DOD, civilian cloud office app contracts advance

Following the Pentagon's lead with its $8.2 billion cloud Defense Enterprise Office Solutions contract for email and collaboration services, the Office of Management and Budget is working out a version of DEOS for civilian agencies.

Plans for Civilian Enterprise Office Solution have begun to surface publicly in the last few weeks, as DOD plans awards and task orders under its cloud effort this summer. Alan Thomas, commissioner of GSA's Federal Acquisition Service, said a Civilian Enterprise Office Solutions vehicle is still in the "early stages" of development. Like DEOS, CEOS will look to leverage similar cloud efficiencies for email and other applications for federal agencies.

Thomas said the idea came directly from plans for the DEOS, but it wouldn't be a "carbon copy." The CEOS name is working title, not necessarily an official one.

The DEOS blanket purchase agreement for multiple business software tools including email and chat is being run through GSA Schedule 70. Requests for information regarding capability sets two and three -- for business and assured IP voice and video functions -- are expected later this year or by early 2020, pending internal cost analyses, according to Kevin Tate, a management analyst for the Defense Department CIO's portfolio lead on enterprise capabilities and productivity services, who spoke on the sidelines of Defense Information Systems Agency's TechNet Cyber conference in Baltimore on May 13.

Business analysis decisions still need to be made as old analog infrastructure lingers, Karl Kurz, DISA’s chief engineer for the unified capabilities portfolio, said. Some of the distinctions between DEOS and the other two capability sets led to a “logical breakdown” across the commercial space.

Both Kurz and Tate indicated that DOD and DISA are taking their time in evaluating the technical and financial costs of IP voice and video solutions. However, like DEOS, moving to a reliable capability from aging legacy systems is urgent.

As Kurz said, “It doesn’t matter how much money you save, if someone calls 911 and the call doesn’t go through -- you’ve failed.”

This report is a combination of two articles first posted to FCW, a sibling site to GCN.

About the Authors

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


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