Verizon Expands Health Care Communications Business

By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2010-04-27 Print this article Print

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Verizon Federal worked together to provide an integrated customer contact solution for U.S. citizens, in order to more effectively link callers with the assistance they need while helping to better address surges in call volumes.

Under a $187 million agreement, Verizon Business is providing the U.S. department of Health and Human Services with a range of audio and Web-based collaboration services to help the agency boost productivity among its employees so they can better serve callers. The award was made under the U.S. General Services Administration's Networx Universal contract, which runs through 2017 if all options are exercised.

The department gets up to 1 million calls a week from members of the public, and the agency required a way to route those inquiries more quickly and efficiently. Verizon worked with the agency to provide an integrated customer contact solution to more effectively link callers with the assistance they need while helping to better address surges in call volumes.

Verizon Business' solution combines interactive voice response and touch-tone commands to transfer callers to the appropriate agent for handling.  Also, the Verizon Business contact center solution enables Health and Human Services to increase the number of call center agents in response to a surge in calls and provide callers with a wider range of options to receive the information they need. Previously, Verizon Business had provided the voice and contact center services to Health and Human Services under the GSA's Federal Telecommunications Service 2001 (FTS2001) contract, the predecessor to the Networx program.

"Callers to Health and Human Services usually have a pressing need, and our contact center solution is making it easier for them get the information and assistance they need in the most timely way," said Susan Zeleniak, group president of Verizon Federal.  "This solution -- coupled with the new collaboration services we're putting in place - helps position the agency to best meet the evolving needs of the U.S. population."

This is not the first time Verizon has collaborated with the agency, whose mission is to protect the health of all Americans and provide essential human services. In 2009 Verizon supplied the department with a comprehensive set of voice, data, collaboration and professional services under a new agreement through the Washington Interagency Telecommunications System (WITS 3) contract.

The U.S. General Services Administration's WITS 3 contract, which runs through 2015, covers local telecommunications and professional services and products for federal agencies in the National Capital Region, which includes Washington, D.C., and portions of its Maryland and Virginia suburbs. Verizon Business had previously provided voice and data services to the agency under the WITS2001 contract, the predecessor to WITS 3.

Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at Before joining, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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