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FCW : June 15, 2016
When the ITES-2H request for proposals format was first released in 2006, this contract was seen as a way for the Army to buy commercial- off-the-shelf hardware in bulk— everything from workstations and servers to printers and networking gear. This would help leverage the Army’s buying power to get the best price. That’s still one of the goals, but ITES-3H is much more. As the DOD’s emphasis has evolved to buying IT for the enterprise, the Army’s use of ITES-3H has also evolved from specific equipment to how that technology fits into the ultimate enterprise vision. In a presentation at the recent Federal Networks Conference, Gary Wang, the Army’s deputy CIO/G-6, outlined the details of that enterprise view. It focuses on how you move data across the enterprise, including how to extend data services from terrestrial-based networks in the U.S. to tactical units in the battlefield. “When I first started selling to the Army, we were selling a lot to every installation and base individually,” says John Meier, Iron Bow’s general manager for DOD East & Intel sales team. “Now you rarely do that. Instead you’re selling to a major command that’s looking at how it all applies to the enterprise.” In the “old” days, you looked at networks. Then you looked at servers. Then you looked at storage; all as individual aspects if IT. Now, says Meier, all that collapses into “consolidated and automated infrastructures” that require ITES-3H to be more a solutions provider that can integrate technology into those infrastructures, instead of simply the hardware itself. During his presentation, Wang checked off a list of developing technologies the Army will use to extend the Army Enterprise, including hybrid clouds, unified communications, and mobile devices; and the cybersecurity needed to secure it all. ITES-3H will have to provide the technology and integration solutions to match those needs. The ITES-3H Statement of Work lays out the breadth of expectations for vendors selling through the contract. The acquisition specifications stress a “well-rounded, total solution that uses standard interfaces that can be interconnected in unlimited configurations to satisfy multiple user requirements.” Companies selling through the contract must provide hardware already compatible with the Army’s net-centric operations. It must also be able to update and enhance their products so they can keep up with the evolving DOD’s Global Information Grid requirements, assets in early deployment such as the Joint Information Environment, and networking standards such as IPv6. Look more closely at what is driving that future enterprise vision, says Meier, and it’s such things as software-defined networking, software-defined datacenters, converged infrastructure and the like. These technologies also happen to bring “huge” savings for Iron Bow’s Army customers. “So, ITES-3H will be asked to provide the products and solutions to support the advance of that kind technology,” he says. “It’s not just about the hardware.” • Sponsored Report DEFENSE ACQUISITIONS ITES-3H: Much More than Hardware The new contract format takes an enterprise view for technology acquisition. • The evolution of ITES • How ITES-3H helps with cybersecurity • The fast moving future of ITES-3H • ITES-3H today: The details Other ITES-3 Contract Articles Include: Go to FCW.COM/2016ITES3
May 30, 2016
June 30, 2016