DHS talent management getting cloud consolidation

concept art for cloud services

The Department of Homeland Security is ramping up a cloud make-over for the enterprise talent management system (ETMS) that tracks employee skills and administrative housekeeping capabilities for eight operational agencies, DHS headquarters facilities and 250,000 employees.

The ETMS will be supported by one of the first shared services models implemented at DHS under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), said Terry Miller, chief operating officer at Visionary Integration Professionals (VIP). FedRAMP provides federal IT with a framework for security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. VIP was the only FedRAMP-certified bidder for the project, said VIP CEO Jonna Ward.

VIP teamed with its Meridian Knowledge Solutions subsidiary to win the $95 million single-award blanket purchase agreement from DHS. VIP is the prime contractor for the BPA and will supply IT services, including software planning and analysis, design, integration and testing. VIP's wholly-owned Meridian subsidiary will deliver the ETMS software, technical support and ongoing customer service to DHS.

Ward said the new system will take over the duties of four ETMS platforms now used at DHS. One system, at Customs and Border Protection, is already provided by VIP, she said.

DHS' Washington headquarters will be the next site where it will be installed, with follow-ons at the remaining agencies, Ward said. "Each component agency has its own project manager to convert" to the new system. ETMS rollout will be done in waves, but should be completed in less than a year, she said. Once the cloud-based platform is installed across DHS headquarters and the agency's eight operational components (CBP, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Citizenship and Immigration Services, Secret Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration and Federal Law Enforcement Training Center) it will provide a single platform to analyze employee skills and track talent, according to Miller.

The conversion will alter some user interfaces depending on the agency, said Ward, but not substantially. The big difference, she said, will be in pricing and capabilities. The shared services pricing is a per-user cost annually. That per-user cost will decrease as the number of users increases across the department, she said.


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, 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 or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

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Reader comments

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 James Bowman

Mark - The statement the VIP CEO was quoted as saying isn't entirely accurate: "VIP was the only FedRAMP-certified bidder for the project". VIP does not hold a FedRAMP ATO. VIP teamed with CGI Federal, who will provide the underlying IaaS infrastructure, which does have a FedRAMP ATO. However, this does not elevate FedRAMP requirements for the VIP application. To have a FedRAMP complaint solution per OMB and FedRAMP guidance, both the underlying infrastructure and the SaaS application require FedRAMP ATO.

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 Cloud Broker

If it's a cloud-based platform, than what is being installed at the DHS components?

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