DOD's global grid hosts collaboration services

Defense collaboration services are now available on the Global Information Grid-Enterprise Services portal.

In a memo issued last month, Defense CIO Linton Wells said the Defense Information Systems Agency had begun the Next Generation Collaboration Service pilot program to provide an enterprisewide, commercially managed collaoration service.

The services are available on DOD's unclassified network. A classified pilot for NGCS is planned for the summer and will be hosted on a military network operating within the Defense Enterprise Computing Center.

The service is provided by WebEx Communications Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., and is accessible to DOD users from any computer connected to the Internet or the Non-Classified IP Router Network via a Java-enable Web browser. Users also need a Common Access Card or public-key infrastructure software certificate.

The pilot provides audio and video capabilities and lets users chat in real time with remote co-workers. In addition, they can make presentations and view and edit documents.

"Hosts can invite DOD and non-DOD personnel to participate in collaboration sessions and conference participants do not require certificates," Wells said in the March 11 memo.

DOD will incorporate feedback from both pilots when it releases an enterprisewide collaboration service request for proposals. The pilots will also help the department glean a procurement strategy for the Net-Centric Enterprise Services Collaboration Services implementation.

Collaboration is one of nine initial service offerings of the NCES program. The others include applications, discovery, enterprise service management, mediation, messaging, security, storage and user assistance.

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