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DISA incorporates desktop-telepresence across DoD

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."

Tags: technology , Video Teleconferencing Center , cisco , TANDBERG , DISA , DCO , DoD , defense

Friday - 12/03/2010, 12:57pm EST

What to do when telework isn't enough

Telework provides ideas to bring a piece of peace into the office.

Tags: technology , Telework Ceter , Polycom , Suzanne Kubota , management , job stress

Monday - 11/29/2010, 05:29am EST

Telework requires 'culture change'

Dr. Naomi Leventhal, director in Deloitte Consulting's Federal Human Capital Practice, describes the 'culture change' that will have to take place for telework policies to work.

Tags: Naomi Leventhal , Deloitte , ROWE , OPM , management , Dorobek Insider

Monday - 11/22/2010, 05:28pm EST
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Even telework has its limits

Under all the good telework is expected to bring to government, there are some limitations built into the new law.

Tags: technology , Telework Ceter , Polycom , Congress , Suzanne Kubota

Monday - 11/22/2010, 05:03am EST

Telework bill passes House, headed to Obama

The House passes the Telework Enhancement Act.

Tags: House , Barack Obama , Telework Enhancement Act , Congress , Senate , Frank Wolf , John Sarbanes , Gerald Connolly , NTEU , FEW , Telework Exchange , Jolie Lee , ROWE

Thursday - 11/18/2010, 04:14pm EST
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Telework may be team sport

A FedScoops panel says telework may be a team sport.

Tags: Bill Piatta , GSA , Christina Morrison , HP , DoD , Pamela Budda , FedScoops , management , team , Dorobek Insider , panel

Monday - 11/15/2010, 05:44pm EST
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Video teleconferencing technology widely embraced at DISA

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.

Tags: technology , Video Teleconferencing Center , cisco , TANDBERG , DISA , AT&T , DoD

Monday - 11/15/2010, 01:02pm EST

Trade fair offers a vision of Telework 2020

Futurologists gather to discuss the workforce of 2020.

Tags: technology , Telework Ceter , Polycom , Congress , Suzanne Kubota

Sunday - 11/14/2010, 10:16pm EST

NCPC planning fed workplaces of the future

The federal workplace of the future will have a lot going for it, especially how close it will be to transportation. We get details from NCPC Senior Urban Planner David Zaidain.

Tags: Federal Drive , management , best practices , NCPC , David Zaidain , Suzanne Kubota ,

Tuesday - 11/09/2010, 10:08am EST
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Even design trends favor telework

A home office makes your home more attractive.

Tags: technology , Telework Ceter , Polycom , Suzanne Kubota

Monday - 11/08/2010, 01:45pm EST
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