Verizon’s Public Sector Leader Shares His Thoughts on the Business and Government Adoption of Technology
by Kevin W. Irland
Mike Maiorana took the helm of Verizon Public Sector Markets last September and now leads an organization that focuses solely on meeting the IT and communications requirements of government clients in federal, state and local, education and public safety. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Mike to get his perspectives on public sector and how technology can transform the business of government.
Kevin W. Irland: How did you get your start with Verizon?
Mike Maiorana: I started with the company in 1990 right after graduating from Rutgers University. My first position was as a mobile phone sales associate in one of our retail stores. This was when wireless was a new technology and car phones were being purchased by early adopters. There was no such thing as a data plan; it was a voice only service. I remember that it used to take 24 hours to activate a new consumer phone and up to 72 hours for a business line. Customers actually needed to make an appointment so that the phone could be installed in their car. It’s amazing how far the wireless industry has come over the past 20 years.
KWI: Please share your insights into the technology trends shaping and transforming the future of government.
MM: Mobility and cloud computing are fundamentally transforming the business of government, and we have barely scratched the surface in terms how these technologies can work together.
The proliferation of smart phones and tablets powered by pervasive 4G LTE wireless networks is creating an unprecedented degree of connectedness both within government and between government and its constituents. Mobility is changing how first responders respond, how teachers teach, how the military defends and how essential government services are delivered.
Cloud computing is having a profound impact on how the business of government is carried out. For most government organizations, the operation of data centers is not a core competency. The ability to leverage Verizon’s global data center footprint and cloud expertise frees up government capital and personnel to focus meeting their core missions. For example, our data centers in Culpeper, Va., and Miami are purpose-built facilities designed to meet federal government requirements for security and resiliency.
I should also note that network leadership – IP and wireless – is the core of Verizon’s business and all that we do for our customers. In fact, our reputation is built on our networks. Verizon’s global IP and 4G LTE networks are the foundations upon which our cloud, connected machine and cybersecurity capabilities are built.
The availability of near-real time information and the ability of people to collaborate is driving greater government responsiveness, improving efficiency and business processes, and enabling the sharing of actionable information for faster decision making.
KWI: What do you consider to be the greatest opportunity in public sector?
MM: I think Verizon Public Sector Markets has great potential to be viewed by our government customers as a provider of value-added technology solutions.
Government customers are risk averse and their decision making is often based on measurable past performance – from both an operational and a technical perspective.
Verizon has the technology platforms and the expertise to develop proven solutions that can be sold to multiple government customers. I like to call this solution replication. Verizon is well positioned to deliver advanced IT and communications solutions – built by integrating capabilities that span our entire portfolio – to government that actually work and deliver the certainty, performance and results that customers are seeking.
KWI: What is the one thing you would like government customers to know about Verizon Public Sector Markets?
MM: Over the past decade, Verizon has made significant investments in its networks – the foundation of all that we do – and the innovative solutions that we deliver. At the same time, Verizon has invested in the advanced platforms – Hughes Telematics, Terremark, CloudSwitch and Cybertrust – that are delivering a host of advanced solutions, such as fleet management, cloud computing, cybersecurity and healthcare IT that are reshaping how IT services are delivered.
The combination of these assets is enabling Verizon to develop and expand the strategic platforms – intelligent networking, dynamic cloud, mobile workforce and connected machines – that will fuel future innovation and enable our public sector customers to achieve their missions and serve constituents in new and powerful ways.
KWI: What is your management philosophy?
MM: I have an incredible passion for this job, and I view myself as an advocate for our customers and the Verizon employees who serve them each and every day.
For those on my team, I am very focused on supporting them by removing obstacles and barriers to success. Maintaining open lines of communication where questions are encouraged and information is freely shared is absolutely essential. I am a firm believer in celebrating successes and scrutinizing losses; there’s always an opportunity to improve and find a better way of doing things.
From a customer perspective, I follow the same philosophy. Meeting customers, learning about their challenges and removing barriers to success are absolutely essential. Forging trusted relationships with customers helps me lead and guide my team to delivering on Verizon’s commitments.
The success of Verizon Public Sector Markets is ultimately measured by how we serve our customers and help them meet their mission-critical objectives.
KWI: Since taking the helm of Verizon Public Sector Markets, what have you learned about your new group and the customers you are now serving?
MM: I think this is a very exciting time to be in public sector.
The Verizon Public Sector Markets team is a highly engaged group of professionals who know that they have a higher calling. They understand our customers and are committed to helping them succeed by providing top-notch communications and IT solutions, as well as post-sales support and service.
The same is true of our customers. They understand their missions and are dedicated to meeting the needs of their constituents no matter how hard the challenge.
I firmly believe that Verizon enables our customers to do great things for the constituents they serve.