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Search Tags: DISA
DISA's Tony Montemarano said the agency wants to use more performance based contracts to better manage contractors.
WFED's Jason Miller and Jared Serbu give details on stories they are working on.
With the new telework bill signed into law, federal employees will soon have more opportunities to telework, and agencies have more incentive to invest in or increase their telepresence options. After the Senate passed the bill in September, the House followed suit in November. It was signed into law last week, and encourages federal employees to telework. Currently, about 5 percent of federal employees participate in some sort of telework plan, and agencies will have to improve their existing technology capabilities and options to meet the increase in participating employees. "We're talking about bringing the government into the 21st century from a technology point of view and every other point of view," said bill sponsor Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) in an interview with Federal News Radio last month. "The technology is moving so aggressively there's no reason not to have a good telework policy," Wolf said. Video teleconferencing is already a component of telework programs at many agencies, and has in some cases enabled greater allowance for teleworking. At the Defense Information Systems Agency, the desktop- and laptop- based telepresence has "enabled our telework program to thrive, allowing DISA employees to fully participate in meetings, no matter where they are located," Colonel Brian Hermann, chief of the Net-Centric Enterprise Services branch. "It allows off-site employees to "participate fully in small-group meetings, including the use of whiteboarding and sharing presentations," Hermann said. Will other agencies follow suit? Stay tuned. Navy adding telepresence at National Naval Medical Center The National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda is looking to install a video teleconferencing room which will serve as the Admiral's Conference room. The conference room will be used for executive-level video teleconference and Board of Directors meetings, among others according to a solicitation posted to FedBizzOpps.gov.
DISA's Tony Montemorano explains the delay in the request for proposal for the Global Information Grid.
How can a Defense Department analyst hold a last-minute meeting with three other analysts in three different locations around the world? Well, if they're one of the over 380,000 Defense employees using Defense Connect Online, it's as simple as turning on a video camera and starting a session. Defense Connect Online (DCO) is the Defense Information Systems Agency's second video teleconferencing system by which users web conference using video cameras at their desk or laptop. DCO is available DoD-wide. The technology is being applied by senior-level leaders, agency employees, and service members alike, according to Colonel Brian Hermann, chief of the Net-Centric Enterprise Services branch. Managed in conjunction by Carahsoft Technology Corp. and Adobe Systems Incorp., DCO consists of a multiuser text chat and instant messaging, as well as web conferencing using Adobe Connect. DISA first awarded the contract in 1997. Aside from allowing program leaders and employees in different locations to hold discussions from their desks, DCO has also been incorporated into DISA's telework strategy. "DCO has enabled our telework program to thrive, allowing DISA employees to fully participate in meetings, no matter where they are located," Hermann said. It allows off-site employees to "participate fully in small-group meetings, including the use of whiteboarding and sharing presentations." Last year, DISA extended the service to non-DoD agencies and federal partners who work with the DoD. "The greatest challenge online is balancing security with sharing," Hermann said. "We solve that by allowing other federal government members to have accounts on our DCO services." With the expansion, federal employees with .gov email addresses can also create DCO accounts to further collaborate with DoD mission partners. The system has been widely incorporated across the DoD, and is adding approximately 4,500 new users each week, Hermann said. "DCO is also currently being used by DoD service members to hold impromptu meetings for situational awareness," Hermann said. "We have moved from simply cost benefits to command and control and operational capabilities."
Video teleconferencing is more than an alternative to travel at the Defense Information Systems Agency. In fact, the demand for the agency's VTC facilities is exceeding expectations. It's no wonder then that the agency announced last week that it was re-awarding AT&T a contract to continue maintaining DISA's Video Services - Global (DVS-G) VTC system. "Telepresence is quite effective, in lieu of face-to-face meetings, in reducing the requirement for frequent travel," said Julia Brown, project manager for Defense Information Systems Network Video Services at DISA, said in an email to Federal News Radio. "Our challenge is keeping up with current level of demand." The agency has two telepresence options for employees to use. The Defense Connect Online (DCO) system allows employees to connect using equipment located at their desks. DCO is available to all authorized Defense Department employees DISA's other option is their VTC system that connects employees through rooms containing video teleconferencing equipment that function much like television studios, Brown said. The rooms are linked electronically allowing the participants in one room to see and hear the participants in the other rooms. Participants schedule a meeting through VTC coordinators and DISA maintains VTC facilities at military bases around the world. "It saves travel time and expenditures while allowing all participants to engage fully in meetings across the world," Brown said. "Our senior leaders use it for high-level meetings with other senior leaders in the DoD, but DISA also uses it for when we need all our agency employees around the world to meet for important issues, such as an all-hands meeting with our director." AT&T, which currently owns a majority of and maintains all of equipment and software under the DVS-G contract, has been DISA's vendor since 1997. The company currently is on its second contract with the agency. The current contract is worth up to $244.8 million. In early November, DISA announced that they would award AT&T a new sole-source contract, continuing the company's stewardship of VTC services for up to another five years. The new contract has a two-year base, with three one-year options. The new contract will be awarded effective Nov 30. "VTC has proven useful across the world, allowing our senior leaders to see the body language of meeting participants, assisting in a better understanding of objections, reservations, or approval," Brown said. Next week, the Video Teleconferencing Center takes an in-depth look at DISA's DCO system.
November 17th, 2010
Listen to a discussion on key milestones or changes that have come out of the first year of President Obama's Open Government Directive (OGD).
The DoD's Iridium EMSS Gateway serves as a dedicated portal for the uplink and downlink of voice and data traffic through Iridium satellites for DoD and other U.S. government users throughout the world.
The general spent more than 37 years in the service, including the last three as CIO. Mike Kreiger will be the acting CIO in the interim. Sorenson led several enterprise initiatives including moving the Army's e-mail system to DISA.