Could the next systems integrator you hire be Verizon?
If you're the Army Reserve, the answer is a definite yes.
Verizon just nabbed a contract from the Army Reserve to provide managed services for its networks. You can read the press release, but what's really interesting about this deal isn't mentioned there-but you will find it in Nick Wakeman's Washington Technology blog post on Verizon's $32 million contract with the Army Reserve.
What's the big deal here? Verizon-a telecom-competed with and beat out systems integrators for what is essentially a systems integration contract, according to Wakeman. It's a deliberate move by Verizon, which makes no bones about its plans to invade the market traditionally dominated by systems integrators.
In fact, the telecoms aren't even trying to sugar-coat it for the SIs. Wakeman includes this unambiguous quote from Susan Zeleniak, group president of Verizon Federal: "We're moving into the SI world."
Wakeman writes that this notion of telecoms moving into the SI space isn't new, but he believes it's reached a critical mass, and the telecoms are well positioned to offer a "plethora of services" and make some "surprising bids," which could translate into nice edge against traditional SI players.
Earlier this year, I shared how the telecoms are working on a new architecture that would allow them more flexibility. This service-oriented network, or SON, would bring the flexibility of SOA to their networks, potentially making it possible for telecoms to become SaaS and cloud providers. It could also go a long way to address Web 2.0 integration problems.