DISA Looks to Expand UC Program

Monday - 10/20/2008, 11:50am EDT

‘The holy grail of collaboration' is how one expert describes the possible expansion of the Defense Information Systems Agency's unified communications program.

DISA wants to provide instant messaging, chat and Web conferencing services to millions of users who only have low-bandwidth or intermittent network connectivity.

Bernie Skoch, an analyst at Suss Consulting and retired Air Force general, tells Federal Computer Week the new unified effort should lead to a better system.

"DISA is the exact right organization to be doing this. What a great way to not be spending taxpayers' money by having a dozen different efforts going on to implement different tools."

The agency is seeking a vendor to manage the project's Web conferencing, instant messaging and chat capabilities, but wants government servers to host those services.

One of the biggest challenges the project will face is sorting out the security issues that come from sharing information between classified and unclassified networks.