Sprint makes local link

Sprint is the latest company to try to extend its federal expertise to the state and local government markets, with the aim of profiting from future opportunities created by growing homeland security and e-government requirements.

Those requirements will demand new levels of connectivity, security and network assurance, Sprint executives say, and the company has supplied such services to state and local governments through its regional and local sales forces.

However, homeland security funding will start at the federal level and work its way down to the local level, said Cathy Clements, Sprint's regional vice president of sales.

"Some federal agencies are even now trying to figure out for themselves how they can reach out and connect with the states to get access to their servers, and vice versa," she said. "We think we can show them ways of doing that without having to replicate data and so on."

Sprint's activities in the state and local markets will be handled by a national sales force that will offer governments more resources in the future, she said.

This melding of federal and state sales is "certainly the wave of the future," said Warren Suss, president of Suss Consulting Inc.

"The old model [for telecommunications companies] was to have state and local government requirements handled through the same sales force that services residential and business customers in the same geographical area," he said. "But those folks are not well-suited to sell to government."

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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