'' said Reynolds. ''The State of Florida wants to use information technology as a means of improving the delivery of services to its residents in a cost-effective manner. Florida intends to be at the forefront of state governments employing technology to achieve its goals and the Verizon Advanced Intelligent Network is a perfect way for the state to achieve that goal.''
Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group manages the design, operation and maintenance of end-to-end total network integrated solutions for large business and government customers across the United States. With nearly 16,000 employees in 46 states, Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group offers a complete range of basic and advanced communications products and services to meet the voice, video, data and IP-related needs of its customers. For more information on products and services available through Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group, please visit, www.verizon.com
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 112 million access line equivalents and 27 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with approximately 260,000 employees and more than $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit, www.verizon.com