Patience and persistence always pay off. In Bruce Fleming’s role as “go-to guy” for the divisional technology office of Verizon’s federal arm, he applies both those skills as he shepherds complex projects through the military and other large government organizations, frequently under secrecy and uncertain budget conditions.
Fleming’s talents were recently put to the test when he joined a next-generation network task force set up by the U.S. government. The objective was to draw up a blueprint for transitioning away from the traditional phone system, while determining which services the government would need to handle disasters and ensure security. He realized he would have to work with separate, uncoordinated networks -- the cell network, the Internet, and so on -- that could be traversed reliably to deliver critical information.
The next step was to break down the various networks and their connection points and spend several months testing his taxonomy with task force peers from other companies. “It was a very gradual process,” Fleming says. The result was a unanimously adopted architecture that adheres to common operational criteria and allows the various networks to interact predictably. If adopted, Fleming hopes it will prevent the communication gaps that hindered rescue efforts after 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.