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State Department eyes cloud-based building management

The State Department is looking to the cloud to better manage its buildings and properties.  

In mid-December, the agency's Bureau of Overseas Building Operations' (OBO) Information Resource Management Division issued a research notice for a cloud-based, commercial off-the-shelf project management and collaboration service that its building managers could use to oversee design, construction, acquisition, maintenance, use and sale of properties.

The OBO said it is considering a single solution, or suite of solutions, to support project management and collaboration requirements for over 2,000 users, including staff and support contractors in the Washington, D.C., region and at its 30,000 properties around the world.

The agency said it is interested in a software-as-a-service solution authorized by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program for both medium- and high-impact workloads. It's also considering integrating application program interfaces with the platform's database though the web and interfacing with common architecture, engineering and construction technology and tools. Mobile device access is also a top priority, as is the ability to display documents and drawings without the use of additional software.

The bureau currently uses ProjNet, a federal shared services solution it pioneered with Army Corps of Engineers' Construction Engineering Research Laboratory and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS).

ProjNet website said the platform was launched in 1998 with the State Department using it for design review processes for embassy construction. The site called ProjNet the backbone of the State Department's engineering and design process and said it sets the foundation for its integrated design review processes. ProjNet is administered by the Washington, D.C.-based, not-for-profit NIBS.

The site said that ProjNet has over 45,000 users and that more than a quarter of all federal agencies that have construction projects use it to track and manage building design issues.

This article was first posted to FCW, a sibling site to GCN.

About the Author

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, tele.com 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.


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