CenturyLink’s Zain Ahmed Talks Industry Challenges in Meeting EIS Telecom Contract Deadlines

Zain Ahmed
Zain Ahmed

Zain Ahmed, vice president of civilian and law enforcement sales at CenturyLink, has said that COVID-19 disruptions impacted the flow of orders under the General Services Administration’s $50B Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract, Fedscoop reported Tuesday.

Ahmed told attendees at a prior virtual event that agency pressure to rapidly address telecommunications modernization needs “puts a lot of risk on the industry to provide an accurate response” and that agencies have not provided “clear direction” to contractors.

In addition, Ahmed said the Department of Defense’s solicitations based on lowest price technically acceptable procedures serve as “quick fixes that really don’t offer much value".

“Nothing changed around the EIS transition schedule,” he noted. “That’s static, and we’re all marching toward that. There are some issues coming with COVID-19. It’s getting delayed because people aren’t in the office; people aren’t collaborating how they used to.”

CenturyLink is working to implement wide-area network communications throughout agencies’ data centers and field offices as part of the EIS award, according to Campbell Palmer, solutions architects manager for public sector at CenturyLink.

The Government Accountability Office previously reported that all of the top agency spenders for the EIS contract intended to complete the transition by May 2023. GSA’s initial deadline was scheduled for Sept. 30, 2022.

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