Level 3, Presidio Focus On CPE-based Managed Services

Communications services company Level 3 Communications and Presidio Networked Solutions are collaborating on managed services under a newly announced agreement, which involves customer premise equipment-based managed services. And the government sector will be one of the partnership’s shared targets.

Here’s the background: Level 3’s managed services offering pulls together in-house and partner resources. The company had been working with multiple partners for its customer premise equipment-based managed services, but decided consolidation was in order. Level 3’s acquisitions over the years (TelCove in 2006 and Broadwing Corp. in 2007, for example) brought with them managed services allies.

“Each of those [companies] had their own relationships with managed services vendors and we had not yet completely consolidated all of those managed services partners,” noted Russell Shriver, Level 3’s vice president of product management for data and IP services.

Level 3 launched a request for proposals process, evaluated several responses and down selected to Presidio. Presidio had worked with Level 3 previously, Shriver noting that the company has been a large agent for Level 3 for some time.

The Presidio arrangement focuses on Level 3’s CPE-based managed services, which include managed router, firewall and WAN optimization services. Presidio will procure the CPE gear and handle installation. The company will also provide ongoing maintenance. Level 3 will coordinate behind the scenes with Presidio’s network operations center on support issues. The CPE vendor roster includes ADTRAN, Cisco, Fortinet, and Riverbed Technology.

Vertical Market Focus

Government will be one market that Level 3 and Presidio will jointly pursue. Level 3 is one of five communications vendors tapped to provide services under the General Services Administration’s Networx Enterprise acquisition. Networx Enterprise and its sibling contract, Networx Universal, are said to be worth up to $68 billion.

GSA says Networx Enterprise is open to 135 federal agencies and offers voice, IP, wireless, satellite and IP services. The contract also includes managed network security and managed firewall services.

Presidio, for its part, is a long-time player in government circles, originally serving as a network VAR. The company has since transformed into a value-added solutions and managed services provider.

The government, despite tighter budgets, is still expected to purchase managed services, with security and cloud computing the key areas. Accordingly, vendors and services providers are building alliances in the public sector. Last summer, Bivio Networks linked up with Global Crossing to offer managed security services to federal customers, for example.

Level 3, meanwhile, pursues the financial services and healthcare verticals, in addition to government, in its managed services effort.

“All of those have a high need for a series of managed services,” Shriver said.

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