State looks to the cloud for building management services

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The State Department is considering a new commercial software-as-a-service platform to support building management capabilities for thousands of its properties worldwide.

In mid-December, the agency's Bureau of Overseas Building Operations' (OBO) Information Resource Management Division issued a research notice for a commercial off-the-shelf project management and collaboration system or service. The agency told industry it wants input on a cloud-based project management capability that thousands of its building managers could use to oversee projects.

The OBO said it is considering a single solution, or suite of solutions, to support project management and collaboration requirements for over 2,000 users, including staff and support contractors in the Washington, D.C., region and at its properties around the world.

The agency said it is interested in a SaaS platform with both medium and high Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program approval. It's also wants to look into integrating application program interfaces with the platform's database though the web and interfacing with common architecture, engineering and construction technology and tools. Mobile device access is also a top priority.

The bureau currently uses ProjNet, a federal shared services solution it pioneered with Army Corps of Engineers' Construction Engineering Research Laboratory and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS).

ProjNet website said the platform was launched in 1998 with the State Department using it for design review processes for embassy construction. The site called ProjNet the backbone of the State Department's engineering and design process and said it sets the foundation for its integrated design review processes. ProjNet is administered by the Washington, D.C.-based, not-for-profit NIBS.

The site said that ProjNet has over 45,000 users and that more than a quarter of all federal agencies that have construction projects use it to track and manage building design issues.

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 [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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