Try to give technology a human resource

Being in a position to thrill
them with technology and business solutions is a great feeling.


Name: Timothy Fleming


Agency: Federal Technology Service, General Services Administration


Title: Director, European Business Development, a newly created
position. Formerly director of the Center for Local Telecommunications Policy and
Strategies, Office of Regional Services


Length of service: 21 years: 14 at GSA, seven with the Army


Age: 41


Education: Army Signal School; State University of New York,
Farmingdale; University of Maryland, overseas campus in Germany; Center for Creative
Leadership, Greensboro, N.C.; Federal Executive Institute, Charlottesville, Va.


E-mail address: timothy.fleming@gsa.gov


Responsibilities: Establish and manage a GSA/FTS business development
program in Heidelberg, Germany, to support U.S. agencies throughout Europe. The office
will give clients the ability to work directly with a local FTS representative and learn
of the range of technology products and services available from the FTS business lines,
Information Technology Services and Network Services.


The most exciting aspect of my job: FTS has given me the opportunity
to travel internationally to almost 20 countries to work with and provide technology
support services to federal users. It’s always exciting when you’re able to work
with a customer and find effective solutions to the technological challenges they have.


Having been stationed overseas when I was in the Army, I realize that geographical
separation sometimes makes feds who work in other countries feel like they are on the end
of the food chain. Being in a position to thrill them with technology and business
solutions is a great feeling. But technology is just a piece of the puzzle. There is no
substitute for being able to reach out and touch your customer.


The greatest challenge in federal telecommunications: The entire
telecommunications landscape, from budget and regulatory matters to technology and
industry, is changing at a staggering pace. At the same time, a customer’s
expectation bar continues to rise across the requirements spectrum.


FTS’ approach to providing solutions that leverage the buying power of the federal
government, while offering the flexibility to address individual user concerns and
requirements, is the key to building long-term, synergistic relationships between service
provider and customer.


The most exciting new technologies in federal telecommunications: A
fascinating aspect of the service provider’s role is that the technical requirements
are as diverse as the customer base. When you look at the umbrella of FTS services and
customers across the globe, it reads like a Who’s Who and technology journal wrapped
together.


Mobile satellite services, wireless, merging voice and data, virtual data centers,
electronic commerce and seat management are all on my short list of exciting technologies.
But my technical roots always bring me back to information security, and when you look at
the new technologies coupled with the security and assurance piece, it opens up a lot of
doors.


FTS 2001 will break new ground, not only in the technology area but also with far wider
geographic coverage and international service-area options.


Another side of this coin is the exciting new uses for existing technologies. GSA/FTS
is uniquely positioned to apply and facilitate the leverage factor. For example, as FTS
looks at the transition issues for FTS 2001, the optimization-aggregation model is on the
front burner. By building location-based alliances rather than isolating their
requirements, agencies will have a rare opportunity to work together and expand their
capabilities while reducing costs across the government.


What best prepared me for this job: My first thought is that my time
living and traveling overseas created a wide range of life experiences that laid the
foundation.


Having concentrated most of my career on the IT side of the house, my recent stint with
the Office of Regional Services leaves me with a better understanding of the network
services perspective and has really rounded out the big picture.


Also, I have always felt that GSA/FTS fostered an innovative atmosphere that allowed me
to stretch or reinvent boundaries, particularly with customer service and support issues.
That lets me work with my customers in a consultant role to fully understand their
problems and work with them on cost-effective solutions rather than lowest-cost quick
fixes.


Greatest influences in my career: I wish I could list them all because
I’ve learned so much from so many people at GSA. When I first arrived in Germany to
work for GSA in 1985, I was fortunate to have a branch chief in Washington, John Grimes,
who always managed to find the time to talk with me about project and career issues,
undeterred by my geographic distance or grade. At the same time, my direct supervisor, Bob
Miller, provided me with challenges and opportunities to stretch and develop.


That desire to create a climate of encouragement and acceptance of ideas and
information exchanges across the organization is one that has stayed with me. Transferring
that to a customer-service perspective, I find that the communication keys to success look
the same for customers as well as co-workers.


Other interests: Golf, culinary pursuits, travel, volunteerism,
cycling, baseball.


—Richard W. Walkers

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