Verizon takes on $146M cloud contract for USPS

Verizon Business announced it will continue its long-standing work with the United States Postal Service (USPS) through a 10-year contract that will expedite the federal agency’s migration to cloud, as well as its integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and network-as-a-service (NaaS).

Under the contract, worth up to $145.7 million, Verizon will upgrade “a number” of USPS’ infrastructure, prominently through a transition to cloud solutions across the organization.

This will include ongoing physical infrastructure upgrades to host servers, storage arrays and other equipment that will help “eliminate the need for premise infrastructure, software licenses or hardware thereby reducing the burden on USPS’ IT personnel and lowering operational costs,” Verizon said in a statement.

Migration to the cloud will enable integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into USPS operations, which Verizon indicated will improve customer experience by providing more intelligent, high-quality responses to inquiries. Verizon will also help USPS move to a multichannel platform that supports email, SMS and chat.

Additionally, the carrier will provide USPS with support for 80 million annual interactions with 4,500 contact center agents across 10 business units, building on a 25-year partnership between the two entities.

“Working with our USPS partners, Verizon will bring our Network as a Service offering to life, making their customer service network smarter and to make the customer support systems run more efficiently,” said Maggie Hallbach, SVP of Verizon Public Sector and President of Verizon Frontline in the company's statement. “It’s no secret, today’s consumers expect immediate, personalized support. That’s a very high bar when you’re serving tens of millions of customers. Our digital solutions will relieve some of that administrative burden so USPS can focus on providing an invaluable service for our country.”

In 1997, Verizon began providing one of the largest private networks for the USPS under the Managed Network Services (MNS) contract. The partnership was expanded in 2012 when Verizon Federal became one of the prime contractors on the USPS’ Telecommunications Integrated Postal Services (TIPN) contract, an $186 million deal that called for Verizon to plan, design, install and manage a private, converged IP-based communications network on MPLS.

Verizon reaps federal contracts

The USPS deal is one of many federal contracts Verizon has secured of late. 

The carrier in March scored a $2.4 billion deal to upgrade the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) telecommunications and information management systems. That contract represented new business for the company. 

Under the federal government’s Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) procurement program, Verizon also won a $2.5 billion contract with the Department of Health and Human Services in 2020 and last year bagged a $1.5 billion task order from the U.S. State Department as well as nearly $1 billion in contracts from the Department of Defense.

“The type of work that we’re talking about within EIS really is around decommissioning of TDM infrastructures, going to Ethernet and fiber-based services, starting to implement or implementing software-defined wide-area networks, [and] high-capacity links. 100-gig links are not uncommon,” Hallbach told Fierce at the time.

“Those are the types of services that we see many of our EIS task order awards embracing. The pandemic has really accelerated the use of cloud-first solutions and so I think EIS a great vehicle to buy and consume those services," she added.