As seen on Fierce Telecom

By Diana Goovaerts  Mar 25, 2022 02:55pm

Flush with federal Covid relief funds, states are increasingly looking to overhaul their digital capabilities to enable more remote work and citizen services, NWN Carousel CMO Andrew Gilman told Fierce. This is opening a door for companies like itself to get in on state contracts previously held primarily by large telco incumbents.

NWN Carousel was formed last year after cloud communications company NWN acquired Carousel to create a software-as-a-service (SaaS) giant with run rate revenue of around $1 billion.

According to Gilman, the combined company provides services in six core areas: unified communications for voice, video, meetings and messaging; contact center technology, including core infrastructure, platforms and artificial intelligence; device as a service; visual collaboration for physical workspaces; infrastructure to support its offerings, including CLEC, circuits, wireless, wireline and data center; and managed services, which are offered via its own SaaS platform. The key differentiator for the company, he added, is that NWN Carousel takes a holistic approach to serving customers rather than leaving them to piece together what they need themselves.

Gilman said that broad view approach is paying off with states which are looking to overhaul their digital capabilities as fast as possible. Just this week, the company scored a new contract with the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) worth $300 million annually to provide unified communications, carrier, managed services and contact center solutions. Gilman said the deal represents the first time the state has added a new provider for that contract in several years.

And it’s not a one-off. Gilman told Fierce the company previously won a deal SUNCOM in Florida worth $500 million annually, with that agency adding it as the first new provider in nearly a decade. It now has over 80 strategic contacts at the state and county level, he said.

“Since the pandemic the needs of states have changed fundamentally. Think of agencies who had a central office who had to take their workers remote. Think of now trying to provide essential services for contact center agents that are no longer in a contact center,” he said. While a lot of the technologies NWN Carousel offers were previously “tier 2 or nice-to-haves,” they’ve now become essential for many agencies, Gilman added.

In addition to enabling more remote work, Gilman said some state agencies are also looking to overhaul their in-office capabilities as they begin to bring workers back to in-person settings.

“They haven’t necessarily been back to the office in a long time, so those office networks, those office visual collaboration environments are pretty antiquated. So, there’s a huge opportunity and trend that we’re seeing to kind of reinvent what the office looks like,” he said. “We’ve just seen a tremendous amount of federal dollars becoming available. That’s finally kind of trickling into the state budgets and so they’re looking for kind of shovel-ready programs that can really transform the worker’s experience for the state.”

Gilman’s comments jibe with similar comments recently made by Hughes Network Systems. In an interview with Fierce earlier this month, Hughes AVP of Government Solutions Tony Bardo said states are increasingly awarding contracts to multiple vendors as they look to upgrade their broadband and managed services.