How Federal Agency Voice Solutions Went from On-Premise to the Cloud

Not many people have the opportunity to do business with government agencies, and even fewer have the privilege to do so at the federal level.

Bill Grabner, however, has done this for over 20 years.

Before coming to Ribbon Communications about a year ago, Grabner, spent much of his career conducting sales with the federal government and the public sector overall at companies like Cisco and Genesis. Today, as Ribbon’s vice president of federal markets, he leverages his 20-plus years of experience to explain the intricacies of federal agency voice solutions.

Compared to commercial organizations, the public sector — and federal agencies in particular — have a different set of needs and restrictions when it comes to their voice applications, which makes a migration to the cloud a challenge.

“The federal government has a different use case than their commercial counterparts, and I think that vendors haven’t done a good job of solving that problem for them,” mused Grabner.

“And it’s a bit of a chicken and the egg — without products available, federal agencies haven’t gone to market looking for those products quite as much. And without the federal government going to market, OEM vendors and contractors haven’t put as much effort and focus into that.”

Another issue lies in the need for federal communication lines to be always available, especially during emergencies.

“Governments still need to be operational, and for agencies more concerned with national security, like the Department of Defense commands… They have a mandate. They have to operate in the event of some sort of a cloud outage,” he revealed.

“The federal government, and a lot of public sector agencies in general, need to have a hybrid environment and OEM vendors have not done a really good job of creating a hybrid environment for them.”

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