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Netcentric Enterprise Services

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Implementation of Net-Centric Enterprise Services

Background

A fictitious Department of Defense(DoD) organization is used as the basis for this paper. I have made the following assumptions with respect to the organization: organization size, five thousand personnel; locations, ten worldwide; all locations and personnel have access to 'in-house' Non-Classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNet) Instant Messaging (IM); all locations and selected personnel have requirements for access to classified material.

Our Mission Requirements

In broad terms, our mission is to provide electronic media-voice, video, and data services. Since 9/11 we have continued to refine and improve how we deliver these services. Although, we have achieved Information Superiority(IS) as defined by JV2010(CJCS, 1997, p. 16), this advantage has not translated into the overwhelming military domination on the battlefield many expected. For example, the trail remains cold in our five year plus hunt for Usama bin Laden(UBL). Not withstanding his-UBL ability to improvise, adept and overcome, many are miffed the technical resources of our National Agencies and DoD have been unable to develop any substantial leads that would lead to his capture or death.

In part, many of the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) we use to gain this advantage-IS are known to our enemies. Their ability to cheaply acquire information technology devices such as: satellite and cell phones, pagers, and laptops aid them in their terrorist operations. This is because they are easy to come by and can be used a few times or even once and discarded. Furthermore, they have quickly adapted to our methods for tracking or eavesdropping on their physical devices and learned how to communicate in Cyber-space. Internet cafes and the like provide terrorists not only a cheap way to communicate, but with a venue he can communicate electronically almost anonymously. Imagine the Cold War. A spy would deliver or go to a 'dead drop'(a physical location) to drop off or retrieve a covert coded message. Today, the terrorists can do this in Cyber-space via web blogs or sites like MySpace and YouTube, they can post coded messages or videos for free.

Thus, to regain the dominant advantage we strive for, we must build upon our current IS and move toward Decision Superiority(DS) as outlined in JV2020(CJCS, 2000, p. 8). The key to achieving vision is Net-Centricity. As the DoD CIO states(2003, p. ii), "In a net-centric environment, unanticipated but authorized users or applications can find and use data more quickly." Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that a Net-Centric Information Technology(IT) solution will speed decision response time, thereby enabling us to increase the advantage over our enemies.

To this end, we will implement a Net-Centric Enterprise collaboration service/tool(s) consisting of: IM, Web conferencing and session management capable of communicating with other DoD organizations and U.S Government Agencies.

Introduction to our Technology Solution

To fully understand how we selected this technology, we must first discuss what Net-centricity is as a concept and strategy. The concept is best described by the DoD CIO(2003, p. 1) as, "Net-centricity is the realization of a networked environment, including infrastructure, systems, processes, and people, that enables a completely different approach to warfighting and business operations. The foundation for net-centricity is the Department's Global Information Grid(GIG)." Strategy is the science of employing capabilities to afford the maximum advantage when meeting the enemy in battle. JV2020(CJCS, 2004, p. 8) describes our military strategy as, "The joint force must be able to take advantage of superior information converted to knowledge to achieve 'decision superiority'-better decisions arrived at and implemented faster than an opponent can react, (...)at a tempo that allows the force to shape the situation or react to changes and accomplish its mission."

Collaboration services are already offered by DISA as part of the Defense Collaborative Tools Suite(DCTS), however it has a number of limitations. A few of the limitations are: thick-client application, user/platform/command centric, and cross command integration is difficult.

It has been over three years since the DoD CIO published his

DoD Net-Centric Data Strategy Memorandum(2003). Defense Information Systems Agency(DISA) has used much of this time to implement and/or expand technologies that enable Net-Centricity. Some of these enabling projects are: GIG Bandwidth Expansion, Transformational Satellite(TSAT), Joint Tactical Radio System(JTRS), and Spectrum Management. They-DISA are now capable of providing true Net-centric solutions to DoD users.

The technology solution we will implement is provided by DISAs collaboration product line of Net-Centric Enterprise Services(NCES). The NCES collaborative product line is markedly better because it offers a number of additional services, thin-client application, and is offered as a cost for usage service. Let's discuss what NCES collaboration services are, and how they will help us realize our Net-Centric goals. The E-CollabCenter services we will use are NCES(DISA, 2006, p. 9) as:

- "Text Collaboration (Chat & IM): Provides the ability for authorized users to initiate and participate in low bandwidth text chat sessions

- Web Conferencing

* Audio over IP: Voice conferencing sessions (VOIP).

* Video over IP: Video conferencing sessions.

* Whiteboarding & Annotation: Ability to import and annotate diagrams, pictures, and other objects for viewing by other collaboration participants.

* Application Sharing/Broadcasting: Ability for users to share and broadcast an application running on their computer as part of a collaboration session.

* Presence and Awareness: Ability to identify users available for collaboration sessions.

* Non-DoD Participation: May invite non-DoD personnel into collaboration sessions

- Session Management: Provides the management, customization, and control of collaboration sessions and workspaces whether ad hoc or persistent"

These services combined with the GIGs ability to communicate

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