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Come Together: PEO EIS Hosts Network Modernization Information Exchange

By Jamie Lien, PEO EIS Public Affairs

The U.S. Army Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) kicked off a series of information exchanges with industry on May 22 with a program focused on network modernization. This new format -- pared down due to budget constraints -- allows PEO EIS and industry to gather and collaborate in specific areas of interest. Mr. Doug Wiltsie, Program Executive Officer, explained, "the purpose of this information exchange is to build stronger relationships between our programs and industry, and to provide a forum for collaboration that will help drive our future planning in network modernization." Over 300 attendees from 183 companies gathered at Wood Theater at Fort Belvoir, Va., to listen to briefings from EIS leaders and ask questions during panel discussions.

Focused primarily on the future of one of the Army’s top priorities – network modernization, the focus of the information exchange was to help industry understand the Army’s road map as well as begin to develop the technology that will be needed in the mid-term timeframe. Wiltsie welcomed participants who were treated to updates from Col. Debra Theall, Project Manager Installation Information Infrastructure – Communications and Capabilities (PM I3C2); Col. Clyde Richards, Project Manager Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems (PM DCATS); and Mr. Jeremy Hiers, Project Director Enterprise Services (PD ES). Overseeing all the IT infrastructure installation, Col. Theall provided insight into the acquisition side of network security, inside and outside plant installation, and bandwidth challenges and solutions. Col. Theall emphasized, “The Army's Network Modernization Initiative in CONUS is a partnership between the Defense Systems Information Agency (DISA) and the Army to build capacity and improve overall security of our networks. We are horizontally implementing across our most populated bases, posts, camps and stations to provide a uniform and substantial increase in capacity in a much shorter timeframe setting the conditions for cloud technologies and enterprise services.”

COL Richards focused on DCATS satellite communications and updated attendees on developing digital IFs and the migration to IP services. He also spoke about updating technology control facilities to continue to provide secure satellite communication to its stakeholders. Discussing the important changes occurring within the satellite communications environment, COL Richards stated, “"There is a movement to digitize the inter facility link on the backside of the ground station terminals with digital intermediate frequency technologies. This can be a game changer that can provide more efficient traffic management and control at a significantly reduced cost, and would be a step closer to an Everything Over IP (EOIP) architecture."

The issue of cloud computing and data center consolidation was of particular interest to participants, with emphasis on the challenges presented by synchronization efforts. Hiers provided a glimpse at the future by sharing the timeline for updates and transitions to next generation enterprise services and content management. Hiers said, “I thought the information exchange was effective at helping to re-establish some of the collaboration with industry that has been lost with recent restrictions on conferences. Throughout the day I met with representatives from over 30 companies and almost all of them mentioned some form of appreciation for having the opportunity to directly connect with the acquisition community.”

Next in the series, a DoD Biometrics information exchange will be hosted by EIS in July. Please check the EIS website for more information.

Links to the slides presented during the Information Exchange can be found here:

Posted June 19, 2013