Insight by Hughes

How to use EIS for network and acquisition transformation

When it comes to the next generation of federal agency voice and data communications, you can definitely say they won’t be your father’s telecom. Not in terms of technology nor in terms of the types of services you can expect vendors under the General Services Administration’s Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contracts.

That came through loud and clear in this interview with Tony Bardo, long-time federal telecom practitioner and the assistant vice president of government solutions at Hughes Network Systems.

As Bardo sees it, EIS presents the opportunity not merely to expand bandwidth but also to couple capacity to greater network and application security as part of integrated transport and managed services solutions. EIS also brings real technical advancement, he says in moving to software defined wide area networks, or SD-WANs.

SD-WANs give greater communications path diversity and scaling, both important for continuity, security, and blending commercial cloud services into agency operations. They can enable application-aware networks, where the communications path takes into account the performance and data volume requirements of the particular application. Voice and video, for example, have more stringent latency limits than, say, a database application in which the user wouldn’t notice a few milliseconds’ delays.

Still another potential benefit – especially compared to what agencies now have under the soon-to-expire Networx contracts – is a much greater degree of dynamically fine-tuning capacity per location. That’s in contrast to, say, adding or subtracting traditional (and expensive) T-1 lines.

The idea of managed broadband services, which Bardo points out came to Hughes’s commercial clients several years ago, is starting to gain currency with federal agencies, starting with the Agriculture and Interior Departments.

For best use of EIS capabilities, Hughes advises agencies to overly detail their requests for proposals. Better, he says, to lay out the agency locations and performance requirements and let vendors come up with network architectures and designs from which the agency can choose.

The Transformation Needed for EIS

Transitioning from ‘like to like’ is just not going to get the agencies anywhere in terms of the needs that have for advanced services, advanced security, and advanced bandwidth.

Managed Broadband Services

Managed broadband services “transforms the ability to take the internet services of various types – DLS, cable, fiber, 3G, 4G LTE – and use those services to deliver network capabilities to customers…that offered greater security than normal broadband services would do.

Planning for Transformation

The transformative way of acquiring these services is for an agency to say, ‘Here are my locations, here are my bandwidth needs. Here’s how I want you to perform managing this network. Industry, you decide a design, and a network configuration, architecture for my agency. And let me decide which on I like best.

Listen to the full show:

Featured speakers

  • Tony Bardo

    Assistant Vice President, Government Solutions, Hughes Network Systems

  • Tom Temin

    Host, The Federal Drive, Federal News Network

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