Changing of FTS 2001 guard

Denny Groh, acting assistant commissioner of service delivery at the General Services Administration's Federal Technology Service, is leaving the agency for a private-sector job.

Today is Groh's final day with the agency. John Johnson, assistant commissioner of service development, will take over Groh's role Jan. 27.

Johnson, who joined GSA in 2000, was a project manager at the Defense Information Systems Agency in the late 1990s, and helped the Department of Defense make the transition from the FTS 2000 telecommunications contract to FTS 2001. Groh's task at GSA was to oversee the contract's daily use. Johnson will take over those operational duties while continuing to work in contract development.

Johnson is leading GSA's work on a successor contract to FTS 2001, and intends to unveil it this year. Meanwhile, the delivery side needs to be prepared to embrace those changes, he said. "There is some connectivity, and there always has been, between the two functions."

The personnel changes should not cause any disruptions to agencies that buy through FTS 2001, said telecom analyst Warren Suss, president of Suss Consulting Inc.

"FTS 2001 is a very mature program," he said. "Even though there are going to continue to be changes in the program as new services are introduced, I think the program is pretty well established. I don't think the users will notice any significant differences."

The telecommunications industry should be pleased with the change, said one telecom company official who asked not to be identified. "Johnson's been at this game a long time. He has a lot of tentacles in the community," the official said. "I've always been impressed with him."

Groh is taking a position with Siemens Corp.

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